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EA Sports UFC's career mode starts you off as an 'Ultimate Fighter' contestant

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

EA Sports UFC's career mode begins by casting you as a contestant on the reality television series The Ultimate Fighter, where you prove yourself before entering UFC competition itself, publisher Electronic Arts announced today.

First, you create your character — a process in which you can use EA's Photo Game Face technology to put your own face on your virtual fighter — and choose from eight weight classes (flyweight to heavyweight) and 10 fighting styles (boxing, tae kwon do, muay thai and more). Next, you'll be placed on an Ultimate Fighter team, where the two squads will be coached by pairs of real-life fighters such as Alexander Gustafsson and Jon Jones; Benson Henderson and Nate Diaz; and Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida. The coaches will aid you with tips and scouting reports.

Once you make it through the Ultimate Fighter tournament, you'll sign a UFC contract and get sponsored by the UFC. This portion of the career begins with undercard bouts on pay-per-views; the goal is to move up to the main card. Each fighter has 24 attributes and a variety of moves, all of which can be improved with Evolution Points. You'll separately earn XP as you rank up over 25 levels and unlock different game plans for upcoming fights.

If you repeatedly get beaten badly, your longevity rating will drop

In addition to all that, you'll have to manage two rating systems: popularity and longevity. Keeping your fights exciting will win over fans and raise your popularity score, which will unlock additional sponsors over time and bring top UFC combatants to your gym. If you repeatedly get beaten badly, your longevity rating will drop; if it runs out, your career will end.

Along with the single-player career mode, EA Sports UFC has a bunch of online modes on offer. You can measure yourself against other people in Online Championship, and use Online Rivalry to take on a friend in one-on-one combat to see who triumphs over the course of multiple fights. Online play is tracked in the FighterNet hub.

EA Sports UFC launches June 17 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. For more, check out our interview with creative director Brian Hayes and our report on Bruce Lee's appearance in the game.

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