UFC to fighters: appear in videogames or you don't fight
Sports-themed video games are huge moneymakers for publishers, but using the likeness of a professional athlete in these games is proving to be an increasingly contentious undertaking. The upcoming UFC Undisputed 2009 serves as the most recent example of this, as reports surfaced yesterday that popular fighters Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck were on the outs with the Ultimate Fighting Championship organization. The reason? They were being asked to sign away their likeness rights for life. For Fitch, the disagreement has become so intense that he had already been cut by the company.
Fitch was let go by the organization earlier this week because he had refused to sign a lifetime contract that would have given the game publisher THQ the right to use his likeness for UFC games. The presentation of the contract rubbed him the wrong way, according to an interview he did with Hardcore Sports Radio: "They basically kicked the door open, guns blazing, pointed it in our face and said, 'Sign this or you're going to pay.'" The contract also wouldn't have given his family payments for the use of his likeness in the event of his death.
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