On Wednesday, Electronic Arts Sports, the video game developers behind 2014’s flashy EA Sports UFC, announced that legendary boxer and cartoon character Mike Tyson would be available as an unlockable fighter in the forthcoming sequel, available on March 15. Tyson can be unlocked by making it to the Hall of Fame in Career Mode in EA UFC 2, can be played in both the light heavyweight and heavyweight classes and comes in two distinct vintages: an “Iron” Mike Tyson “based on his climb to stardom and string of invincible fights in the eighties,” and “Legacy” Mike Tyson, “developed with the end of his illustrious career in mind.” He’ll have the strongest punching power of anyone in the game.
“When you think about the most devastating fighters of all time, Mike Tyson is either around, or at the top of everyone’s list. It’s fun to think that if MMA was as popular back when he was competing as it is today, you might have seen Tyson put on four ounce gloves and step into the Octagon,” said EA Creative Director Brian Hayes said in a press release on the subject. “This is one of those great ‘what ifs’ that we get to create when making a game like EA SPORTS UFC 2.”
Tyson himself gave equally good corporate quote in the release, saying “As a huge fan, I’m honored to be part of EA SPORTS and explore the world of mixed martial arts. I follow UFC very closely and it’s going to be very cool to see how I would stack up against these amazing MMA athletes.”
This isn’t the first time that EA has playfully slipped an unlockable athlete from the very outer reaches of the MMA sphere into the video games series. Martial arts and film icon Bruce Lee was an unlockable option in the first game, alongside actual MMA legend Royce Gracie.
The introduction of Tyson and Lee before him has got us thinking: why stop there? Why not incorporate other MMAA (mixed martial arts adjacent) people into the game? And why stop at real people? Why stop at people at all?
With our imaginations running wilder than the most feverish fit of Hulkamania, we came up with a list of the following fighters we’d love to see in a future installment of the EA UFC series:
If there’s not a small part of you that doesn’t want to see the most electrifying man in sports and entertainment bouncing off cage side to cage side, winding up and getting ready to drop The People’s Elbow in the middle of the Octagon—perhaps right on Conor McGregor’s people’s face, essentially slapping the taste out of his mouth—then you might lack the capacity to feel joy.
No, not the Lion King paterfamilias. Former UFC Light Heavyweight champ Jon Jones’s elder Savannah. He might not be the coolest cat in the Jones clan—that honor goes to the indomitable Charcoal—but he’s the definitely the scrappiest. He gave the Jackson-Winkeljohn crew a run for their money when he went on the lam in 2014, so it would be interesting to see what one could make him do in the cage.
Rey from Star Wars
She’s great with a bo staff, and it’s not like she’s busy being in her own franchise’s Monopoly or anything, so why not find out how this budding young Jedi could harness the force in hand-to-hand combat?
There’s at least some demand to have the world’s most beloved fictional boxer in the game. Fans have been creating their own versions of Sylvester Stallone, the man who created and inhabits Rocky, since the original EA UFC came out. It might be fun to find out how long and how dramatically he could survive against the real life Apollo Creeds and Dragos of current day MMA.
Imagine pitting Elvis Presley’s 8th degree black belt karate skills against your average UFC’s fighter’s arsenal! And if that isn’t enough to amuse you, imagine doing that while video game Elvis is dressed in one of his signature Karate King jumpsuits.
The world’s most infamous bare knuckle brawler and mercurial inmate against the most dedicated, disciplined and studied fighters of our time! Granted, it would be hard to accurately represent the man also known as Charles Salvador, Michael Gordon Peterson and Charles Ali Ahmed, given how little of his fighting actually exists. But maybe Tom Hardy, who played him in 2008’s Bronson, still has the mustache that the criminal shaved and mailed to him lying around somewhere and he could share it with the EA tean for authenticity’s sake.
An action character as resourceful as Mad Max: Fury Road’s Furiosa could provide intriguing fodder for a combat-based video game. And it would be awfully fun to pit her against her fellow hair-free heroine, Rose Namajunas.
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
After years of speculation, and thousands upon thousands of words’ worth of thinkpieces and comment section arguments, this is probably the closest we would ever get to finding out how the undefeated boxing star would fare against Mayweather trash talking UFC fighters like Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor.
David Lee Roth
We’ve already discussed our fondness for Diamond Dave’s ability to translate his martial arts training into rock and roll stage moves at some length, and we think they’d make a stunning addition to any combat-based video game.
Still not convinced? Watch this incredible compilation video of Roth’s best roundhouse kicks and imagine this unchained skill going down in the middle of a cage in the depths of the uncanny valley.
Aren’t you at least a little curious as to how passionate paleophile Georges St-Pierre would stack up against one of his beloved prehistoric creatures? The dinosaur in question probably shouldn’t be a T-Rex, though. The disparity in reach would be terribly unfair.
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