Courtesy of the kind hearts over at THQ, GameZone was invited to get hands-on impressions with UFC Undisputed 2010’s Career and Multiplayer modes. Little did we know that all the journalists attending the event would be entered (should they choose to participate) into a bracketed tournament and compete for an end prize that tops all others: A replica UFC championship belt.
Weighing in close to seven pounds, the replica belt retails around $399.99 at Amazon.com. In comparison to the belts the UFC fighters win, the belt is only a sliver in price as the authentic belts are valued at over $10,000 and take 3-4 months to create with real gold plates and diamonds encrusted.
Still, the fact remains, what we walked away with was more than we could’ve ever dreamed of. The requirements of winning such a belt were to run through the gauntlet of 31 other journalists in 1v1 matches in the Light-Heavyweight Division of UFC. How exactly did I accomplish the gigantic feat set before me? Well, the steps were simple.
For one, I selected Lyoto Machida in every bracket (4-man mini-tournaments) and elected to switch from Machida’s normal defensive/counter-striking style to a ground-and-pound clinic. The reason behind this was Machida has a maneuver to permit him to enter half-guard automatically from a takedown. To block this maneuver, opponents would have had to press back on the right analog/thumbstick, but alas, they either didn’t have time to put this into their gameplan or possibly had no knowledge of it.
The next step in my ground-and-pound approach was to smash the opponent into oblivion as if I was the “Smashing Machine” Mark Kerr (also a former two-time UFC Heavyweight Tournament Champion). From open guard, half guard, or full mount, I would open up an onslaught of hammer fists and punches on the competitor until he was either dazed or knocked out. If this technique wasn’t successful, I would then work for a submission in hopes that the opponent wore himself out, due to too many transitions, to escape my dominant position.
For beginners, this sounds like a lot of work and strategy. But to the hardcore UFC players, this is the basics of how the online battles play out. The ground game is the most important aspect of both this year’s and last year’s title – without any knowledge on the ground game, the players are a fish out of water, flopping around and hoping for the fight to be stood up out of mercy from their opponent or the referee for a lull in action.
All of my matches ended within the first two rounds with the first two ending within the first 40 seconds of the first. It’s fair to say that the first few opponents were rather new to the title and had only briefly experienced UFC 2009 and some portions of UFC 2010. So when the action hit the ground – which it normally did within 15 seconds from the start of the bell – the combat turned into a massacre.
What’s odd – and not to mention rather hilarious – was that I was able to discover a new submission technique through the game’s Tutorial mode that the developers had either forgotten about or had no clue that it was included. The new technique replaces UFC 2009’s button-mashing method and instead asks players to press the right analog/thumbstick in and hold it to apply pressure for the submission. It’s a timed-based system where the player must watch the screen and then let the button go for their fighter to succeed with one last crank to apply the submission. While I don’t know the logistics of how successful this technique is, not to mention the mathematics behind it, I was able to tap out two of my opponents with it and avoided giving my palms callouses from the shining method.
By the end of the night and tournament, I had earned the right to take home the UFC replica belt and the entertaining notion of trying to get it through airport security without much fuss. While it barely fits around my waist or on my shoulders, it’ll find a nice home in my collection of gaming trophies.
The sport of mixed-martial arts is growing in popularity and I can only cross my fingers that THQ puts together similar tournaments for its fans to participate in since it’s a shot of adrenaline that is fantastic to experience and reminisce about.