UFC Cover Curse Still in Effect After Israel Adesanya Loses Days After UFC 5 Reveal

The UFC's cover curse is alive and well in UFC 5 after Israel Adesanya drops title fight at UFC 293.

Electronic Arts sports games have long been said to have cover curses. Ever since Garrison Hearst broke his ankle a few months after appearing on the Madden NFL 99 cover, fans have been worried about any star from their favorite team appearing on a cover. Fortunately, the Madden curse has seemingly gone away over the last few seasons (though it does still pop up from time to time). However, the UFC curse has hit every person to appear on the cover over its first four entries. Now that UFC 5 has officially announced Israel Adesanya will be on the cover, many were looking to his fight over the weekend to see if the curse is still kicking. Unfortunately for Adesanya and his fans, the curse is still very much in play.

On September 10, Adesanya went into UFC 293 as the favorite to retain his Middleweight Championship over challenger Sean Strickland. While Adesanya was able to get through all five rounds of the bout, Strickland picked up the win on unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46). With that loss, the EA Sports UFC cover curse has officially claimed its eighth victim across five games, giving it a perfect record.

What Other UFC Stars Have Been Hit By the Cover Curse?


Saying that the UFC cover curse has a perfect record is technically true, but it doesn't always strike right away or even actually result in a loss. Look at UFC 1, which features Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson. Sure, Gustafsson would lose his next fight (in his home country, no less) to Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, but Jones has still yet to lose a fight outside of being disqualified for illegal elbows. Instead, his cover curse came in the form of a failed drug test after his cover reveal.

UFC 2, on the other hand, is more black and white. Ronda Rousey was knocked out by Amanda Nunez 48 seconds into her next fight, and Connor McGregor was choked out by Nate Diaz in his. McGregor was also on the cover of UFC 3 and was choked out again (this time by Khabib Nurmagomedov) in his follow-up fight.

Finally, Jorge Masvidal and Adesanya made the cover of UFC 4. Masvidal was knocked out by Kamaru Usman at UFC 261, while Adesanya did win his next match, but then dropped his next fight as he tried to up in weight and take on Jan Blachowicz. That was Adesanya's first professional MMA loss, blemishing what had been an impressive 20-0 record.

What is the Release Date of UFC 5?

EA Sports UFC 5 launches on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S on October 27. It's worth noting that, for the first time in franchise history, UFC 5 will be rated "M for Mature" by the ESRB. Thus far, we've only seen cinematic footage alongside the release date, but EA has said that the full gameplay reveal is "coming soon." Considering it's just about a month until the release date, it's safe to say that we should be seeing that reveal sooner than later.