Couture and Emelianenko Headline EA MMA, Moore Responds to Threats

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The fight is on. EA today announced that they have officially signed Randy Couture and Fedor Emelianenko to headline their EA Sports MMA
title. Randy Couture is a 6’1”, 220 pound heavyweight, who currently holds a 16-9 record and is a five-time MMA champion. The game is currently scheduled to be released on PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2010.

“I have been a part of MMA for over 10 years and I am excited about the global visibility that a game like EA Sports MMA will bring to the sport,” said Randy Couture. “Like my fighting career, I look forward to taking on all comers in EA Sports MMA.”

Couture and Emelianenko join previously revealed participants Gegard Mousasi, Renato Sobral, Jay Hieron, former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia, Benji Radach, Tim Kennedy, and Muhammed Lawal, despite a threat from UFC president Dana White that fighters who sign with EA would be blacklisted.

“We put our asses on the line, THQ and the UFC, to make a video-game deal in the worst economy in the world,” White said in July. “We go out there and do this thing, and it’s successful, and now [expletive] EA Sports wants to do a video game. Really? That’s not what you told us a year-and-a-half ago. They told us They’d never be in business with us. They wouldn’t even take a meeting because mixed martial arts disgusted them. This wasn’t a real sport. Boy, they got over that real quick, didn’t they?”

EA Sports president Peter Moore responded directly to White’s comments: “I actually can probably tell you that I’m sure (that) wasn’t the case, but I wasn’t working for Electronic Arts at the time,” Moore told “For whatever (reason), my friends at the UFC want to purport to be the situation, that really doesn’t matter now.” He went on to say that the threat from UFC to blacklist players has not affected EA Sports’ efforts to sign fighters.

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