Sports

Dana White Lifts the UFC Ban on EA MMA Fighters

Dana WhiteIt has been over six months since UFC president Dana White announced his war with EA Sports over their EA MMA video game. As part of his battle call, Dana White announced that he would ban any fighter who appeared in the EA MMA video game from fighting in the UFC. Cooler heads and reality have prevailed and Dana White has lifted the EA MMA fighters ban.

Dana White first declared war on EA Sports back in July. In addition to calling out EA Sports, Dana White called out the EA MMA roster. When asked about fighters in the EA MMA game White told the media, “You won’t be in the UFC,” White said about additional fighters who sign with EA Sports.

When Dana White officially announced the ban, I laughed. I understand that Dana White may be one of the most competitive sports executives in the world. Yet, a few weeks after the ban Dana White was publicly negotiating with Fedor Emelianenko. Fedor was not only a highly sought after free agent, he also happened to be the co-star of the video game. Once Dana White openly negotiated with the face of the video game, it became clear that exceptions to this EA MMA ban would be made.

Dana White has now officially acknowledged that the ban on EA MMA fighters has been lifted. White was interviewed by Kotaku.com at the UFC Undisputed 2010 release party. Dana White said the following when asked about the ban.

“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.”

Let’s be honest here for a minute. Never did I think that Dana White would follow through on this ban. Do you mean to tell me that if they came together on a financial deal with Fedor that Dana White would pull the plug because he is in the EA MMA video game? Not too mention, there are several potential future UFC fighters in the game. I have a feeling that if the money was fight guys like Gegard Mousasi, King Mo, Frank Shamrock, Jake Shields, Robbie Lawler, and Nick Diaz would all be fighting in the UFC whether they appear in the EA MMA video game or not.

So why the change of heart from the UFC president regarding the ban? I think there are a few reasons behind the ban lift. For starters, I think he knows he has a killer video game coming out that has the potential to be the 2010 Video Game of the Year. There is no need to make threats when you realize you are fighting down to your competition. More importantly, EA Sports has delayed the release of the video game several times. At this point it looks like the game won’t be out until September. By then UFC Undisputed 2010 will have saturated the market and likely closed the marketplace for any MMA video game competition. Quite frankly, it looks like EA beat themselves in this fictional game war due to their own incompetence.

So rest easy MMA fans, the UFC door has not been locked forever on some of your favorite fighters. The other half of the EA roster never stood much of a chance of jumping into the UFC in the first place.

UFC Undisputed 2010 hits the shelves May 25. EA Sports MMA video game hits the shelves, well your guess is as good as mine.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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