People have compared mixed martial arts and boxing, even though it’s like comparing apples and oranges.
Yet, boxing movies outpace MMA movies continuously.
Why is that?
It could be that boxing scenes are easier to shoot than MMA, and that MMA has so many different ways it can be done, while boxing is just striking.
You have great boxing movies like the Rocky series, Raging Bull, and Cinderella Man. As for MMA movies you have Warrior, which has garnered the most attention, and follow that with Here Comes the Boom. Both feature dozens of actual MMA fighters and are good big budget Hollywood movies.
Then there are some not so great MMA films that feature fighters but were released straight-to-DVD.
There is also the Never Back Down series which has a third film in the franchise in production.
Could it be because boxing has been around for years and MMA has only been popular since the early 2000s after it was nearly extinct in the United States in the late ’90s? Yes, UFC has been around since 1993, but it was looked at as a fringe sport, before Zuffa worked to change that.
Both sports share similar stories of desperate people looking to hand-to-hand combat as a way to be successful.
Both sports have also put out awesome documentaries while I enjoyed the documentary on Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini and the fight that ended his career.
The documentaries on MMA seem to be more insightful dealing with fighters on their journeys like Smashing Machine and Rickson Gracie: Choke. Both of those films are in my film collection and I’m always on the hunt for more.
But those are close to real life where as movies like Warrior is a piece of fiction.
What else could be done to bring an MMA movie to the national spotlight?
A director who knows enough about the sport to take on such a project along with a way of shooting it so the audience can understand the emotion of being in that environment.
The other would have to be a great story, if you can’t relate to the characters or have no interest in what happens to them then you are making a subpar movie.
They could do a biography film on one of the sport’s most polarizing figures or interesting fighters. Something that would draw in the audience to the story, boxing has already done that now it’s time for MMA to do that.
There are so many stories to be told Hollywood just needs the right one. I look forward to seeing if that happens until then I will enjoy what has already been made.by