Over the course of his iconic, but often controversial career as a professional boxer and/or pop culture icon, the world has seen Mike Tyson do many things one might not at first expect. He's demanded his tiger back from The Hangover's "Wolf Pack". He's served as a guest referee in the main event of a WWE WrestleMania. He's even voiced himself in the animated Adult Swim series Mike Tyson Mysteries. However, one thing Tyson has never done is step into a UFC octagon and fight. Well that's all about to change, at least in a manner of speaking.
The 49-year-old former world boxing champion isn't likely to step into the octagon and battle it out in real life any time soon, but that won't stop buyers of EA Sports' upcoming UFC 2 video game from taking control of the legendary pugilist and matching him up against MMA's best. EA today announced that two versions of Tyson will be available for players to use in UFC 2, respectively dubbed "Iron Mike" and "Legacy Mike". Iron Mike will be based on Tyson's 1980's glory days as the king of boxing, while Legacy Mike will represent Tyson in the latter half of his career.
As for how gamers can access Tyson, both versions of the iconic boxer will be unlockable in-game via making it to the Hall of Fame in career mode, but those who don't want to wait can pre-order UFC 2 and receive day-one access. Those who pre-order the standard UFC 2 will get early access to Iron Mike, while those who spring for a pre-order copy of UFC 2's deluxe edition will get early access to both Iron and Legacy Mike. Tyson joins previously announced pre-order bonus fighters Bas Rutten and Kazushi Sakuraba, although they too can also be unlocked via normal play for those who wait to buy the game until after release. Former WWE wrestler and future UFC competitor CM Punk is also a playable character, albeit one available from the start.
On the surface, this seems like an odd choice by EA, as Tyson has no notable ties to either the UFC or MMA as a sport. That said, the man's name does still carry weight when it comes to competitive fighting in general, and will likely help sell some pre-orders. Plus, if MMA had existed back in Tyson's prime, who's to say that he couldn't have given it a shot? More than one boxer has managed to transition to the world of MMA, although granted it is usually a difficult leap to make.
One thing definitely working in prime Tyson's favor would be his infamously devastating punches, which would hopefully help to compensate for his lack of ground skills. There's a reason that "Iron" Mike carries with him the highest punching power rating in UFC 2. Explanations aside though, in a world where The Terminator can wrestle in WWE 2K16 and Jason Voorhees can fight in Mortal Kombat X, Mike Tyson competing in UFC 2 seems downright sensible by comparison.
EA Sports' UFC 2 can be pre-ordered now, and hits store shelves on March 15th, 2016 for both PS4 and Xbox One.
Source: EA Sports