The MMA community relishes in two opponents of different disciplines facing off in the middle of the stage to prove who is best. Millions of fans all over the world have invested financially, over the course of decades to witness these competitors display their talents. This viewpoint matches millions of fans who rave about the popular fighting game franchise, Mortal Kombat.
For well over two decades, the Mortal Kombat franchise has been one of the front-runners for video games in the fighting genre. Over three million people have purchased the first installment of the game and many consider the franchise to be the best of its class. With Mortal Kombat 11 slated to be released April 23, 2019, we’ve decided to compare each character of the game to a fighter in the UFC.
The criteria are as follows:
Fighters will be compared with moveset and personality as the priority over appearance.
The list of “leaked” characters may not be finalized or 100% accurate, but are close enough for this exercise.
While most are UFC, some characters will be compared to fighters outside of the organization.
Diederik, Reina, Geras, and Kronika are rumored to be new characters in the game. With no information on these unknown characters, they will be left off.
Scorpion | Conor McGregor
Scorpion is known as the anti-hero and most popular character of the MK franchise. While often showing no mercy to his opponents, he is always respectful afterward. Conor McGregor shares these qualities and is the face of the UFC. Love him or hate him, his popularity and martial arts skill cannot be denied.
Sub-Zero | Georges St. Pierre
Sub-Zero is a man who is as cold as ice. Being a true student of combat makes his rounded out skillset unmatched to many of his peers. Sub-Zero doesn’t desire stardom, just results. GSP is calculated, a well-rounded fighter in his own right. While doing his best to stay out of the spotlight, his respectful approach to the arts makes fans push him towards legendary status.
Raiden | Anderson Silva
Raiden is an elder God who has appeared throughout the entire MK franchise. He is arguably one of the strongest characters and popular characters in the game. Anderson Silva’s career has been nothing short of electric. Precision speed, timing, accuracy, and electric finishes cement Anderson as one of the immortal Gods of MMA.
Liu Kang | Bruce Lee
Liu Kang is the embodiment of martial arts. Often portrayed as the main hero, Liu specializes in Jeet Kune Do, the hybrid martial arts system founded in 1967 by Bruce Lee. With similarities in fighting style and appearance, it is no secret that Liu Kang is loosely based off of Bruce Lee.
Jade | Cat Zingano
Jade is an assassin full of confidence and personality. While unsympathetic towards opponents, she is very loyal towards the people she loves. Zingano bites her tongue for no one. Her confidence inside the cage and out, scream louder than her signature primal roar after UFC 178.
Kitana | Carla Esparza
Kitana’s youthful appearance shocks many when they find out how powerful she is. She is a natural leader and a Princess who ascended to great influence in Edenia. Often overlooked for being considered cute, “Cookie Monster” Carla Esparaza became the first Princess of the UFC strawweight division. Both Kitana and Esparza love to lift, sweep, and kick opponents off of their feet, throwing and punching them to victory.
Rain | Israel Adesanya
Rain is a half-God who tricks his opponents into making mistakes that cost them. His speed, fundamentals, and understanding of spacing make Rain so unpredictable, he simply uses his natural mechanisms to flow during a match. The same could be said about Adesanya. With an arsenal of perpetual combinations, Israel unleashes rage on opponents to rain on their parade.
Sonya Blade | Valentina Shevchenko
Sonya is a stern leader known for tactical hand to hand combat developed in Special Forces training. She is an acrobatic 8 point striker who uses hands, elbows, knees, and kicks to break down opponents. Valentina’s signature Muay Thai strikes resemble those of Blade. Their trademark blonde ponytail and seasoned striking make them the perfect comparison.
Johnny Cage | Chael Sonnen
Johnny Cage is Mr.Hollywood. His braveness and strength are always on display as he sets out to prove critics wrong. Chael Sonnen mirrors Cage as they show signs of maturity in the latter stages of their careers. Chael even made his appearance in Hollywood in films such as “Here Comes the Boom” and “Grudge Match.”
