EA Sports are today celebrating the launch of their first entry in the mixed martial arts genre with EA Sports MMA, but meanwhile rival publisher THQ also have an excuse to crack open the champagne after extending their gaming license with the UFC until 2018.

“THQ has delivered the quality demanded by UFC and its fans with the first two Undisputed games and we are about to broaden the UFC brand experience among gaming fans through social and mobile apps,” UFC president Dana White said in a press release announcing the news.

The news is a blow for EA Sports who appear to have produced a game that can at the very least stand toe-to-toe with THQ’s product in terms of playability and overall quality, but as the early reviews for the title have already highlighted, the lack of the UFC’s globally recognized brand and big name fighters is a significant weakness.

Securing the UFC license was always going to be a problem though despite their financial clout as Dana White has frequently stated his dislike for the company due to them turning him down when he spoke to them about a UFC game several years ago.

THQ are currently working on ‘UFC 3’ which will follow on from this year’s, ‘UFC Undisputed 2010’ title. The third in the series will have a longer development cycle and is expected to be released in late 2011. A UFC branded fitness title based around the sport is also believed to be in development at this time.

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