While I know it’s a virtual impossibility that I’ll ever see these guys crackin’ skulls in a UFC game anytime soon…a fella’ can dream can’t he?
UFC has risen through the ranks over the years to become one of the most prevalent sporting events around. I’d venture to say it has now unseated boxing as THE must-see spectacle with that “big fight” feel. With this new found success comes new facets of revenue in the forms of merchandising, network TV deals and of course video games. Given that it could have just as easily fall flat on its face, the yearly renditions of UFC on our consoles have proven surprisingly worthwhile. Each one pushes the envelope of fight mechanics and visuals to where it’s almost like watching a live pay-per-view show!
And if that wasn’t enough, the folks behind the development know exactly how to sweeten the pot each year. Utilizing a bit of “outside the box” casting as it were, we’ve seen quite the eclectic group of guest stars make their way into the octagon. This year’s entrant is Martial Arts legend Bruce Lee. To some it might seem like a bit of a stunt, it actually makes perfect sense. The Gracie family’s legacy stretches back to the earliest days of UFC, many of whom were compared to Lee himself. When recently asked if the likes of other Martial Arts superstars like Chuck Norris (or even a sports entertainment grappler such as The Rock) could make an appearance, UFC boss Dana White said he’d absolutely love to see it.
So this got me thinking, what non-traditional picks could I come up with that would shake things up inside the bloody cage of rage? Let’s take a look at my weird (and hopefully fun) list!
Jean-Claude Van Damme as Frank Dux (from Bloodsport):
I think I just won the internet with this one. Although the guy might be a colossal prick in his persona life, no one better epitomized sweet ass-kickery in the 80’s than Van Dammne. One of his most famous films (Bloodsport in 1988) was virtually a blue print for what UFC would become. The underground fighting tournament that many never walked away from was brutal in the most awesome way (and based on a true story). Seeing him step into a UFC ring with his trademark shorts and a move-set that MUST include the splits, will no doubt get the crowd chanting KUMITE…KUMITE…KUMITE...
Mickey Rourke as Marv (from Sin City):
This suggestion is about as out of the box as you could possibly get. I know it may take things into a fantasy world way beyond what normal UFC fans would like to see, I think Marv would be all kinds of fun. If you’ve seen the movie, you know this guy can take more punishment than any other pseudo-superhero your likely to find. In addition, he has no problem dishing it out as well. While he would probably seem more at home in a game like Mortal Kombat I can totally see him making people tap out to that skull-crusher move (which he uses on screen to great effect).
Patrick Swayze as Dalton (from Roadhouse):
This one is for the ladies. Can’t you just picture those glistening abs as Patrick Swayze sidekicks some dude's head right in the wall wearing nothing but boots and a pair of painted on jeans? Yeah…me neither. Frankly, this choice came down between two proven whoop-assers: Swayze and King Leonidas from 300. Swayze gets the nod simply because he’s proven himself in the fisticuffs department during his time spent in the bars of backwoods Ohio. Plus, Leonidas is likely to decapitate you in the first round. Rematches would prove tricky.
Daniel Day-Lewis as Bill the Butcher (from Gangs of New York):
I think this is my favorite pick for many reason. First, Daniel Day-Lewis is the man. Personally, I find method actors to be annoying as hell (that’s where they refuse to drop their character even when the cameras stop rolling). However, I’ll make an exception in Lewis’ cases. His portrayal of Bill the Butcher in Gangs of New York would be perfect for UFC. Gangs’ tells the tale of essentially an early Fight Club in the streets of old New York, and what better way to describe the UFC as one big fight club itself! Bill would have no trouble grappling opponents on the ground, hand-to-hand and all points in-between...the five points that is (go watch the movie if you missed the reference).
OK, I’m sure I’ve seriously pissed off many UFC purists by attempting to introduce fighters who have no real business in their game. Granted, at least Chuck Norris was a legit champion before transforming into the huge movie and TV star he would later become (Delta Force still gives me goosebumps). But I feel picks like these would be a fun addition to a game so rooted in reality. I’m not saying these should become a regular part of the yearly roster, I’m just suggesting we keep an open mind.
Remember folks, video games are about fun after all. This type of DLC might not be for everyone…but not everyone has to download it!