EA Told Dana White MMA “Not A Real Sport” In ‘08

As you might recall, EA Sports revealed that they’re developing an MMA game, cleverly titled “MMA.” That’s strange, because the UFC already has their own game through THQ (with their own fighters, naturally) that’s already out and selling reasonably well.

EA Sports MMA
(Are they seriously trying to brand this thing with a tramp stamp?)

Then again, it’s also strange because according to UFC’s head hypermanic gorilla in charge, Dana White, EA Sports told him just last year that his sport, well, wasn’t one. Fast forward to today, and the war is on.

According to MMAWEEKLY.COM, in White’s eyes, there’s no coexistence for UFC and EA Sports:

“I went to EA Sports,” he said. “Know what EA Sports said? ‘It’s not a sport. This isn’t a sport. We would never get involved in something like this.’ We come out with a video game and now they want to come out with a video game? (Expletive) you.”

Yes, we’re certain someone at EA actually dropped an Effenheimer on Dana White and lived to talk about it. But with EA’s heft and superior programming behind their new video game, you would think that the temptation would be there for fighters to join their game instead. Not so fast, gentlemen. Via ARS TECHNICA:

Now that the sport has proven its popularity and legitimacy, EA wants to get into the game, but Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White has threatened to blacklist any fighter who appears in an EA MMA title.

“I’m not tap-dancing around this thing or whatever,” White said. “I’m telling you straight-up, I’m at war with them right now. That’s how I look at it.” What happens if a fighter agrees to an appearance in EA’s MMA title? Simple. “You won’t be in the UFC,” White claimed.

That’s just plain unequivocal, and White is certainly vindictive enough to enforce it. He holds the power in the sport, and whether EA can wrest it away from him with royalty checks to individual fighters is, um, unlikely.