As THQ and EA square off in mixed martial arts games, EA Sports has signed top-ranked MMA fighter Fedor Emelianenko for the upcoming EA Sports MMA
, along with Gegard Mousasi and Renato Sobral.
Russian heavyweight fighter Emelianenko is part of the MMA group World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts. While the athletic freak Brock Lesnar is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), Emelianenko, with a 30-1 record and weighing in at 231 pounds, is still ranked as the top heavyweight on MMA enthusiast site Sherdog.com.
In other words, Emelianenko is a big get for EA in terms of striking a chord with fans of MMA. The fighter said in a statement, "I know MMA fans have been wanting to play as me and pitting me against any opponent. Now they will have their opportunity."
Due to release in 2010, EA Sports MMA
will be squaring off against THQ's UFC Undisputed
, the licensed fighting game released earlier this year that drove the publisher's sales
up 77 percent to $243.5 million for its June quarter.
UFC president Dana White recently lashed out
at EA, saying that any UFC fighter that signed on to have his likeness appear in EA Sports MMA
would be blacklisted from the league.
But currently, White is trying to get Emelianenko on board with the UFC. "Eventually, Fedor's going to be here. I want Fedor. I want him to come to the UFC and everything else," the UFC boss said this month.
Also signing onto EA Sports MMA
is former Dream Middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi (25-2-1) and Strikeforce light heavyweight champ Renato Sobral. The two will be squaring off in real life this August.
EA Sports MMA
is in development by EA's Tiburon studio, which has been working on the title for over a year, the publisher said. EA Sports is sponsoring Mousasi and Sobral for their Strikeforce fight next month.