Bruce Lee may not be the first name that fans associate with the UFC brand, or really associate with UFC at all for that matter. That may now change, as EA has announced that Bruce Lee will be a playable character in the upcoming PlayStation 4 and Xbox One fighting game EA Sports UFC. The Hong Kong martial artist is iconic, one of the originators of the fighting styles that inevitably built into the following the UFC commands today.
Dana White, UFC President, elaborated on how meaningful Bruce Lee's inclusion in the game is:
"There’s no debate, Bruce Lee is the father of mixed martial arts. He believed not one style of fighting was the best and that you had to have a little piece of everything to be a complete fighter. He was proven right when the first UFC event took place in 1993."
Perhaps of more significance, and perhaps with less marketing intention, is this statement from Shannon Lee, the Chairperson of the Bruce Lee Foundation and also Bruce Lee's daughter:
"I am so excited about this opportunity to bring my father back to videogames! I’m thrilled that fans can now interact with him in a new way. The EA Sports UFC development team has been incredible to work with, and they've done a great job capturing the look and feel of my father. I think people will love getting a chance to fulfill a fight fantasy by playing Bruce Lee in the new UFC game."
I think the two different perspectives, one from Dana White and one from Shannon Lee, really come together to give a great purpose to Bruce Lee's inclusion in EA Sports UFC. Not only is it meaningful to include Bruce Lee, a bow of respect to the Dragon himself, but it's just the perfect fighter that fans would love to play as. It's the kind of well-thought inclusion that can make sports games really cool.
EA Sports UFC is planned for release June 17 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Bruce Lee can be unlocked in-game by completing the career mode on pro difficulty. Or, yawn, player's can get early access to the fighter by preordering.