EA Sports today announced three new additions to the fighter roster for its upcoming mixed-martial-arts videogame release, "EA Sports MMA."
The trio includes DREAM fighters Joachim Hansen and Josh Barnett, as well as current UFC fighter Vladimir Matyushenko.
"EA Sports MMA," available on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 platforms, is expected to be released in late summer 2010 as a rival to THQ's "UFC Undisputed" title.
Dozens of fighters – mostly from Strikeforce and DREAM – recently have been announced for the EA Sports game. Most of the UFC's roster is featured in THQ's "UFC Undisputed" franchsise, which sold 3.5 million units with its 2009 debut and returns with an updated 2010 version in May.
The inclusion of Matyushenko is likely to raise some eyebrows since UFC president Dana White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
) this past summer that – aside from UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture, who negotiated his EA Sports deal while in a contract dispute – that no fighters will be signed to the UFC if they appear in the game. However, White seemed to relax the rule in 2009 when Frank Trigg re-signed with the company. Like Trigg, Matyushenko, who was previously under contract to an outside promotion (the now-defunct Affliction Entertainment), signed with EA Sports when he wasn't under contract to the UFC.
Matyushenko (24-4) is a 13-year pro MMA vet, the first-ever IFL light heavyweight champion, and a winner of 11 of his past 12 fights, including a close split-decision win over Eliot Marshall at Sunday's UFC on Versus 1 event.
Hansen (19-9-1), and ex-Shooto welterweight title-holder, was also the 2009 DREAM lightweight tournament winner and first-ever DREAM lightweight champion. Earlier today, he fell short in his bid to reclaim the belt from Bibiano Fernandes at DREAM.13.
Barnett (25-5), a former UFC heavyweight champion and 2006 DREAM Open Weight Grand Prix runner-up, has spent much of the past decade ranked among the world's top-10 heavyweights. Barnett today returned from a 14-month layoff to defeat Siala-Mou "Mighty Mo" Siligia via submission at DREAM.13.
The trio of fighters joins a quickly growing list of other confirmed "EA Sports MMA" fighters, which includes Tyron Woodley, Bobby Lashley, Shinya Aoki, Hidehiko Yoshida, Cung Le, Gilbert Melendez, Robbie Lawler, Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza, Matt Lindland, Scott Smith, Josh Thomson, Nick Thompson, Brett Rogers, Jake Shields, Frank Shamrock, Fedor Emelianenko, Randy Couture, Renato "Babalu" Sobral, Gegard Mousasi, Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal, Jason "Mayhem" Miller, Tim Kennedy, Jay Hieron, Frank Trigg, Dan Henderson and Luke Rockhold.
EA Sports, founded in 1982, has produced additional sports titles geared around NCAA football and basketball, the NBA, NHL, FIFA and NASCAR, among others. The California-based company has delivered massively popular videogame series such as "Madden NFL" and "Tiger Woods PGA TOUR."