UnderGround Forums Director discusses Chuck & Tito 30 for 30 docu

10/15/19 2:27 PM
12/3/08
Posts: 21323

Filmmaker and fight fan Micah Brown wanted to make his next project about the world of MMA. After the success of the director’s 2017 Muay Thai documentary, Prison Fighters: Five Rounds to Freedom he was well suited to take on more martial arts subject matter, and fortunately found his way to ESPN reporter Brett Okamoto.

“I spoke with Jose Morales who is a friend of mine and a producer at ESPN, he runs their features unit, and told him that I’d been dreaming of doing a long-form project, that I’d love to do a UFC documentary,” Brown tells Elias Cepeda. “We wondered if the 30 for 30 series might be interested, so I spoke with my brother in law Phil Murphy who is a news anchor at ESPN and does a bunch of MMA stuff and he said, ‘hell yeah. You’ve got to reach out to Brett.’ I didn’t know Brett at that point but I spoke with him and he was supportive and so I asked if he’d produce for me and be the reporter for the documentary. He was awesome and was a great help.”

The idea was to do a documentary on one of the sport’s greatest rivalries – that between Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz. After settling on an angle, Brown was pleasantly surprised by how receptive ESPN was to the concept.

“We reached out to Chuck and Tito’s managers, they got on board and we pitched it and it was greenlit after one meeting," Brown recalls. "Normally there’s a two-year waiting list."

The resulting documentary, Chuck & Tito, premieres on ESPN Tuesday, October 15 and then will be made available in the 30 for 30 digital library on ESPN + October 18. For Brown, it was important to make the subject matter of the MMA documentary about pioneering superstars.

“The biggest thing for me was telling a story that would show the origins of the UFC and also how it would come to be what it is today, but I didn’t want to do a boring historical documentary just on the founding of the UFC,” he explains. “I wanted to talk about who the Godfathers of this are, and Chuck and Tito are two of them, and it just happened that they were going to do a third fight. So there was this pretty significant final chapter with these guys who are Godfathers of this thing and it seemed like a no-brainer.

“We had this beautiful third chapter and we also now have this first group of guys in MMA that we’ve seen age. We’d seen what it looks like when Foreman and Ali age, but this is the class of guys we’re going to see from MMA in that regard. So, there’s thematic elements to it. Why do guys continue to fight? Why do guys even step into the ring? Was it worth it? It cost them a lot. It cost them friendship, health in some ways, and they gained a lot in some ways. But we want to look at the cost of being a fighter.”

Brown hopes that both long-time hardcore fans of MMA as well as those new to the sport will get something out of Chuck & Tito, and highlights at least one thing piece of the documentary that might serve as an illuminating surprise for all viewers.

“The most surprising thing for me was Chuck Lidell’s personal story,” he details. “It’s been documented before that he had a close relationship with his grandfather, but he’d never really opened up on his relationship with his father, on why his grandfather had to raise him and how those events made him into who he is.

“People are used to seeing Tito wear his emotions on his sleeve but Chuck Liddell is ‘The Iceman’ and you didn’t see him get too emotional in the past. When he got teary-eyed and cried within the first ten minutes of filming, I knew we had something special.”

Brown anticipates that there will be more MMA-themed 30 for 30 documentary films in store for ESPN in the future, in large part because of the rich soil the sport provides storytellers.

“Oh for sure,” he ends. “I think there’s going to be a lot more MMA-themed 30 for 30s. For one, fighting is a soap opera in and of itself. There are so many thematic elements in it that it’s a natural breeding ground for drama. There’s one man fighting another man in a test of wills and that’s the low-hanging fruit, that immediate challenge of a fight with a person in front of me. But there’s also greater meaning in other themes you find, whether it’s forgiveness, identity, or friendship.”

10/15/19 2:28 PM
12/3/08
Posts: 21324
10/15/19 2:28 PM
12/3/08
Posts: 21325

Author Elias Cepeda writes a regular column for The UG Feed; you can find him on Twitter @EliasCepeda.

elias cepeda

10/15/19 3:46 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 23908
Tito was like the first fighter who asked for more money.

You can't take away all the pioneering he did back in the dark days of the sport and company.

Also, I heard he's a magician on the mic!
10/15/19 4:00 PM
10/14/10
Posts: 14381

Set to record.

Edited: 10/15/19 5:01 PM
7/22/06
Posts: 4178
When will it be on ESPN+? I'd like to relive the period of my life when I was a big MMA fan.
10/15/19 5:04 PM
7/27/08
Posts: 998

The golden era of mma. Why I became a fan, can’t wait to watch. 

10/15/19 6:01 PM
5/26/18
Posts: 376

Why does Elias still get to talk to us? Everyone in MMA knows he’s a piece of shit looking for clicks. 

10/15/19 6:04 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 24783
Pokanghoya - When will it be on ESPN+? I'd like to relive the period of my life when I was a big MMA fan.

