Current UFC Featherweight Champion and EA Sports UFC 2 cover athlete Conor McGregor loses his fight at UFC 196 in the Welterweight division via submission to Nate Diaz.
Is being on the cover of EA Sports UFC 2 a curse? If one asked Ronda Rousey or Conor McGregor that question, they might be inclined to believe so. Shortly after Rousey was confirmed to be one of the cover athletes for EA Sports UFC 2, Rousey suffered her first loss and relinquished her title to Holly Holm back at UFC 193 in November of 2015, ending the star athlete’s impressive undefeated streak. Not long after McGregor won the right to join Rousey on the cover of the game at UFC 194, he has since suffered a shocking defeat as well, to Nate Diaz at UFC 196.
The fight occurred last night, with McGregor losing to Diaz in the former’s Welterweight division debut match via submission. Diaz applied a rear-naked choke on McGregor, forcing the current-UFC Featherweight Champion to submit in the second round.
So, what does this mean for EA Sports UFC 2? Probably nothing. After all, EA Sports didn’t remove Ronda Rousey as an EA Sports UFC 2 cover athlete because of her shocking loss to Holly Holm a few months back. On the contrary, the company released a statement saying that Rousey would remain a cover athlete for the game, and with EA Sports UFC 2 set to launch on March 15th, there is no reason to think that McGregor will be pulled from the cover for losing his most recent bout.
Even so, McGregor’s loss marks another interesting development in the build-up to the release of EA Sports UFC 2. The game has been the subject of more controversy than is typical of a UFC video game, what with the surprising losses of cover athletes Rousey and McGregor, and the hubbub surrounding CM Punk’s overall rating. Some may even expect these controversies to negatively impact the game’s sales.
However, that prospect seems doubtful. Most gamers are likely buying EA Sports UFC 2 because they are fans of the sport, not because of who is on the cover. While some might argue that more casual fans may be persuaded to pick up the game due to the fame enjoyed by Ronda Rousey or the general dominance of Conor McGregor until just recently, it seems that cover athletes for sports games are largely inconsequential. And in fact, if the supposed EA Sports cover curse continues, some athletes may prefer to avoid being on the cover completely.
Did you watch UFC 196? Were you surprised to see Conor McGregor lose to Nate Diaz? With the losses of Rousey and McGregor, do you now believe in the EA Sports cover athlete curse? Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments below.
EA Sports UFC 2 will be available on March 15th for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.