Fedor vs. Randy, in all their bloody glory.

Funny thing about EA Sports MMA. It's a really fun mixed martial arts game, but it doesn't have the official license of the biggest MMA organization in the world. Is that a problem?

Sure, that's an issue, but it isn't a dealbreaker. Featuring legendary fighters like Randy Couture and Fedor Emelianenko, most of the roster is filled with guys you may not recognize unless you're a hardcore fan. But if you're a hardcore fan, the possibility of playing through career mode with a created Sakuraba might be just the thing to pique your interest.

And, if you're not into the sport yet, but want to learn more, the simplified control scheme offers a great way to break yourself in. EA Sports is sort of an MMA teaching aid. A really brutal teaching aid.

Here are five reasons to give it a shot:
Fighter Share
I'm the kind of person who loves the idea of "create-a-fighter," but when it comes down to it, I don't ever have the time or patience to see it reach its potential. There's no way I'm spending 40 minutes looking at photos of someone's face, trying to figure out how long their nose should in the game. Which is why I'm psyched for EA's open source approach in that area. As long as there's someone, somewhere with the time and attention needed to create your favorite fighter, you'll be able to download their work. Soon after launch, clones of the most famous fighters in the business were available to download.

Lots of Customization Options
Scrolling through the create-a-fighter mode, you find a long list of selectable names that are already in the game. There are lots of well-known classic fighters, and you can adjust whether the fighter's nickname comes before or after their first name. It's the little things, you know? There are fighter entrances with customizable theme music and there's audio of announcers saying well-known names, so after you create your Brock Lesnar look-alike, the announcer will actually introduce him as Brock Lesnar. And plenty of authentic nicknames are included, to steer you towards creating real-world fighters. And beyond that, you can choose to fight in different places, you'll have different rules and the ring or cage will have different dimensions.

The Stamina Meter
The stamina meter is a great way to represent real MMA fighting. You have a health meter, which measures your damage, but your stamina meter measures how much energy you have to escape from submissions or throw strikes. The point is you can't button mash, or else you'll fatigue your fighter and be unable to counter any attacks. Very realistic. There seems to be a natural eb and flow to fights, based on how much stamina you conserve.

Bas Rutten
Lost of places have said he offers some of the best audio in a sports
game. I'm going to have to agree. It's not often a video game makes me
laugh out loud, but Bas's personality shines through as he leads you
through the game's career mode.

Online Fight Cards
Honestly, this should become standard for every other fighting game that comes after this. You'll be able to make a fight card and play through with your friends, while talking trash on headsets as you wait for your turn in the cage. Not only that, but if you're any good playing online, there's a chance you could be invited to participate in a Live Broadcast, which means fighting against real people with lots of real spectators.

No pressure or anything.

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