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Top 3 MMA movies that you must see

Top 3 MMA movies that you must see
Top 3 MMA movies that you need to see

Top 3 MMA movies that you need to see

There have been kung fu, Samurai, ninja, karate, and even vale tudo-esque movies for the last few decades. We had the likes of Jean-Claude Van Damme starring in movies like Bloodsport that pit different martial arts styles against one another. But as MMA has developed and created stars amongst their athletes, Hollywood has tried their best to imitate the now entertainment sport on the big screen. Here are some of the best films that they’ve been able to muster up so far.

3) Here Comes The Boom

Although it is mostly a sports comedy, the film starring Kevin James is an underrated MMA-inspired flick. James’ character Scott Voss is a bored biology teacher who happens to also be a former Division-I Collegiate Wrestler. He tries to raise $48,000 in order to prevent the school from closing down their music department.

Taking on fights in unsanctioned MMA bouts, Voss goes through a Herculean evolution through training montages and becomes more and more confident and inspirational with every bout.

James known as a legit MMA fan put a bunch of laughs into the film with his quirky acting but also impressed with his fight scenes. In addition, MMA fans will see a handful of familiar faces with Bas Rutten, Jason "Mayhem" Miller, Mark Muñoz, Bruce Buffer, Krzysztof Soszynski, Satoshi Ishii, Mark DellaGrotte, , Joe Rogan, Herb Dean, Mike Goldberg, Wanderlei Silva, Chael Sonnen and Jacob "Stitch" Duran all making appearances in the film.

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Next: Never Back Down

2) Never Back Down

Possibly the first Karate Kid of MMA flicks, the movie stars Sean Faris as Jake Tyler, a troubled kid in a new city. As Jake tries to fit into his new surroundings, he attends a party that he’s invited to and gets into a fight with the “MMA champion” of the new school he attends. Although he gets beat up in the fight, he is eventually introduced to the sport of Mixed Martial Arts by a fellow classmate. He is then eventually trained by Djimon Hounsou’s character Jean Roqua.

After training, Jake eventually finds himself in a tournament called the “Beatdown” where he gets to take on Ryan McCarthy (performed by Cam Gigandet), the “MMA champion” that had beat up at the party.

Overall, the film was one of the first MMA-inspired films that had the kind of budget to make it look like it wasn’t shot with a camcorder or an iPhone. The cinematography was solid and the fight scenes much more realistically choreographed compared to the many martial arts films at the time.

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Next: Warrior

1) Warrior

Starring Tom Hardy (Mad Max: Fury Road, Legend, The Revenant, Bronson), Joel Edgerton (Black Mass, Midnight Special, Exodus: Gods and Kings, Zero Dark Trinity), and Nick Nolte (The Thin Red Line, Hotel Rwanda, Tropic Thunder), the film pits two brothers against each other in a MMA tournament called “Sparta” for money.

Hardy plays a former marine named Tommy Riordan and Edgerton plays his older brother Brendan Riordan. Tommy strapped for cash and Brendan needing the prize money for his mortgage and his daughter’s surgery, both coincidentally end up being the two final contestants in the tournament.

Although the film has that Rocky effect where a lot of fighters relentlessly take punches to the face without collapsing to the ground, wrestling and submission attempts move quicker than professionals that have done it for years, the film has the most realistic fight scenes compared to anything that has come out.

With the compelling story line, solid acting, and great fight scenes – Warrior is one of the rare MMA-based films that should be seen. Nolte was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. You’ll also see Kurt Angle, Erik Apple, Nate Marquardt, Anthony Johnson and Roan Carneiro making cameos as other MMA fighters.

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Clyde Erwin Barretto is an emphatic obsessed fan of mixed martial arts, combat sports and body movement. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeBarretto.

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