For fans of the ever-growing Ultimate Fighting Championship, one thing has recently become clear: monopolies are not good things. Having just one company or publisher being able to produce a product without competition driving innovation or creativity doesn’t lead to anything new or interesting. Until now, the only developer cashing in on the increasingly profitable UFC name has been THQ‘s UFC: Undisputed series. But, in the words of EA‘s own ad campaign: Now it’s a Fight.

After showing off their progress on EA Sports MMA at E3, little has come out concerning EA’s upcoming attempt to steal some of THQ’s MMA business, but now we’ve got not only an announcement that the demo will start Sept. 28, but CVG has some screenshots from the game.

EA announced on their MMA blog that starting Sept.28, the demo will be available for download through Xbox Live and PSN. Those who download the demo will be available to get a first taste of what the game has to offer, and just how the combat, based off of EA’s successful boxing title Fight Night will work when translated to the mat.

“Fans can take control of current STRIKEFORCE heavyweight champion, Alistair Overeem, or utilize the brute strength of former professional wrestler, Bobby Lashley. The two middleweights featured in the demo are predominantly Jiu-Jitsu fighters – the top ranked Jake Shields, as well as the always entertaining Jason “Mayhem” Miller.”

Well I don’t know about you guys, but I’m eager to see what kind of progress EA has made with MMA, and how ready the game is to be released. With the amount of online content they’ve discussed, it’s no surprise that they’re starting to test out their community early.

As a big fan of UFC, THQ’s venture into the sport left a bad taste in my mouth, as it really only came close to being a capable simulation of the sport. But from the first trailer we saw from EA, it was clear that they were focusing on the speed and ferocity that the sport has become known for. It’s no secret that EA has become known for their supremacy in sporting titles, or how difficult it is to take a share of the market back once they have their hooks into it. But as a fan of UFC and gaming, this is good news.

I’ll definitely be downloading the demo to get a first look at the game, hoping it suffices until I can import my own face, and then watch it get beat to a pulp in the retail version. And since the fighters they have ready to play are known more for their ground game, wrestling, and submissions, it means we’ll get a look at how well EA has simulated the more complicated parts of the sport that THQ had trouble with.

As a bonus, players who download the demo will be rewarded with the ability to unlock a classic version of  Randy “The Natural” Couture as a fighter in the full game. If I were THQ, I’d be more than a little worried right now.

For more than pictures and demos, we’ll have to wait a bit longer. EA Sports MMA hits the mat Oct. 19 for PS3 and Xbox 360.

Source: CVG, EA

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