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EA Sports Cover Art Revealed
The cover art for the new UFC game was revealed yesterday on various social media outlets and many fans reacted negatively about how plain it looks. I am not the type that really cares about these things because the case for the game sits on a shelf preferably to be never seen again. The cover features the UFC Fighters Alexander Gustafsson (in the blue trunks) and Jon Jones (red trunks). If you are still on old gen, you will be out of luck because the game is only being release on X-box One and PS4.
Release Date and Bruce Lee Revealed
The video below reveals two new exciting pieces of information if you plan to get this game: the release date and an unlock-able martial arts legend - Bruce Lee. The game was initially scheduled for Spring 2014 and it will just barely make it within that window - technically speaking. Spring officially ends June 21st and the game will be released on June 17th.
For sports gamers, this release should come at a good time. With the lack of an NCAA Football release in July, this game will fill the void of going without a sports game until Madden releases in August.
As for Bruce Lee, there are two ways to unlock him. The easiest is by pre-ordering the game. If you want to unlock him in the game through game play you can do this by beating the career mode on "pro" difficulty or higher. This will grant you access to use Lee in the Flyweight, Bantamweight, Featherweight and Lightweight divisions.
Another interesting point from the video was the use of real music tracks, this one specifically was Juelz Santana. For the most recent Madden games EA has created their music in-house to keeps costs down so I'll be curious to see if they build the soundtrack from various artist's tracks for UFC.
I also think this was the first time we got to hear Bruce Buffer making the pre-fight announcement along with some commentary from Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan. Some of the sound effects featured in the video were also notably the same ones we heard in Fight Night. You know that smack sound followed by the "slowing down of time" sound. This followed by sweat and blood flying through the air in slow motion, Matrix style. Cool stuff.
Clinton-Dix got it done at Bama, will he get it done at the pro level?
One of my favorite positions to draft in Madden Connected Franchise mode is the strong safety. I like a guy with nice speed, acceleration, block shedding and most importantly hit power. I'm thinking Troy Polamalu or Laron Landry would be on my Ultimate Team. Although Clinton-Dix played free safety, he is certainly draft worthy and has become the top safety taken in most of the mock drafts.
As an LSU fan I got to watch Clinton-Dix at least for at least one game in each of the past few seasons. I am not sure what annoyed me more - the name thing and hearing it called or the plays he made on the field. They called his name a lot. He was always getting to the ball, making tackles, and just an all around play maker.
Clinton-Dix will not be the most speedy safety in Madden 15 - his combine 40 time was only a 4.58. That puts him slightly behind Eric Reid in last year's draft who ran a 4.53. Reed started the Madden 25 season with an 88 speed which seems to be a reasonable expectation for Clinton-Dix. Clinton-Dix was one of the top performers in the shuttle drill which should help boost his acceleration rating. He is also a very solid tackler although does not bring quite as much hit power as Reid.
Projected Madden 15 Rating
Sammy Watkins will probably be the first WR taken in the draft
Along with Jadeveon Clowney who we previewed last week, Sammy Watkins is being talked about as a top 10 pick and even the top 5 in some mock drafts. Pat Kirwan currently has him at the #5 pick by the St. Louis Rams in a projected trade from Cleveland. Having both Tavon Austin and Sammy Watkins would make life a little easier on Sam Bradford. Kirwan says Watkins "is a game changer with Julio Jones traits". I don't know why Cleveland would pass on him though.
Watkins was highly recruited and ranked as a five star prospect by Rivals.com in 2011 before committing to Clemson. He won numerous awards while at Clemson and this past season caught 101 receptions for 1,464 yards and 12 TD's.
Watkins is 6'1" and 211 lbs so not incredibly tall for an NFL WR. In the combine, Watkins turned in a 4.43, 40 time, tying with Odell Beckham of LSU for the 7th fastest time among WRs. The wide out with the closest time in last year's draft was Cordarrelle Patterson who ran a 4.42. Based on Patterson's starting speed, this should put Watkins and Beckham around 93 speed. He also ran track so speed is not going to be a problem for Watkins in Madden 15.
As far as catching, I was highly impressed with the catching abilities of fellow Clemson WR DeAndre Hopkins who's season last year was not the breakout I expected. Hopkins came in at an 87 catch rating and an 89 catch in traffic rating. I think Watkins will have a slightly better rating for CTH and around the came for CIT.
Another important attribute for WR is route running. I think this might be one of Watkins' weaknesses. His NFL.com profile also mentions he has problems onto the ball. I think his carry rating and route running might be some of the weaknesses you have to watch for, otherwise he should be a top WR to look for in Madden 25.
Projected Madden 15 Rookie Ratings for Sammy Watkins:
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