Mike Tyson to feature in UFC video game

Mike Tyson (AFP)
Mike Tyson (AFP)

Cape Town - A legend in the boxing ring is set to make his octagon debut on March 15 as Mike Tyson was announced to be the latest playable character in EA Sports UFC 2 video game.

EA Sports announced the news via their Twitter account and the UFC confirmed via press release according to Nick Strickland from MMALatestNews.com.

Tyson has been a long time fan an advocate of MMA and now joins Kazushi Sakuraba and Bas Rutten as playable legends in the game. Two versions of the former boxing champion will be available, ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson based on the young vicious version that devastated so many in the eighties and then ‘Legacy’ Mike Tyson based on him toward the end of his amazing career.

"When you think about the most devastating fighters of all time, Mike Tyson is either around, or at the top of everyone’s list. It’s fun to think that if MMA was as popular back when he was competing as it is today, you might have seen Tyson put on four ounce gloves and step into the Octagon, said Creative Director Brian Hayes. This is one of those great ‘what ifs’ that we get to create when making a game like EA SPORTS UFC 2," he added. 

Winning the heavyweight title at the age of 20, Mike Tyson was one of the most feared and devastating fighters of his era. With 50 professional victories 44 of which came by way of knockout Mike Tyson carried a reputation that none would care to test even today.

The selection of Tyson is a unique choice since he has always been a pure boxer. If MMA history has shown us anything, it’s that pure boxers have never fared well in the octagon. From James Tony, to Art “One Glove” Jimerson, pure boxers and their staple of tactics and ringcraft have always made them susceptible to the whims and takedowns of grapplers. Even Bruce Lee had some semblance of a grappling game that made the bending of his in-game statistics reasonably plausible.

This question has weighed heavily on the minds of combat sports fans everywhere and the team at EA Canada is no different. More surprising, though, was that Mike Tyson himself has often wondered ‘what if’. “As a huge fan, I’m honored to be part of EA SPORTS and explore the world of mixed martial arts,” said Mike Tyson. “I follow UFC very closely and it’s going to be very cool to see how I would stack up against these amazing MMA athletes.”

How will EA account for Tyson’s obvious MMA deficiencies? Is his inclusion an alternate history for Tyson? If a revisionist history Tyson had time to prepare for a theoretical UFC debut would he fashion himself into a Chuck Lidell-esque sprawl and brawler? Or will Tyson become a walking artillery array with Atom bombs for fists who becomes as helpless as an upside down turtle when he’s taken down? EA insists that Tyson should reflect how he was both at his prime and at the twilight of his career but we still have to get our hands on the game to see how it functions in-game.

Tyson is set to have the strongest punching power in the game, and you can compete in both the heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions using the character.

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