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UFC 3 Gameplay Update #8

Use your footwork, and keep your back off the cage.



Thank you to everyone who has been playing EA SPORTS UFC 3 and contributing feedback on the gameplay, fighters, and ratings changes you’d like to see happen in game. We take your feedback seriously and have used that information to make key updates.

This is it, the biggest gameplay update so far. The number of new animations and features in Gameplay Update #8 is quite large, so let’s skip the preamble and dive right into it.

Finishing the Fight Against the Cage

A long-standing request from the community has been to add the ability to knock your opponent down with their back to the Octagon cage, going into a seated position where you can finish the fight. Adding such a feature is very animation intensive, but thanks to a recent mocap shoot, we finally have the content to support this feature and add it to the game.


As of this Gameplay Update, any time you knock your opponent down with their back close to the cage they will fall into a new Finish the Fight position. This will happen regardless of the severity of the knockdown, including Alert or Active Knockdowns.


From this new position the attacker can try to finish the fight, and the defending fighter has to escape in time in order to survive. If they do escape, the fighters end up in over/under against the cage.

The distance to the cage required for this to happen depends on the type of strike that lands to cause the knockdown. For straight trajectory strikes, the distance can be quite a bit further away, but for any other strike the distance requirements are a lot tighter.

Active Knockdowns

Many players expressed frustration at the lack of attack options available when their opponent was getting up from an Active Knockdown. They felt like a spectator unable to do what they wanted, which was to continue to pressure their opponent as they tried to get to their feet.

On the flip side, many players didn’t like the fact that they had no control over whether or not to get up after an Active Knockdown. Grapplers, for example, would much rather stay on their back and allow their head health to regenerate fully before getting back to their feet.

Once again, our recent mocap shoot gave us the opportunity to capture much-needed content to be able to support the changes players were asking for.

Now when you knock your opponent into an Active Knockdown, simply pressing towards your opponent with the left stick while they are trying to get up will give you an opportunity to interact with them in several different ways.


If your opponent still has relatively high head health, and your fighter has the single collar whip, you’ll be able to grab them as they get up and put them into the single-under grappling position for the opportunity to land a knee to the head or the body.


If your fighter doesn’t have the single-collar whip, or your opponent has suffered previous head damage in the fight, pressing towards them will allow you to push them back down to the ground into the butt-scoot position. From there, you can dive into their guard or walk forward into the feet-on-hips position.

If their back is close to the cage when you go to push them, they’ll be pushed into the new seated-against-the- cage position discussed above. This will give you the opportunity to finish the fight or gain over/under position against the cage.


In addition, if your fighter is knocked into an Active Knockdown you can now choose to stay on the ground by holding down on the right stick. Doing so avoids the single-under position altogether and prevents your opponent from pushing you into the cage. Being aware of what threats are present will be important in deciding whether to stay down or get up.

Improvements to Footwork

In an effort to provide players with more defensive options, we’ve put considerable effort into improving the responsiveness of lunging after a strike, striking after lunging, lunging after head movement, and chaining lunges together.


This improved responsiveness will allow players to get much more creative on defense, setting up counter opportunities that didn’t exist before. In addition, we’ve added the ability to block while lunging. With minor lunges, you can block while lunging in any direction. If you lunge into a strike, however, you will take extra block damage.


When performing a major lunge, you can only block in the direction you’re lunging, while back lunges do not allow blocking. If you lunge into a strike while blocking and performing a major lunge, you will do considerable block damage and 50% damage bleed through, however you will negate the effects of vulnerability. This could be a good option to get out of trouble, at the expense of long term block damage.

The big drawback to blocking while lunging is that you cannot strike quickly out of the lunge if you blocked at any time during the lunge. This makes blocking while lunging a purely defensive tactic. In addition to these control changes, we’ve added significant changes to how successful lunges impact the fighter whose strike was evaded. Prior to this content update, a successful lunge would evade the strike, but the striker would continue to track the opponent and still be at an angle and range to continue to attack once the strike was complete.

After this Gameplay Update, the striker will no longer track if the defensive fighter lunges to the outside of the opponent’s strike, or if the defensive fighter evades any forward moving strike with a major lunge.


By removing the tracking on the strike, the defensive fighter will create a significant angle on their opponent as they pass by. This allows the defensive player to create space, regain control of the octagon, or set up some devastating counters.


In fact, the damage logic has been altered to account for these new angles you can create. By evading a forward moving strike and creating an angle on your opponent greater than 45 degrees, straight punches equate to hook damage and take advantage of side vulnerability. Conversely, hooks will take advantage of straight punch vulnerability. This change allows the defensive fighter to perform very fast counters with high damage output.

One final way to create an angle like this on an attacking opponent is to use the newly-added pivot lunges. Pivot lunges are special lunges that chain off successful use of head movement against forward moving strikes.


If you slip to the outside of a forward moving strike towards your lead foot, you can immediately input a lunge to your lead side and get a pivot off your lead foot, allowing your opponent to go right by you.


Similarly, if you slip to the outside of a forward-moving strike towards your back leg, you can lunge towards your back leg and pivot off in the other direction.


Finally, if you duck under a forward moving strike, you can lunge toward your lead foot to pivot and create an angle. As the attacking fighter, it’s very important to understand the significance of these changes. If you queue up a long forward moving combo, you put yourself at risk to having your opponent side step you, and you blowing by them exposed to large counter vulnerability.

If you do find yourself having a forward moving strike evaded by a lunge, you can regain tracking quickly by cancelling your strike and/or combo by pressing block as quickly as possible.

Block Counters

UFC 3 offers many ways to counter head movements and footwork, but the ability to counter off a block was quite limited. We’ve received feedback from the community that players wish to have some block counter options available to them in the game, so we’ve added some in this content update.

