EA is making a big deal of its upcoming UFC game. As a big fan of Mixed Martial Arts this makes me happy. But here's the crazy thing: the UFC fighters themselves are more excited than anyone about the game.
Part of it is the novelty of something new. You get the impression that big name competitors in other sports take video games for granted but, for these fighters, an EA developed UFC game is an important, pivotal step forward. As a relatively new sport, these guys (and girls) have a vested interest in seeing this game do well, in making sure it reaches a wide audience. It's interesting to see the enthusiasm. At the moment these fighters are absolutely desperate to get on the cover of the EA's UFC game. They are fighting tooth and nail, which makes sense I guess with them being fighters and all.
Currently the only guy with a guaranteed spot is light heavyweight champion (and current pound for pound king) Jon Jones. This spot was so important to Jones that he actively campaigned for it through his manager, claiming that it was on a massive list of dream accomplishments he wanted to achieve in his career alongside getting sponsored by Nike (which he achieved last year) and being featured in GQ (which he achieved this month). Being on the cover of a video game was, according to Jones, the last thing on that list. He's just finished playing Grand Theft Auto V and claimed in a recent interview that video games were practically his babysitter.
The second spot on the cover? That's being left to a fan-vote and the fighters involved in the vote are campaigning hard.
Ronda Rousey is the one Jones wants to share the cover with, but he doesn't really have a say...
— Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) November 4, 2013
English loudmouth and middleweight contender has been pretty forthcoming...
— michael (@bisping) November 4, 2013
And featherweight champ Jose Also just has a goddamn wall of retweets from fans telling everyone to vote for him... https://twitter.com/josealdojunior
As someone who follows most of these folks on Twitter, my feed is literally just being spammed constantly with requests to vote for these fighters in the competition. It's kind of interesting to see these two separate interests of mine intertwine but, bigger picture, it's great to see just the enthusiasm the UFC and the fighters have for this project.
I'm voting for Alexander Gustafsson who, for my money, actually beat Jon Jones in their last, epic encounter.