Last week, EA Sports UFC 4 added a Legacy edition of Conor McGregor to the roster. The model is based on Conor’s appearance in his first UFC fight against Dustin Poirier, which, unlike last week’s bout against the same man, McGregor won. This younger version of the Dublin fighter sports different hair and an absence of his older self’s trademark belly tattoos, which depict the name “MCGREGOR” above the face of a tiger and “NOTORIOUS” beneath. Now, let’s take a look at the model’s appearance and skillset, and those of its modern inspirer.
Both McGregors share similar stats, even the same perks: Laser Focus, Fast Hands, Pay To Miss, Predator, and Frontal Assault. Legacy McGregor has five additional points allocated to blocking, two more in takedown defense, and another two more in kick power, but Regular Notorious beats Legacy Notorious in head movement by one point.
In grappling, the two are evenly matched. Regular McGregor has elevated chin, body, and leg strength, while Legacy Conor boasts higher “Recovery” ability. They share the same Top Moves, and as expected, the same height and reach. Both are ranked as four-and-a-half star kickboxers, but the Legacy model is superior in “Stand-Up” by half a star. Advantage: Legacy.
As for looks, Legacy McGregor sports a different hairstyle and smaller tattoo arsenal than that of regular McGregor. Additionally, the 2014 McGregor wears white shorts with red-accented gloves, while modern McGregor wears all-black (in 2014, UFC had yet to sign a uniform deal with Reebok). While McGregor recently had his head shaved going into UFC 257, EA’s most modern model of Mystic Mac sports combed back hair, to which I would prefer the previously mentioned 2021, updated shaved look.
What about gameplay? To test it out, I initially fought a featherweight version of Poirier on Hard difficulty as Legacy McGregor. I then fought Max Holloway on the same difficulty. In each match, Legacy McGregor’s chin was reduced to glass. At least his ability to recover from knockdowns and get up off the ground was as advertised, but the only strike of his that shocked either opponent was a spinning kick. Regular Conor would fair better. As the modern Notorious, I wore Poirier down with various kicks and secured a TKO victory with ground hooks in round two. More powerful, more accurate, and more durable than 2014 McGregor, so far.
Against Holloway, I was eventually knocked out in the second round, but in a rematch, modern McGregor recovered after a few knockdowns, and the outcome was reversed. Finally, I stepped into the role of Calvin Kattar, defeating young McGregor and losing to the modern. Advantage: Default.
OTHER CONTENDERS FOR LEGACY TREATMENT
EA has some throwback models for fighters who are now retired, but is there anyone else fighting nowadays who has had the glorious career and appearance evolution required for the McGregor treatment? Perhaps Dustin Poirier himself may be a fit. As a matter of fact, EA could easily recycle the gist of Poirier’s models from previous EA Sports UFC installments to achieve his past look.
Take 2012, when Poirier submitted featherweight co-star and eventual champion Max Holloway by mounted triangle armbar. At this point in time, Poirier looked much younger and wore a shaved head. Additionally, Poirier wore blue shorts instead of black and lacked most of his left arm tattoos. His Louisiana state outline tattoo, which was clear in 2012, has since been painted over, and Poirier, whose daughter was born in 2016, had yet to get her name tattooed on the right side of his chest.
Heavyweight Francis Ngannou has had a greater variety of looks over an impressive career, once having hair near-shoulder length, and even having it dyed partly blonde. With Ngannou challenging Stipe Miocic for the heavyweight belt late this March, perhaps EA will take advantage. Before then, fan-favorite veteran Frankie Edgar will be fighting in February. A former elite, Edgar, who hasn’t held a belt since 2012, may soon face retirement. Maybe EA will include an honorary young, dominant Edgar at his prime.
Or maybe the McGregor treatment begins and ends with Conor McGregor. After all, how many versions of the same fighter do we need? In any case, picking the era of your favorite fighter as a cosmetic has its appeal. Part of the issue is finding a fighter whose fashion has changed enough over the years to warrant a second model. Some fighters, like McGregor, show up to each fight with a different cut, while some have sported the exact same trademark look for over a decade. Personally, I’m a fan of the McGregor Legacy cosmetic, and would enjoy models from his UFC debut against Marcus Brimage and his most recent appearance at 257.