Finally, A Video Game Built For MMA Fans

Nov 27, 2019
When it comes to dedicated video games, UFC fans are used to getting the short straw. While official UFC games tend to be quite good, they’re not exactly regular. And while they’re not quite at Hector Lombard levels, you’re better off not holding your breath waiting for a dedicated UFC game.

So what is the UFC fan jonesing for some button smashing to do?

Well, there’s always wrestling. Yes, wrestling.

The cross-pollination of MMA and professional wrestling is alive and it’s real. While there has never been much of a separation between church and state, so to speak, between the two disciplines at the best of times, now there’s more crossover than ever between ring and octagon.

You might think that interactions between the two disciplines were personified by John Cena and Connor McGregor calling each other out across the Atlantic Ocean, but we’ve seen enough superstars of both sports finding success across codes to know that a mutual love of professional wrestling and MMA isn’t just possible, it might just be right.

Perhaps the original cross-code superstar was the not-actually-Irish Ken Shamrock. Before he came to prominence in the WWF in the late ’90s, Shamrock was an MMA fighter in both the US and Japan, boasting a 23-5-2 record before he made the switch to professional wrestling, where he basically invented the ankle lock.

The Queen of Spades, Shayna Baszler, has been in the UFC mix for years. While she might not have gotten the results she perhaps wanted in the big fights, such as against featherweight champion Cris Cyborg, or bantamweight Amanda Nunes, the fact that Baszler was in the mix is a testament to her ability. Now she’s testing her mettle in the WWE ring, alongside Ronda Rousey among others.

Brock Lesnar has held both a UFC and WWE title. Whilst outside of the UFC community he might be more famous for his stint in wrestling, those in the know will be familiar with Lesnar’s run in 2008 when he beat Heath Herring and Randy Couture in the space of three months to become the UFC heavyweight champion.

Professional wrestling and MMA have always been tight.

When it comes to digital representations of the sport, wrestling games are just fun to play. And they come out on the reg, which is even better. The latest professional wrestling game, WWE 2K20, is out right now. That’s the 2K20 part - as in 2020.

WWE 2K20 has everyone in it. I mean everyone. If someone has ever fought anyone else and there were people watching, they’re in WWE 2K20. Do you want to play as Andre the Giant? Boom, you’re in. Do you want to play as Dave ‘Drax the Destroyer’ Bautista? You can do that. Demonic Entity/Current Mayor of Knox County, Tennessee, Kane is available. Shinsuke Nakamura? Yep. Ronda Rousey? You betcha. The star of Alien Opponent, a film that only myself and 17 other people have ever seen, Rowdy Roddy Piper? He’s in there.

There’s Becky Lynch in three different flavours. You can even go full meta and play as Vince McMahon.

But maybe you don’t want to play as a real-world counterpart. Maybe you want to live the dream, you want to lay the smackdown yourself. You can do that too. WWE 2K20 has an incredibly detailed character creator with all the customisation you could desire. You can build yourself right into the game if you like, or if you’ve ever wondered how Jeff from The Wiggles would go squaring off against Brock Lesnar, now you can find out. The answer is: surprisingly well.

You can live that dream through the game’s surprisingly rich story mode, which lets you go from an amateur backroom brawler to the dizzying heights of Vegas, where you get to decide on everything your wrestler - male or female - does; up to and including choosing your own backstage storyline, signature move and entrance music (although you can’t change just enough of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit to avoid copyright laws, Diamond Dallas Page style.)

If you’re hankering for some digital MMA, WWE 2K20 is going to scratch your itch. Even if you’re not a huge fan of wrestling, it’s got enough of the mixed martial arts DNA coursing through its blood that you’re going to feel comfortable. You’re going to have fun.

So warm up your button fingers, square your circle and start thinking of an awesome 90’s kitsch nickname, because you’re going in hot.

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WWE 2K20 is available now! Step inside, here.

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