If you’re into mixed martial arts and you’re into movies (and who isn’t into movies?), then there’s nothing better than a great MMA movie. Boxing movies might be the more famous variant of combat cinema, but other fighting movies are just as great. Here’s a list of some of the most popular MMA movies on the market.
This intriguing movie tells the story of Mike Terry, a humble hero who only wished to live a simple life out of the spotlight until circumstances beyond his control thrust him into the center of the mixed martial arts world. At the beginning of the film, we find our protagonist content to run a BJJ Dojo for an eclectic mix of students, despite being a true master of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Eventually he is forced to abandon this tranquil existence for life as a prizefighter, compelled by debts and dishonor to show the world what he can do.
This is much more than a simple fighting movie. It is a multilayered drama with complex characters and exhilarating twists that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats and reaching for the tissues. The two protagonists are a pair of brothers whose different lives converge in the octagon.
Each brother has a very different background that manifests itself in their fighting styles. One is a calm, focused, and disciplined physics teacher whose fighting is built around technique. The other is a returning Iraq War veteran whose aggressiveness and anger bares itself on his fighting style. Ultimately, you’ll end up rooting for them both as this fantastic film entrances you.
If you are a fan of mixed martial arts, then you should be familiar with Matt Hamill of “Ultimate Fighter” fame. He was a fan favorite, and for good reason. This movie tells his story.
Hamill is deaf, which gave him unprecedented challenges on his way to stardom. Despite this handicap he became a champion wrestler in college before going on to dominate in the octagon. If you are a fan of true, inspirational movies, then this excellent drama is one for you.
Never Back Down
This has long been one of the most famous fighting-related films, and for good reason. It is dramatic and action-packed, with some truly excellent fight scenes. The protagonist, Jake, is forced to fight to defend himself after coming to a new town. His heroic efforts to defend himself and his honor make for must-see TV.
Never Back Down 2: The Beat Down
If you are a big fan of mixed martial arts and liked the first Never Back Down, you just might like the sequel even more. Whether the second movie is actually better than the first is debatable, but it is unquestionably more authentic in its portrayal of martial arts and includes some beloved fighting personalities you’ll be thrilled to see on the big screen.
Blood and Bone
If you’re into movies and television shows about the streets and organized crime, then this is probably the mixed martial arts movie for you. It tells the story of a gritty man who infiltrates a gang via an underground fighting ring. The story is cool and the emotion palpable. The fighting scenes are also excellent, with a faithful portrayal of recognizable techniques. The cameo appearances of recognized stars of the mixed martial arts will also give fans a bit of a thrill.
As you can see, boxing movies are far from the only highlights of combat cinema. These are just a few of the incredible MMA movies that any fan should be sure to see. So next time there are no fights on and you find yourself with some free time, get that popcorn ready and give combat cinema a watch. A little action and drama will only enhance your enthusiasm for the sport you love.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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