NEW YORK (January 26, 2009)– For the first time in history, Electronic Arts Inc., (NASDAQ: ERTS) will offer live mixed martial arts (MMA) fight action online with a free of charge stream of the highly anticipated STRIKEFORCE welterweight (170 pounds) matchup between wrestling powerhouses Joe “Diesel” Riggs (32-10) and Jay “The Thoroughbred” Hieron (18-4) from BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida this Saturday, January 30.
The live stream of the STRIKEFORCE: Miami preliminary bout will begin at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on the official EA SPORTS™ MMA website (www.easportsmma.com), the online platform for EA SPORTS forthcoming MMA video game title in which STRIKEFORCE will be featured as a premiere league. The stream will precede the live SHOWTIME® telecast of the event’s main fight card, which begins at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).
Riggs, a 27 year old native of Phoenix, Arizona, will attempt to extend a four fight win streak that began with his second round (2:05) TKO of Luke Stewart in a STRIKEFORCE: Destruction bout at HP Pavilion in San Jose, California on November 21, 2008.
In his last effort under the STRIKEFORCE banner, Riggs dominated hard-hitting “The New York Badass” Phil Baroni for three consecutive rounds of action before walking away with a unanimous judges’ decision victory at St. Louis’ Scottrade Center on June 6, 2009.
Hieron, a former nationally ranked NCAA wrestler for Hofstra University, has been victorious in each of his last six starts. The Long Island, New York native made his STRIKEFORCE debut in his last effort, earning a unanimous decision win over Jesse “J.T. Money” Taylor at HP Pavilion on August 15, 2009.
A former troubled teen, Hieron has since become an inspiration, winning a world title with the now defunct International Fight League (IFL) and relocating to Las Vegas in order to train with the fight squad headed by MMA legend Randy “The Natural” Couture.
Slated for release later this year, EA SPORTS MMA will feature the most authentic, intense and broad mixed martial arts experience to date – complete with a vast array of top fighters and fighting styles from around the world. EA SPORTS MMA will be available on the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system and the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system in 2010.
The game will feature a host of STRIKEFORCE fighters, the six-sided STRIKEFORCE cage, the commentary team of Frank Shamrock and Mauro Ranallo, and ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. Legendary mixed martial arts referee “Big John” McCarthy will preside over the in-ring action and bring his in-depth knowledge of the sport to help deliver a truly authentic MMA experience. [confirm we have signed agreements and marketing rights to mention these people]
EA SPORTS™ is one of the leading sports entertainment brands in the world, with top-selling videogame franchises, award-winning interactive technology, global videogame competitions and breakthrough digital experiences. EA SPORTS delivers personal access to the emotion of sports through industry-leading sports simulation videogames, including Madden NFL football, FIFA Soccer, NHL® hockey, NBA LIVE basketball, NCAA® Football and NCAA Basketball, Fight Night boxing and Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® golf, while EA SPORTS Active Personal Trainer for the Wii is the most critically acclaimed product available for interactive fitness.
For more information about EA SPORTS, including news, video, blogs, forums, fantasy leagues and game communities, please visit www.easports.com to connect, share and compete.
In the live, SHOWTIME televised main event, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Nick Diaz (20-7) of Stockton, California will square off with fellow MMA superstar and DREAM champion Marius “The Whitemare” Zaromskis (13-3) of Siaulial, Lithuania for the STRIKEFORCE World Welterweight Championship.
STRIKEFORCE Women’s World Lightweight (145 pounds) Champion Cris Cyborg (8-1) of Curitiba, Brazil will put her title on the line against top ranked Marloes Coenen (17-3) of Deventer, Holland.
Football legend Herschel Walker (0-0) will make his highly-anticipated MMA debut against 26-year-old Greg Nagy (1-1) of Phoenix, Arizona.
Knockout artists “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (16-5) and Melvin “No Mercy” Manhoef (24-6-1) will face off with each other in a middleweight (185 pounds) contest.
Undefeated heavyweight and former WWE champion Bobby Lashley (4-0) will make his STRIKEFORCE debut against Wes Sims (22-12-1).
Doors at BankAtlantic Center will open for the event at 6:30 p.m. The first non-televised, preliminary bout will begin at 7:30 p.m.
STRIKEFORCE in March 2009 signed a multi-year agreement to stage live MMA events on the
premium cable television network. The promotion made its live, primetime debut on CBS with the “Fedor vs. Rogers” mega-fight that it co-promoted with M-1 Global on Saturday, November 7
and generated 5.46 million viewers for the main event between the world’s number one heavyweight, Fedor Emelianenko, and superstar Brett “The Grim” Rogers.