UFC boss "at war" with EA

President threatens to blacklist stars who sign for game

UFC boss Dana White says he's "at war" with EA after it announced plans to release a mixed martial arts game, EA Sports MMA, on Xbox 360 and PS3 next year.

According to the UFC president, EA turned down the opportunity to work with the body in the past because it said UFC was "not a real sport." UFC subsequently teamed with THQ instead to make UFC 2009: Undisputed, which shifted 2 million copies.

"We put our asses on the line, THQ and the UFC, to make a videogame deal in the worst economy in the world," White told MMA Junkie. "We go out there and do this thing, and it's successful, and now [expletive] EA Sports wants to do a videogame. Really?

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"That's not what you told us a year-and-a-half ago," he continued. "You told us you'd never be in business with us. They wouldn't even take a meeting because mixed martial arts disgusted them."

White has reportedly warned UFC fighters that they will be blacklisted if they sign their likeness to EA's game. "I'm not tap-dancing around this thing or whatever," he said. "I'm telling you straight-up, I'm at war with them right now. That's how I look at it."

Handbags, ladies.

UPDATE: EA Sports boss Peter Moore responded on his blog: "I know there has been some recent discussion about EA SPORTS bringing a challenger to this sport. I love mixed martial arts, and we've been working on a game concept since I came to two years ago. I have great respect for the organizations and individuals that have invested in the sport's growth over the past decade - so this is one that is near and dear to me and I'm excited to see such good progress to date.

"I trace my MMA video game roots back to my support of Crave's UFC title on the Dreamcast in 2000, and have been a fan ever since. Our title will bring both innovation and further authenticity to mixed martial arts, not to mention a strong global publishing network that will help spread the sport's popularity around the world."