Top 10 Candidates to Appear on the UFC EA Game Cover
As most of you already know, the UFC recently signed an exclusive deal with video-game powerhouse EA Sports. EA Sports have produced some of the best sports video games franchises, such as Madden and NCAA Football.
Now, EA Sports has rights to one of the fastest-growing sports in the world's leading organization.
Just like with many sports video games, gamers are already beginning to wonder who will be on the cover of the first installment of EA UFC? The THQ UFC Undisputed series featured the original Ultimate Fighter winner Forrest Griffin, former WWE star and UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar and, most recently, UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
So, who will be on the EA Sports cover of the next UFC video game? Here are my 10 picks.
UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon "Bones" Jones
I, among many others in the MMA community, believe that Jones will be around and on top of the UFC’s light heavyweight division for a long time to come.
Although, recently, his character has come into question after he was arrested back in May. However, you can't deny the kid has talent and still is one of the most popular fighters in the UFC.
His flashy, unorthodox style makes him a must-see fighter and, without a doubt, he's the front runner to be the on the cover on the next UFC video game.
UFC Featherweight Champion Jose "Scarface" Aldo
Aldo, at only 145 pounds, is one of the scariest and most dominant fighters in the UFC today.
Since the merger between the WEC and the UFC, Aldo has looked terrific and is coming off a huge knockout of then-undefeated Chad Mendes with a huge knee. He then ran out of the Octagon and into the Brazilian crowd.
There is no question this man is a huge star, and he’s only going to keep getting better and bigger in America. No better way to help continue that growth than by having Aldo on the cover of the first installment of EA UFC.
UFC Welterweight Champion Georges "Rush" St-Pierre
Coming off a severe knee injury, talk about GSP has been quiet as of late, but recently it was announced that St-Pierre is planning on returning to the Octagon in November to face current interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit.
GSP was on the cover of the first installment of UFC Undisputed, but only on the Canadian version of the game. If St-Pierre returns and defeats Condit, we could see GSP on the United States version of the first installment of EA UFC.
Early UFC Legends
Many fans of the Undisputed series have wanted the same things throughout all three installments of the game. Things such as better CAFs, more fighters, deeper career mode, and even some kind of "Ultimate Fighter" mode.
No one really knows if EA Sports will feature any of these, but I think a great idea would be to feature an Ultimate Fighting Championship mode. What I mean by that is just like the early days of the UFC, a tournament where, if you win, you fight later that night.
A great way to make the mode even more appealing is to feature some of the early UFC stars on the cover, such as the ones I have featured in Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, Don Frye and, of course, Royce Gracie.
UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior "Cigano" dos Santos
The current heavyweight champion continues to appear unbeatable, as he is coming off a knockout win over former champion Frank Mir.
JDS has grown from a top-notch heavyweight prospect to the UFC’s top heavyweight in a matter of a year. Dos Santos' fan support has continued to grow as well, and if JDS defeats another former champion in Cain Velasquez, Dos Santos would be a great candidate to grace to cover of EA UFC.
UFC Bantamweight No. 1 Contender Urijah Faber
Although he’s not the bantamweight champion, there’s no questioning that he is one of the most recognizable faces in all of MMA.
After being the face of the WEC, he came to the UFC and received a bantamweight title shot, but was unsuccessful in a close fight with Dominick Cruz. Cruz and Faber just finished hosting the first ever live version of The Ultimate Fighter, but Cruz blew out his knee. Now, Faber will fight Renan Barao for the interim title.
A win for Faber might also throw his hat into the mix to be on the cover of EA UFC.
UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson "The Spider" Silva
Although he was just on the cover of UFC 3, you can’t deny he’s one of, if not the best fighter in the world.
If he delivers another highlight-reel knockout and does it against his bitter rival Chael Sonnen, then we could once again see “The Spider” on the cover of a UFC video game.
UFC Middleweight No. 1 Contender Chael Sonnen
Let’s look at the other scenario, though.
If Silva, who is undefeated since coming to the UFC, was to lose to the so-called “People’s Champion” Sonnen could then possibly be looking at covering the game.
Chael Sonnen might not be the flashiest fighter on this list, but he is one of the best pure wrestlers in MMA, but that’s not what separates him from the competition. Sonnen is, in my opinion, the pound-for-pound best trash-talker in MMA history.
If Sonnen can back up everything he’s said about Anderson and defeat the champion in July, Sonnen might very well be the front runner for the cover spot on EA UFC.
Legends of Pride Fighting Championships
UFC Undisputed 3 was a big success with many MMA fans due to the inclusion of Pride mode and a selection of Pride Fighters. EA Sports can continue that trend by doing the same and taking it a step further by featuring the fighters on the cover.
Some of the obvious choices include Dan Henderson, Shogun Rua, Mirko Cro Cop, Antonio Nogueria and Wanderlei Silva, but there is a way EA Sports can win over both the Pride fans and the UFC fans, and that’s featuring all the listed above fighters with Fedor Emelianenko.
UFC fans have been calling for him to be in a UFC game for a few years now, and this is a great way to finally include him into a UFC game.
Strikeforce Women's Bantamweight Champion Ronda "Rowdy" Rousey
Shocker, right? Hear me out.
Women’s MMA is growing just as fast as the sport itself, and there is no better leading lady than Ronda Rousey. She’s coming off the most watched female’s MMA fight of all time with her win against Miesha Tate. Since then, her popularity has skyrocketed.
She even became the first female to appear on the UFC reality show The Ultimate Fighter. With both Strikeforce and the recent emergence of Invicta, women’s MMA is growing rapidly, and EA Sports can definitely play a huge role in the growth by featuring a selection of female fighters in this game.
Also, what better way to promote that feature as well as women's MMA than featuring the beautiful, yet super-talented Ronda Rousey on the cover of EA UFC.