Yesterday I had a chance to sit down and play the new  UFC Undisputed 2010, learning all the new game-play mechanics. This wasn’t too hard since the changes were not drastically different from last years UFC Undisputed 2009.

The new features include, a changed clinch game system, similar to the ground game controls. New striking in the pocket with dodging and countering, and an expansion on fight styles, ie. Sambo, Karate.  The clinch game was a much needed fix that was exploited in the 2009 version. The new mechanics I would agree are big improvement on an already great game. The question is though, will EA pull the mat from underneath THQ once again?

One thing about EA is that their business model seems to be to take a game with popularity and make it better and more popular. One of the last big games that this seemed transparent with was when EA stole the skateboarding fans with their successful “SKATE” title, making the Tony Hawk franchises mechanics look like a prehistoric masher.

After playing through the UFC Undisputed 2010 for a few hours, then seeing this new video release from on EA Sports MMA mechanics, I think the competition will be interesting to see unfold. When I started seeing EA Sports MMA videos and screenshots roll out I thought Undisputed 2010 outclassed the EA title in graphics and roster and thought this would be an easy win for THQ and the UFC. Now as I see this gameplay footage for EA, I thought the animations looked much more fluid, and the fighter roster more expanded then originally announced.

EA’s Product Marketing Manager Randy Chase explained that EA’s title will borrow from their Fight Night title using striking with the  stick controls. The ground game in the video does not look like a turn based animation sequence as the UFC title did. The fighter fluidly moved right into full mount and began to ground and pound. The game looked so smooth as Aoki went into an impressive flying armbar and the submission game seemed much more innovative with an x-ray view of the arm during an armbar, showing how close the submission is to finishing. It is not a button mashing competition, like its competitor but a game of timing. The rear-naked choke  showed a game of find the yellow spot with the stick before your opponent finds it. A shrinking circle shows how close you are to finishing.

Who do you think will win the battle of MMA gaming?