In what was easily the most surprising announcement at EA's Press Conference at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles on June 4, EA Sports has accquired the Ultimate Fighting Championship license in a multi-year deal.

Financially troubled publisher THQ was the steward of the license for several years, putting out highly rated titles including UFC Undisputed and UFC Personal Trainer. The loss of the lucrative license is a real blow to a the beleagured publisher, which has been teetering on the edge of bankruptcy for several months now.

the move was announced with pride at the EA press conference by UFC president Dana White, who is actually eating his words from several years ago that the UFC would never work with EA, and his mericless mocking of EA's unlicensed MMA game that sold incredibly poorly.

The financials or the term of the agreement between EA and UFC were not announced, but given how lucrative the license is, EA will likely hold onto it with the same crushing vise grip that they currently hold over the NFL and their Madden series. Whether this is good news or not for UFC fans remains to be seen.

I can't help but feel bad for THQ, a company filled with good people who just lost a major franchise.