MMA Fighter Upset Over Possible Homage In Mortal Kombat

from the FIGHT! dept

Publicity rights have managed to intersect with the video game world more frequently recently. Typically, what appear to be loose general characterizations and/or homages within games have, for a variety of reasons, ruffled the feathers of the celebrity elite. One needs only look back at the disputes raised by Lindsay Lohan over a character in the Grand Theft Auto series which she, wrongly, declared to be based solely upon her. The question I always have in these cases is one of motive. Are these celebrities unhappy about the portrayal they think they see in a character, is there some competing interest, or is it all just a mindless money-grab?

In the latest case we’ll cover, I’m at a loss if this isn’t a money grab. The whole thing centers on the latest iteration of Mortal Kombat and one character’s likeness, perhaps, to a mixed marshal arts fighter name Felice Herrig, who thinks the Cassie Cage character is based off of her likeness.

Herrig, who fights on this weekend’s UFC on FOX 15 card, was first made aware of Cassie Cage a few months ago. Back then, she found the resemblance to be a bit odd, but she didn’t have a whole lot to go on. In recent days, however, more footage and promo materials have surfaced, and Herrig doesn’t like what she sees.

Her complaints, posted to her social media account, center on the Cassie Cage character notably chewing bubblegum and taking selfies. If you go hunting for side-by-side comparisons, they can be somewhat striking.

Except we need to keep a couple of things in mind here. Both women, one real and one fictional, portray combat fighters and there are only so many ways those folks are going to be portrayed. Flexing with clasped fists is a common posed shot in this world. As for chewing bubble gum and taking selfies, both of those are so common that entire industries are built around them, so that is about as unique as having blonde hair.

Is there an homage here? I don’t know, maybe. If there is, it’s a subtle one, and built off a real-life person who isn’t exactly a household name outside of the MMA scene. But what’s the point of getting upset over a maybe-possibly-kinda-sorta nod in your direction? I mean, it is an option to be flattered or to use it to promote yourself, whether the whole thing is an homage or not. What’s to be upset about?

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Comments on “MMA Fighter Upset Over Possible Homage In Mortal Kombat”

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James Burkhardt (profile) says:

Ok, i used to look at ids for a living, and one thing you learned (if you were good) is how to identify if the person in the picture is the person in front of you. You look at nasal structure, cheekbones, jawline, and cranial ridge. One of the reasons a beard is so effective is it can hide the jawline and cheek bones, while distracting from the nasal structure and cranial lines. You look at these things because absent surgery (or a severe broken nose), these things dont change, unlike hairstyle, eyebrows, facial hair, ect.

Now to these images. Cage has a long, medium width, consistent width nose. Herrig has a shorter nose which flares from skinny to medium width. Cages nose has a fairly horizontal base, where as herrigs turns up at the sides. Herrigs jaw line is noticeably more prominent, with more distance from lip to the chin. Herrigs Cheek bones are also noticeably more prominent.

I personally would not accept these images as being the same person. I don’t see the ‘likeness’. Sure they have a similar build (with cage being noticeably more cut), but so do many MMA fighters. As for the bubblegum…Not exactly an uncommon trait there.

PaulT (profile) says:

“Her complaints… center on the Cassie Cage character notably chewing bubblegum and taking selfies”

Because NO OTHER FEMALE ever does this, especially in modern pop culture!

There’s other aspects of the images that definitely seem to suggest a deliberate resemblance, it just stuck me as funny that these are the ones focussed on. It’s not as outright silly as the Lohan case, but I have to ask – so what if it is a deliberate homage? They’re not trading on the name, it doesn’t affect the fighter’s ability to licence her likeness to an official UFC or other MMA game and the MK series regularly homages real life characters and other properties without any problems (Raiden was a homage to Big Trouble In little China, Johnny Cage was essentially Van Damme, Liu Kang was Bruce Lee, etc).

Anonymous Coward says:

Even with the blonde hair and bubblegum, in the pictures shown Cage doesn’t really look much like Herrig. Just looking at the face, there seem to be differences in facial features. Features, one would assume would, if a likeness were actually intended, bear at least some match to the person it’s based on and not merely just being a blonde, fit female.

Daemon Blak (profile) says:


Seems to be a money grab to me.

I never heard of this lady before reading this article and considering that she’s got a UFC Bout coming up, her timing of this complaint is rather suspect. After all, she needs as much publicity as she can get. If this character is her likeness (more importantly, if anyone playing the game thinks it’s her likeness), wouldn’t that draw attention to her? Not unless she complained about it prior to her UFC bout, which would naturally increase attention on her and her bout. CHA-CHING. Money grab.

Dreddsnik says:

Re: Likeness?

“she’s got a UFC Bout coming up”

Yup, and she was really po’d about the person she is fighting getting a Reebok sponsorship. I thoroughly enjoyed watching that little girl beat the living crap out of ‘ToughTalk’ Herrig last night.

Pretty sure I know where the next sponsorship WON’T be going.

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