Today, EA launches EA Sports UFC 3 Icon Edition. Featuring UFC Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson on the cover, this edition adds fan-requested legendary fighters like UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz, former UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra, former PRIDE FC middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva, former PRIDE FC world open-weight grand prix champion Mirko Cro Cop, and fan favorite Kimbo Slice. Those who currently own UFC 3 will also get all five of these athletes along with gameplay updates and more for free with today’s content release.

I had the chance to speak with Demetrious Johnson about UFC 3 Icon Edition. In addition to his thoughts about being on the cover, we discussed what he thinks makes UFC 3 so great, why the Icon Edition is worth buying, some of the crazy characters he’s seen users create online, and who his favorite fighter is in the game. Spoiler alert: it’s not himself.

UFC 3 Demetrious Johnson

I’m going to start with the obvious question: how does it feel to be on the cover of UFC 3 Icon Edition? There are a ton of UFC fighters so being on the cover of the game is something special.

It’s awesome. I’m honored to be chosen as an athlete. There are 500 athletes under the UFC banner and for EA to approach me and give me this opportunity… I’m just ecstatic and grateful for it.

Some of our readers may not know this, but you’re actually a huge gamer. As a gamer, is it surreal seeing yourself on the cover of a game box?

I haven’t seen [the box] yet but I saw the picture. To see myself in front of it, it’s almost like when I saw myself on TV the first time. I was like: “Oh yeah, that’s right, I fight for a living.” Here, I’m like: “Oh yeah, I’m on the cover.” Like I said, I’m honored but I don’t take it to my head.

EA not only releases UFC games, but also Madden. I’m sure you’ve heard of the infamous “Madden Curse” that happens to guys on the cover of Madden games. Are you worried about the equivalent of the “Madden Curse” happening to you?

[laughs] I’m not, I’m not worried about it. Jon Jones was on the cover, he’s had a successful career. Conor McGregor’s been on the cover, he’s had a successful career. Wins and losses are going to happen in mixed martial arts and any sport. All I can do is train my butt off and let the rest do itself.

What makes UFC 3 Icon Edition worth checking out for current players and those who have yet to try it out?

If you still haven’t played the game, get your hands on it. It’s probably one of the best, if not the best, fighting simulation game out there catered to Mixed Martial Arts. For players who already have it that are jumping on to Icon Edition, we’ve got guys like Matt Serra, Kimbo Slice, Wanderlei Silva, and Mirko Cro Cop in the roster now.

EA is always coming out with brand-new, fresh content for UFC 3. They’re going to keep updating the roster so it’ll always give you a fresh look. They update the game by nerfing certain moves and making things a little better to give you guys a complete experience for a fighting simulation game.

Have you seen anything particularly awesome or funny from folks streaming the game?

Yeah. You can create your own character in the game. You can do anything you want when it comes to the character creation. I’ve fought Thanos on there, I’ve fought Deadpool, I fought Kratos, I fought Venom the other night. It’s pretty fun. It makes for good streaming content where you give fans the opportunity to create their own character and then fight. It’s been nothing but fun for me.

What is your favorite thing about UFC 3? What do you think makes it stand out from previous games?

My favorite things are the character creation, who you’re going to fight online, and the leg kick. My favorite character to play with is Edson Barboza because his leg kicks are just like the UFC where he keeps on kicking people in the legs. When he lands them they start to crumble. And there’s something to be said about playing online and knocking somebody out with a leg kick.

What’s next for you? What can your fans look forward to?

I have a fight scheduled for August 4 against Henry Cejudo. That’s UFC 227 at the Staples Center in LA. As for video games, the Icon Edition is coming out. We’ve also got some games down the road that were presented at E3. A lot of big things coming up but the biggest is my upcoming fight.

What about your game streams? Are you keeping those going? When can people tune in?

I stream on Twitch on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturdays. I take Tuesdays and Sundays off. With Icon Edition coming out, I’m looking forward to getting some streams with UFC 3 to give the fans a chance to beat me up online.

Any final thoughts you want to share with our readers?

Pick up your copy of UFC 3 and get the Icon Edition and try it out. You won’t be disappointed.

EA SPORTS UFC 3 Icon Edition is available now through July 17 for Xbox One and PS4 for $39.99. Those who are subscribed to EA Access will receive a 10 percent discount when they buy the digital version of EA SPORTS UFC 3 on Xbox Live.

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