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An indie filmmaker may become king of the (MMA) screen

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grappler0000

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Hollywood has hijacked mixed martial arts. Think Karate Kid meets Bring it On (you know, that cheerleading movie).

According to Never Back Down, the world of underground fighting works a little something like this: boy (and likely Calvin Klein underwear model) moves to a new town. Boy lusts after innocent, cute girl. Boy encounters bully. Boy works his butt off to beat up bully. Boy becomes hero.

How quaint.

"That stuff just doesn't happen in real life," says Bobby Razak. "The guys in the movie are not fighters, the whole story is cheesy, and in my 13, 14 years in MMA, I've never seen any story like that."

For dedicated MMA followers, the film is a double-edged sword, cheaply, and inaccurately, promoting a sport that's growing but still struggling for acceptance. And Razak understands first-hand the battles the sport has endured -- in and out of the cage.

As a former MMA fighter, he not only admires the sport, but also has beared the sport's die-hard regimen. Judo, boxing, martial arts, ultimate fighting -- he's done it all and probably seen it all. And as an independent filmmaker, he's also put it all on screen.

His first documentary, Rites of Passage, which was screened at the Sundance Festival, follows the lives of multiple fighters, combining personal drama with in-the-ring action. Delving into the technique and tactics of MMA, his next film, Pit Fight, was the first to capture bare-knuckle fighting live on 35 mm film. Follow-ups Invincible Warrior and Underground NHB earned him recognition among many in the MMA circle as he followed star Chuck Liddell and John Lewis on their quest for the best techniques and bare-knuckle brawls in Holland.

Warning: there's nothing comparable to "the Iceman" in Never Back Down. Yes, Hollywood's take is, well, tacky, but it's also a big-screen advertisement for the sport. Capturing the real stuff, the hard-core fights and psychological unrest is a task Razak has taken on himself. And so far, his popularity is growing almost as fast the sport itself.

Razak recently inked a deal with Time Warner, the parent company of SI.com, to put his latest mixed martial arts reality series Underground Kings of MMA on the media megacorp's video-on-demand channel. Starting in May, the series will be carried on six cable networks and syndicated across broadband and mobile. That's 22 episodes of complete 24/7 access to the training routines, unseen brawls, mental breakdowns, fighter-manager clashes, legal conflicts and high-profile matchups of many of the MMA's best: Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Frank Shamrock, Riddick Bowe and Lewis.

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Post #1   5/5/08 8:10:33PM   

disorderlyvision

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he was just on inside mma and they showed a few clips. looks interesting. i still refuse to watch never back down, i am glad he is taking a serious approach.

Post #2   5/5/08 9:20:10PM   

RMFG_187

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i also refuse to watch that crap seeing spinning kicks while flying through the air is a turn off from the movie. but that movie's demographic wasn't us "experienced fans" it was more for the average joe who thinks Chuck is the best fighter in the world.

Post #3   5/6/08 1:59:16AM   

twoguns365

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Posted by grappler0000


As a former MMA fighter, he not only admires the sport, but also has beared the sport's die-hard regimen. Judo, boxing, martial arts,]ultimate fighting -- he's done it all and probably seen it all. And as an independent filmmaker, he's also put it all on screen.



I didn't realize "ultimate fighting" was it's own regimen....

Last edited 5/6/08 10:42AM server time by twoguns365
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Post #4   5/6/08 10:40:49AM   

twoguns365

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Posted by grappler0000

high-profile matchups of many of the MMA's best: Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Frank Shamrock, Riddick Bowe and Lewis.

Link



Riddick Bowe?????

Post #5   5/6/08 10:42:11AM   

mrsmiley

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Posted by twoguns365


Posted by grappler0000

high-profile matchups of many of the MMA's best: Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Frank Shamrock, Riddick Bowe and Lewis.

Link



Riddick Bowe?????



LOL

Post #6   5/6/08 11:53:24AM