EA’s ‘Madden Curse’ affects 100% of UFC stars


This past Saturday the combat sport world was set ablaze when former boxing champ Holly Holm defeated the seemingly unstoppable undisputed UFC champion Ronda Rousey with an incredible head kick knockout. In the swirl of media attention that this bout has caused, there are people blaming Ronda’s emotional mindset entering the fight, her coach Edmond Tarverdyan, and everything in between. Although many factors played into the outcome of the fight, and not trying to take anything away from Holly Holm, many gamers called the fact that Ronda was going to lose immediately after it was announced that Ronda was going to be the cover athlete on the new EA’s UFC 2 video game. For over a decade there has been a phenomena referred to as the “Madden Curse” which originated in EA Sports’s mega-popular football franchise. Essentially there is a ridiculously high correlation between athletes on the cover of Madden either having terrible seasons or even worse, suffering significant injury the very same year they are featured on the cover.

The EA curse has affected 100% of its UFC cover athletes, going a perfect three for three. The original EA’s UFC game was released June 17, 2014, and featured two of the world top light-heavyweights at the time, Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson. At the time Gustafsson was voted onto the cover, he had a 16-2 record and many thought he was next in line to get a rematch with Jon Jones. After he was placed on the cover his title shot was shockingly snatched away and given to Daniel Cormier, and Alexander has lost every fight since the release of EA’s UFC.

Jon Jones, who to this day many consider to be the best mixed martial artist of all time, was not immune to the curse either. Although Jon didn’t lose any fights due to the curse, less than a year after the launch of EA’s UFC, the light-heavyweight champ failed a drug test for cocaine. The messed up part was that his out of competition failed drug test was made public when it should not have been because cocaine is NOT what they were supposed to be testing for. Not too far after the failed drug test, things got worse for Jones when he was involved in a hit and run where he had a vehicular collision with a pregnant woman and fled the scene on foot, ran back to his car to grab a bag of money, and fled the scene again.

And the latest victim of the curse is superstar of film, magazine and the cage Ronda Rousey. The undefeated 135lb women’s champion was heavily favored to with the fight against Holly Holm. Many people had already looked past Holly and were buzzing about Ronda’s next potential fight with rival Cris Cyborg at UFC 200. The “Madden Curse” had other plans however and not only did Ronda lose the fight, she was demolished. According to UFC president Dana White, immediately following the fight she was transported to the hospital for plastic surgery to fix a split bottom lip.

The EA Madden Curse is very real as far as I’m concerned. There is still one more athlete to be revealed for EA’s UFC 2. Popular opinion is that the UFC’s larger-than-life Irish superstar Conor McGregor will be announced soon as the other fighter joining Ronda on the cover of the game. If the UFC is smart, they may reconsider this move given the results of UFC 193.

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