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EA Sports MMA Announces Handful Of Fighters, Rumors, Future Battle With THQ Over UFC License?

EA Sports announced a handful of fighters for their upcoming EA Sports MMA video game earlier today in a live chat. Those announced were Cung Le, Scott Smith, Robbie Lawler, Josh Thomson, Gilbert Melendez, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Matt Lindland.

They join Fedor Emelianenko, Randy Couture, Brett Rogers, Gegard Mousasi, Jake Shields, Nick Thompson, Frank Shamrock, Renato “Babalu” Sobral, Muhammed ‘King Mo’ Lawal, Jason “Mayhem” Miller and Jay Hieron on the official roster. You can keep track of the roster on the EA Sports MMA official website.

If you’re interested a few juicy rumors, Middle Easy is all over them. According to a story they found in Fighting Spirit Magazine, there were strong hints that DREAM will be one of the organizations in the game, PRIDE rules (soccer kicks and foot stomps) will be an option, Sakuraba will make the roster, ring restarts are still being worked out and the targeted release date is sometime in September 2010.

Meanwhile, Dave Meltzer says they’re shooting for August. Meltzer also foresees a potential battle between EA and THQ over the UFC license when THQ’s grasp on it expires next year. Via MMA Payout:

EA MMA is still sticking to its guns of no women in the game even though Gina Carano would probably be the most marketable person they would have if they signed her. The problem is decisions on personnel were made by hardcore purists. The game is right now scheduled for an August release. What will become interesting is that the THQ license for UFC expires next year and EA MMA will not sell close to UFC numbers, and EA hates to be second place in any genre. Even though Dana White has dissed EA in the past because people running the company at one point told White they had no interest in MMA, those in the industry believe EA, if the new game doesn’t do well, will make a big offer for the UFC license.

If EA is able to produce a superior experience to UFC Undisputed 2010, things could definitely get interesting. We all know once you burn Dana White, getting off his shit list is a very difficult, if not impossible task. Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta say EA blew them off in the past, so you have to wonder if their personal animosity towards the company would impede a potential working relationship in the future. That said, Dana and Lorenzo are businessmen, good ones at that, and they don’t like to lose so if EA makes a better product and proves they can add more to the UFC’s bottom line than THQ, the possibility of a EA Sports UFC game in 2012 shouldn’t be ruled out.

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