Noob Saibot | Ion Cutelaba
Noob is depicted as a cold-blooded unruly slayer who has no remorse for opponents. Cutelaba possesses limitless strength and often finishes fighters within 1 round. Just like Noob Saibot can finish fighters by a single touch, Cutelaba has finished UFC level opponents in 22 seconds.
Smoke | Dominick Cruz
Where there is smoke, there is fire and it is difficult to hit what you can’t see. Smoke specializes in complex movement, stealth tactics, and speed to counterattack opponents. Cruz is the Godfather of unpredictable movement in the UFC. He resembles disappearing in front of opponents and returning with a flurry of punches into a vicious takedown.
Cyrax | Justin Gaethje
With a kill or be killed philosophy, Cyrax is a cyborg who is willing to lay it all out on the line. Gaethje is the same and is known for his war approach to bouts. Both utilize wicked kicks, slams, and throws to put on a show for the crowd, no matter the outcome.
Sindel | Cris Cyborg
The strength possessed by Sindel can paralyze opponents and stop them in their tracks. This setup is used to finish opponents with vicious strikes similar to Cris Cyborg. Her 17 powerful knockouts have made 22 valid contenders resemble rookies.
Reptile | Artem Lobov
Both Reptile and Artem and known for their indisputable support to their leader. With a 65” reach, Artem’s short arms and frame are reptilian in size. Reptile isn’t as strong as his training partners, as Artem is to Conor Mcgregor and Team SBG. Loyalty is the key that gets these men better treatment that many others wouldn’t receive in the same position.
Goro | Francis Ngannou
Goro is the most powerful warrior in the history of Mortal Kombat using sheer force to dominate opponents. His trademark 4 arms throw uppercuts that generate energy fierce enough to create earthquakes. Ngannou threw an uppercut of this caliber that connected on Alistair Overeem at UFC 218, launching him off the canvas and sending him to bed.
Shang Tsung | Jon Jones
Unfavorable situations have led both Jones and Shang Tsung to seem cursed. Bones consumes the souls of his victims inside the octagon as Shang Tsung does in the Outworld. The alarming mistakes they continue to make has earned the hatred they receive, however, few can deny them of competitive excellence.
Kung Lao | Stephen Thompson
The study of martial arts is beyond the result of combat. It has a much deeper purpose of living life peaceful and displaying the mentality of a champion in victory as well as defeat. While living this tranquil lifestyle, both Kung Lao and “Wonderboy” will not hesitate to tactically annihilate their opponents, especially those who are aggressive in demeanor.
Fujin | Yoel Romero
Fujin is the God of wind, frequently spotted tossing his adversaries with ease. Sharing jaw-dropping air attacks is what makes both Fujin and Romero comparable. Both specialize in powerful flying knee techniques to their opponent crashing to the mat. Romero’s physique, massive power, and mastery of freestyle wrestling cause his opponents to fly through the air, forcibly landing on their back as if the God of wind decided to bless the soldier of God.
Bo’ Rai Cho | Daniel Cormier
While sometimes appearing out of shape, both Bo Rai Cho and “champ champ” DC use their unique body to their advantage. These high skill combatants trap their adversaries by pushing the pace to a level many think they can’t achieve by their appearance. Short jabs, master level grappling, and holding their opponents down using their belly make these men extremely dangerous. It is best to not let these men dictate the pace of a fight. If so, they’re in for a long night of embracing the grind.
Frost | Tatiana Suarez
Frost is a cryokinetic warrior who likes to increase her odds of winning fights due to utilizing range. Like Tatiana Suarez, once she gets her hands on your close, it is over. Once Suarez shoots for a takedown, she blasts her opponents through the canvas shattering them into tiny shards at the time of the collision.
Kenshi | RDA
Kenshi is a respectful warrior who is well rounded in all aspects of combat. Although Kenshi is blind, he can sense opponents as if they are in slow motion and pick them apart with ease using a flurry of powerful combinations. RDA is the same, possessing the spirit of a warrior with exceptional skill in all areas of martial arts. The ability to mix different disciplines and transition through them with ease make Kenshi and RDA the perfect pair.