It says in the article - supposed to be archived in the espn + library this Friday

10/15/19 6:05 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 24784
DarthBader - 

Sorry I dont care about Chuck LIdell or Tito Ortiz in 2019. It's simply not hot news anymore. Docu failed before it even started.


This guy thinks documentaries about history are only successful when they also cover current "hot news"...Interesting take.

10/15/19 6:29 PM
10/15/15
Posts: 327

This is weird. I already watched this 30 for 30 on espn a while back. This isn't the first time it's been on. They kinda throw shade on tito which I didnt like. Dana also says all kind of crap about tito but that's no surprise. I thought the documentary was worth a watch but not great.

10/15/19 6:38 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 24785
Ancient Wolf - 

This is weird. I already watched this 30 for 30 on espn a while back. This isn't the first time it's been on. They kinda throw shade on tito which I didnt like. Dana also says all kind of crap about tito but that's no surprise. I thought the documentary was worth a watch but not great.


Yeah, the did an early premiere in August or September I believe, and sent out screeners. I didn't watch it, then, though. Good to get your perspective on it, thanks. 

10/15/19 7:15 PM
5/30/15
Posts: 2566
DarthBader -
Elias Cepeda -
DarthBader - 

Sorry I dont care about Chuck LIdell or Tito Ortiz in 2019. It's simply not hot news anymore. Docu failed before it even started.

 

This guy thinks documentaries about history are only successful when they also cover current "hot news"...Interesting take.

Have fun doing a documentary on Israel - Whittaker 10 years from now. Sure everybody will be jumping out of their seats for that one too. Rofl.

 

Btw is this the same Elias Cepeda who is listed on Tapology and has a 0-1 record vs a guy who was 3-6? And this guy is a fucking expert mma journalist? Hahahahahah so this means any dipship can go lose to some can and become a writer for UG? I'm fucking dying. Hahaha.

You come off either very young or very stupid. 

 

Or just a dick. Maybe you're just a dick. 

10/15/19 7:28 PM
5/23/07
Posts: 18085
Darth Bader is 11 yrs old. He mentioned it in another thread. Give him a break guys
10/15/19 8:42 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 50377
wazzu19 -

The golden era of mma. Why I became a fan, can’t wait to watch. 

This

10/15/19 9:04 PM
6/16/10
Posts: 5795
Elias Cepeda -
DarthBader - 

Sorry I dont care about Chuck LIdell or Tito Ortiz in 2019. It's simply not hot news anymore. Docu failed before it even started.


This guy thinks documentaries about history are only successful when they also cover current "hot news"...Interesting take.

You can't fix stupid...

10/15/19 9:36 PM
10/14/03
Posts: 29886
sicko - 
wazzu19 -

The golden era of mma. Why I became a fan, can’t wait to watch. 

This


Watching right now. 

 

10/15/19 9:43 PM
8/16/17
Posts: 171
Gartlin -
DarthBader -
Elias Cepeda -
DarthBader - 

Sorry I dont care about Chuck LIdell or Tito Ortiz in 2019. It's simply not hot news anymore. Docu failed before it even started.

 

This guy thinks documentaries about history are only successful when they also cover current "hot news"...Interesting take.

Have fun doing a documentary on Israel - Whittaker 10 years from now. Sure everybody will be jumping out of their seats for that one too. Rofl.

 

Btw is this the same Elias Cepeda who is listed on Tapology and has a 0-1 record vs a guy who was 3-6? And this guy is a fucking expert mma journalist? Hahahahahah so this means any dipship can go lose to some can and become a writer for UG? I'm fucking dying. Hahaha.

You come off either very young or very stupid. 

 

Or just a dick. Maybe you're just a dick. 

He’s a troll. A pretty weak, unoriginal one at that. 

10/15/19 10:09 PM
11/20/08
Posts: 2077
DarthBader -

Sorry I dont care about Chuck LIdell or Tito Ortiz in 2019. It's simply not hot news anymore. Docu failed before it even started.

Yeah your a troll or half retarded, your posts suck balls and it's an obvious screen name change, you got ran off before faggot

 

Your opinion doesn't count

10/15/19 10:24 PM
8/24/02
Posts: 1421

Tito is really dumb. -Dana White

that was funny

10/15/19 10:31 PM
10/14/03
Posts: 29887

Hated seeing Chuck go out like that.

Two fucking studs

10/15/19 10:31 PM
10/8/07
Posts: 12745

Awesome 30 for 30. Couldn't of been better. Ok well maybe if Schaub wasn't in it.

10/15/19 10:54 PM
1/17/03
Posts: 15557

Went to the premier with chuck last week. Its pretty good actually

10/15/19 10:55 PM
1/17/03
Posts: 15558


10/15/19 11:00 PM
12/23/08
Posts: 34299
Erik Apple - 



You look like "Brakus" from Best of the Best 2.