While the hottest topics in EA Sports UFC might be How to Submit Your Opponent or how you can play as Bruce Lee and RoyceGracie, we’ve yet to find comprehensive guides to Create a Fighter. Maybe that's because there isn't one formula that stands out from the rest. Still, there are certain mechanics at work behind the scenes, and if you understand them, you're more likely to end up creating a new and improved version of Jon Jones, rather than a backyard brawler like Kimbo Slice.
While details such as hairstyle are insignificant (but beard power is a real thing), the discipline you choose and weight class of your fighter are major game changers. Here are some things you need to know before trying to become The Ultimate Fighter.
Most things in this category won't impact your fighter too much, but there is one option that will alter your career in a major way.
Go ahead and choose any first name you want, because Bruce Buffer won’t say it. We even tried to create a fighter with the first name Frank. Given that Buffer can pronounce Frank Mir's name, we didn't think it was too much of a long shot thinking he would recognize this. However, Bruce let us down. This one is completely up to you.
Choosing your last name and nickname is somewhat more important. If you go with a last name from the list, that's how the UFC's world-class announcer will refer to you for your entire career, even leaving your nickname out of his pre and post fight routines. In that way, it's almost better to create a last name so Bruce will have to refer to you by your wicked cool nickname.
When we get to your age, this shouldn't be too much of an issue. Our first career play through was with an 18-year-old fighter, and we retired after our 40th scrap. Our second attempt was with a guy 25 years old, and he fought 34 times and is still going. While we're not completely sure about ages in the 30s and beyond, it's a good bet that 40 fights (or maximum career damage) is the magic number.
Your weight class is by far the most important decision you have to make on this screen. The good news is that everyone else in your class has to deal with the same restrictions, but how big or small you make your fighter will impact his maximum attributes. For example, Flyweight fighters can only increase their punching power (left or right) to 65, while Heavyweights can go up to 100 for the same categories. For every weight class above Flyweight, the potential maximum is increased by five, meaning Bantamweight fighters can have a maximum punching power (left or right) of 70. To even things out, Flyweight fighters can have up to 100 stamina, while Heavyweights are maxed at 65.
On top of that, your height and weight should be fairly straightforward. You'll notice that you can't influence your fighter’s reach, but typically, taller fighters have longer reaches. It's not an exact science, however, as we ended up with a short reach on a 6'6" Heavyweight. As for how heavy to make your fighter, jack it up as far as your division will allow. If you spend any time watching UFC events, fighters rarely weigh in at anything other than the maxim allowance for their class.
This part is completely up to you, though if you're like us, it will take you the most time to get everything just the way you want. One thing we'd like to remind you of, though, is that beard power is real, even if it's just in our heads. Sometimes believing is enough.
By now you should see that most of your choices while creating a fighter aren't a big deal, because this is another category determined by your preference. We'll just remind you that you can't choose walk out t-shirts and sponsors until you begin to accumulate fans and unlock them. As for mouth guards, feel free to get wild when choosing one.
We saved the best for last. Your skills will take a bit of explaining, but we're still not going to go through them all. Their titles are self-explanatory, so we'll stick to helping you figure out how each of them is affected by your weight class and fighting style.
Just so we're clear, here is a list of maximum possible stamina ratings for every weight class in EA Sports UFC.
- Heavyweight - 265lbs - 65
- Light Heavyweight - 205lbs - 70
- Middleweight - 185lbs - 75
- Welterweight - 170lbs - 80
- Lightweight - 155lbs - 85
- Featherweight - 145lbs - 90
- Bantamweight - 135lbs - 95
- Flyweight - 125lbs - 100
Do you see the pattern there? Because Heavyweights are so... heavy, they can’t possibly keep up with Flyweights in the stamina category. At the same time, Heavyweights have a maximum punching power of 100, while Flyweights only have 65. Basically, if you want to fight as one of the big guys, you’ll hit hard, but move much slower than the lighter guys. If you choose to play as a Flyweight, you'll be as fast as a hummingbird, but you'll hit as soft as a pillow. If you go with a fighter in the Welterweight category, all your stats will be in the middle of the pack, rather than at one end of the spectrum. Luckily for you, everyone in your weight class has to deal with the same restrictions. It evens out in the end.
Of course, just to make things more complicated, some categories, such as submissions, are all maxed out at 100 for every weight class. The reason for this is that a Heavyweight is equally as capable of pulling off an Arm Triangle or Rear-Naked Choke as a Flyweight. Sorry we couldn't bombard you with spreadsheets and pie charts, but we figured helping you understand the concepts was sufficient. It's the whole teach a man to fish deal.
There is one more decision of significance in this section, and that's Fight Style. You should see this at the top of the Skills screen, and can scroll through several options using the R1/L1 on PS4, or Left Bumper or the Right Bumper on Xbox One. Again, since we're not martial arts experts, we're not going to describe what each one is, but rather give you an example of a real fighter who uses the same style.
- Boxer - Nick Diaz
- Freestyle Wrestler - Chris Weidman
- Greco Roman - Dan Henderson
- Mixed Martial Artist - None
- Jiu Jitsu - Royce Gracie
- Judo - Ronda Rousey
- Karate - Georges St-Pierre
- Kickboxer - Junior Dos Santos
- Muay Thai - Anderson Silva
- Tae Kwon Do - None
You should be able to develop a good idea of what style you want to fight as from that list. Of course, we had to hit a stumbling block with no fighters using the Mixed Martial Arts style or Tae Kwon Do. We still have you covered though... Mixed Martial Arts would be a well-rounded fighter, while Bruce Lee is called a Jeet Kune Do fighter. Don't ask us what that is. It just sort of sounds the same. Oh, and no, you cannot make a Jeet Kune Do fighter. Bruce Lee is in a league of his own.
The last thing you need to know is that even your Fight Style doesn't kill your chances of having a multi talented fighter. It merely impacts how Bruce Buffer introduces you, and to the best of our knowledge, where your skill points are focused when you start your career. For example, a Heavyweight Boxer can still upgrade his Choke Submission to 100, the same as a Jiu Jitsu fighter or Mixed Martial Artist. But a Boxer will start off with a Left and Right Hand Power of 77/100, while a Heavyweight Jiu Jitsu fighter will be at a 42/100.
So what type of fighter is the best?
We can't answer that for you. Only you know what type of skull crushing, joint popping warrior you’ll become. We went with a Boxer because we like to stand and trade, but as time moved along, we started to fall in love with submissions and focused our attention on that. If you can't choose one, go with a Mixed Martial Artist. You won't be crazy good at anything, but you'll be pretty good at a lot of things. One thing is for certain, if you hope to hang with MMA's elite throughout your career, you’ll have to become the best at everything eventually.