UFC president Dana White will allow fighters appearing in EA Sports MMA, a rival to his successful UFC Undisputed video game series. But UFC fans who buy the EA game beware: White says that's "fucking nuts".
Kotaku grabbed a couple of minutes with White late last week at an elaborate evening nightclub event held for the upcoming UFC Undisputed 2010 held by the game's publisher, THQ. White had a TV taping to make and was trying to slip out through the kitchen, but mention EA to the man and he's ready to find a quiet corridor where he can share his view on his video game rival.
White revealed that he is backing off his earlier threats to ban any fighter who appears in EA's game to be a part of UFC. "Nah, some people have crossed over," he told Kotaku, "But believe me this is still going to continue to be a battle ... they're the me-toos. The UFC game is the original game."
While UFC Undisputed 2009 was a multi-million-selling hit, I pointed out to White that EA is bigger than his publisher, THQ. Couldn't that be a problem in 2010 with both THQ and EA putting out MMA games? "They're bigger than THQ," he said. "They have been. Let's see how they do now. Their earnings reports just came out and they suck. This company that used to control the whole video game world and were these big fucking giants, we'll see where they are in the next two years. And as as far as the MMA space goes, we'll kick the living shit out of them."
The animosity White has for EA isn't just due to the current rivalry between his game series and the EA contender. It's because he believes, as he has said before, that EA disrespected him and his sport when he pitched the company an MMA game years ago.
"I talked to EA Sports about doing a Mixed Martial Arts game," he recalled. "They told us it's not a real sport. First of all, they wouldn't even take a meeting with us. They told us they would never do a game and now they're coming out with a fucking game. Johnny come latelys. Me-toos."
EA Sports chief Peter Moore indirectly responded to White's complaints last summer, saying he long had respect for the sport.
If it's not clear, ultimate fighting fans, White would rather you didn't buy EA Sports MMA. "If there's anybody out there who is a UFC fan, you're fucking nuts if you buy the EA game."
UFC Undisputed 2010, which features slicker combat, more advanced body movement and improved customisation options as well as a deeper fighter roster and other improved features, ships on the PlayStation 3, PSP, and Xbox 360 in May.