A few weeks prior to the release of fighting sim EA Sports UFC 2, EA caught flak from some of the fighters in the game who weren’t happy about the way the game they had depicted them. They complained that their character models weren’t realistic enough, with one fighter even joking that clearly the EA Sports UFC 2 team must be mad at them to have portrayed them so badly.
Now, the team behind the game is once again being criticised by one of the sport’s talents, with UFC lightweight fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov (who is also Muslim) voicing his concerns about a Christian in-game celebration performed by his virtual self. Find out more after the break.
EA Sports UFC 2 Muslim Fighter Controversy
The above video shows gameplay footage following a Nurmagomedov victory. As part of the fighter’s post-fight victory he smiles, does a few fist pumps and then he gestures across his body in the shape of a cross, which is something done by Christians. Although the celebratory move is something that many of the game’s other fighters do, with Kotaku calling it a “canned animation,” it’s understandable why the UFC lightweight fighter would be upset.
Writing on Twitter, Nurmagomedov wrote “I’m a MUSLIM and not Baptized. Please @EASPORTSUFC edit my after fight celebration. I have a lot of Muslim fans and you have to respect it.” The EA Sports UFC 2 team soon noticed the fighter’s tweet, sending him a direct message (screencapped and posted by Nurmagomedov on his Instagram account) apologising and confirming that they would be changing it with the next EA Sports UFC 2 update.
Nurmagomedov says that “every human being made mistakes” and that he’s“not holding a grudge”. Unfortunately it’s not the first time we’ve seen developers fail to be inclusive, with Paragon’s accidental blocking of a Muslim professor being one recent example. So, as Nurmagomedov also says in that Instagram post, “hopefully, next time they wouldn’t make mistakes like this, and take account everybody’s religion”.