Daegon | Alistair Overeem
Both Daegon and Overeem are tall, tan men that use fiery hand combinations to make opponents sit down. Their devastating punch power knocks opponents out with ease. In their later stages, they tend to sit back and counter strike instead of rushing forward. No matter the age, as long as these men compete, they will always have a shot at being the best in the world.
Kotal Khan | Henry Cejudo
Kotal Khan resembles an Aztec warrior. His super strength allows him to shut down men who seem to be unstoppable. Cejudo has the blood of Aztec ancestry running through his veins. While the world counted him out against Demetrious Johnson, he was able to use his Olympic level wrestling skill to hold down DJ and end his reign of 11 UFC Flyweight title defenses. The Aztec Gods give Cejudo the ability to physically subjugate opponents his size, completely neutralizing their gameplans.
Erron Black | Donald Cerrone
Erron is a gunslingin’ cowboy who roams the plains of the Outworld. He is a sufficient fighter in warfare that loves to set traps for his opponents. Cerrone is an outlaw in his own right who always does things his way. “Cowboy” Cerrone baits the shell of an opponent’s defense by throwing ferocious leg kicks until he ultimately decides to take a shot at the head. Both Cowboy and Erron beat down opponents gradually until they decide to win the bout.
Cassie Cage | Paige Van Zant
While it seems like everything is handed to these blonde fighters, they have the skill to go with the promotional rocket strapped to their backs. Cassie is an alpha female in the Special Forces unit while Paige coincidentally used to train at Team Alpha Male. Cassie Cage is the daughter of Johnny and generally tends to take the moral high road. Watch a Paige Van Zant interview and you will find nothing but class. With a signature can opener kick in their arsenal, it’s not a surprise that these fighters are linked.
Jacqui Briggs | Sijara Eubanks
Briggs is a professional kickboxer and even competed in the Junior Olympics. Jacqui has a goal of protecting Earthrealm no matter the cost. Whether people like her or hate her, Jacqui will do whatever it takes to accomplish her goals. This sentiment could be echoed for Sijara Eubanks whose sole goal is to become UFC Flyweight Champion. The allegiance of the fans will not depreciate the focus of these women to fulfill their goals.
Takeda | Cody Garbrandt
While handling business in combat, both of these men are known to taunt their opponents while also defeating them. As Takeda expresses himself during combat, Cody love to put on a show for fans as shown in his previous UFC Bantamweight title fight with Dominick Cruz. With explosive power in both hands for their size, these men are able to rearrange faces and end nights early for their luckless combatants.
Kung Jin | Darren Till
Usually larger than their opponents are masters at managing space. While Jin is accompanied by a bow and arrow, Till’s 74.5” reach allows them to both pick opponents apart from far away. Both men fight for honor, legacy, and to prove that they are the absolute best. With an ego that sometimes depicts both men as brash and offensive, fans buy into the self-belief and spirit of the warrior.
Baraka | Max Holloway
Both Baraka and Max share some of the fastest hand speed in the game. Their explosive combinations and dangerous speed allow them run through foes with ease. Baraka has had a rebirth in the latest installment with a new arsenal of attacks and fight style, much like Max Holloway. Seeming to be in the midst of their primes, Max and Baraka will be ripping their opponents to shreds in minutes for years to come.
Skarlet | Rose Namajunas
Skarlet is a ferocious blood Goddess that uses a variety of techniques to dominate her opponents. A blood Goddess in her own right, Rose dominated Paige Van Zant at UFC Fight Night 80. In the fight, Rose gashed Paige’s face making her wear one of the most gruesome crimson masks in UFC history. Whether standing, grappling, or on the ground, both of these women are well equipped with an array of attacks that leave opponents in a bath of blood.
Thank you to Rory Robinson for this article and to Danilo de Almeida for the custom artwork of Tatiana Suarez, Anderson Silva, and Israel Adesanya.
Note: All photos courtesy of each fighters’ personal instagram profile.