Block counters give you the ability to bypass the hit stun that occurs when your opponent lands a specific strike into your block and you counter with the correct strike.


The first block counter we’ve added is a hook counter to a hook or overhand to the head that lands on your block to your lead side. As soon as you get your block up to defend against the incoming strike, you can immediately input the counter strike and it will fire off as soon as your opponent’s strike lands on your block. The counter strike will be fast enough to land before your opponent can block it or faster than the next strike in their combo if they were throwing one.

It is possible, however, for your opponent to slip the block counter strike. It is therefore important to not be too predictable with your use of the block counter.


In addition to the lead hook counter off a block, we’ve added two uppercut counters to blocked body hooks. If your opponent lands a body hook into your block, you can fire off a quick counter uppercut to the head. Again, this uppercut will be faster than a normal uppercut and will execute immediately after the opponent’s strike hits your block.

Reaching Straights

In order to give outside fighters additional offensive options, we’ve added four new reaching strikes. A jab or straight to the head or body can all now be thrown from just outside punching range, while returning the fighter immediately to where they started.


To perform these reaching straight punches, simply flick the left stick towards your opponent as if you were performing a minor lunge, then immediately input the desired strike.

Timing the input is critical, but with a bit of practice these punches allow you to fight from a longer range and shut down your opponent’s attack.

In addition to the increased range, these strikes have considerably more stopping power than their standing or forward moving counterparts.

New Signature Techniques

Finally, we’ve added two new fighter-specific signature techniques with this content update. The first is the signature Zabit Magomedsharipov outside trip he landed against Kyle Bochniac.


To perform the signature trip, hold down LT/L2 and RB/R1 and press up on the right stick. To deny the Zabit signature trip, you perform the same input as if you were denying a clinch attempt.


Last, but not least, we’ve added the Rolling Thunder as a new strike for Justin Gaethje. To perform the Rolling Thunder, hold down L1/LB and R1/RB and press the rear kick button.

That covers all the major updates. Please refer to the patch notes for the complete list of changes, as there were quite a few tweaks and fixes not mentioned in this write up.

Patch Notes

- Added three new fighters; David Branch in Middleweight; Tai Tuivasa in Heavyweight; Zabit Magomedsharipov in Featherweight
- Added Combined Weightclasses to Fight Now modes
- Added a strike range modifier for AI recording & playback behaviors in Practice Mode

Career Mode:
- Added gameplay sliders to Career Mode
- Added Career Fight History

Gameplay Additions:
- Added signature Justin Gaethje Rolling Thunder kick
- Added signature Wanderlei Silva hooks
- Added signature Zabit Magomedsharipov trip as an R1 modified clinch entry
- Added strikes to cage takedown positions
- Added a new cage seated finish the fight position
- Added a new single collar attempt animation
- Added ability to stay down during an active knockdown by pressing down on the Right Stick
- Added ability to grapple with your opponent as they get up from an active knockdown by pressing towards them with the Left Stick
- Added reaching straight punches to the body and head that can be thrown from kick range by first flicking forward with the Left Stick
- Added lead hook block counter to head hook that lands to lead side, body hook that lands to either side
- Added uppercut block counter to blocked body hooks
- Added new pivot lunges
- Added ability to block while lunging
- Added ability for an attacking fighter to stop tracking their opponent when a side lunge evades a forward moving strike
- Added new damage logic to account for large angles created when evading forward moving strikes with lunges
- Added lead body kicks following body punches (Muay Thai level 3 combos)
- Added rumble to takedown and clinch attempts when using haptic feedback setting

Gameplay Tuning:
- Major lunge evades overhands to the outside
- Improved the responsiveness of chaining lunges and throwing strikes out of lunges
- Intercepting a back lean with a straight will force a push back hit reaction
- Single collar punches to the head can now knockdown or knockout an opponent
- Slightly reduced the range of standing & forward overhands
- Reduced stamina tax of body strikes that force a push back hit reaction (Teep Kick for example)
- Removed stamina tax of auto lunges that trigger when blocking a straight kick to the leg
- Removed feints from total strikes thrown in post-fight stats
- Removed minor duck
- Fixed a bug where haymaker couldn't be evaded by a side slip
- Fixed a bug where knees that redirected to the head could cause body health events
- Fixed a bug with the contact detection of lead elbows
- Fixed a bug with the sub side control which could not allow the hip-out getup to complete
- Fixed a bug with two slam takedowns that could cause damage to the wrong fighter
- Fixed certain takedowns and diving punches from counting incorrectly in the post-fight stats

Gameplay AI Additions:
- Added new outside, range-based counter striking behavior to AI
- Added new behavior to certain AIs to elect to not getup right away when on their back
- Adjusted many AI behavioral tendencies based on player feedback
- Expanded AI’s behavioral diversity
- Expanded AI's knowledge of cage clinch positions, and the ability to move between them

Gameplay AI Tuning:
- Greco Roman AI can now instantly perform clinches when opponent's back is to the cage
- Ground and Pound AI can now instantly perform takedowns when opponent's back is to the cage
- Improved AI’s ability to block strikes and capitalize on grapple advantage while grappling
- Improved AI’s ability to enter and make use of stacked guard from ground as well as tower scenarios
- Improved AI’s ability to use the push-off strike
- Improved AI’s awareness of more complex evasion directions for certain strike scenarios
- Improved AI's choice of strikes when advancing from range and throwing punches
- Reduced the frequency of grapple-initiation techniques based on AI difficulty
- Fixed a bug that caused AIs with special straight punches, such as Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor, to not dive on their opponent as often

Ultimate Team:
- Added a Sets shortcut on multiple screens
- Added an option to skip the pack opening sequence for Bundles

We hope you enjoy the changes, and please keep the feedback coming!

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