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Dublin: 15 °C Tuesday 1 September, 2015

Uncaged: 5 must-see MMA documentaries

Brian Kirk picks out some top documentaries to get you through the weekend, fight fans.

Image: Felipe Dana/AP/Press Association Images

WITH THE EMERGENCE of some exciting Irish talent and new UK/Ireland TV deals recently announced, MMA seems to be growing at an increasingly rapid pace.

The UFC announced a new deal with BT Vision and with that comes the promise of new European specific programming, something that has been severely lacking in previous years.

As the sport continues to grow, whether you’re a hardcore die-hard or a recent convert, here are some brilliant documentaries to help understand the sport and its characters that little bit better.

Like Water (2011)

This documentary followed Anderson Silva, arguably the greatest MMA fighter of all-time, as he prepared for the now legendary first fight against Chael Sonnen.

It gives an insight into how he balances his training and family life, although it shies away from revealing too many details into the rib injury he claims hampered him in the lead up to the fight.

Watching Silva train and how he dealt with all the furore surrounding the fight is reason alone to make it a mus- see but his manager’s exchange with a furious Dana White after Silva gave only one-word answers during a conference call also makes it very watchable.

YouTube credit: Cinedigm (Trailer)

The Smashing Machine- The Life and Times of Mark Kerr (2002)

This documentary is set before the days of UFC mega-deals just as the organisation was on the cusp of taking off and follows Mark Kerr who was catapulted into the business after being dubbed “The Smashing Machine.”

It chronicles his problems with drug addiction and his stormy relationships both inside and outside of the cage in an emotional and often brutal look at Kerr’s journey as a fighter.

YouTube credit: threeactformula

Fightville (2011)

Fightville follows a group of fighters from Louisiana trying to make it to the MMA big time. Dustin Poirier stands out as the best they have and the documentary follows him as he fights on local shows trying to work his way to the UFC.

It showcases the intriguing world of the local MMA scene and how people go about promoting fight cards and protecting their investments and focuses a lot on the early days of the well-established Poirier’s career.

YouTube credit: DocumentariesNews

Jens Pulver: Driven (2011)

This raw and intimate documentary has the first ever UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver as the focal point, showing how he overcame a difficult childhood to beat the likes of BJ Penn and Cub Swanson in a chequered career.

Having tasted the highs of UFC glory, the film shows how Pulver struggled to deal with four defeats in a row and how he worked up to try and get back to a level near the top of the sport.

YouTube credit: Gregory Bayne

The Rise of Conor McGregor (2013)

Conor McGregor emerged from his recent UFC debut unscathed and as a bona-fide superstar. This short film gives an idea of the thought processes that went through his head as he prepared for that fight.

Eloquent and affable, The Rise of Conor McGregor shows the man behind the fighter and reveals the motivation the Dubliner possesses to be the very best in the sport.

YouTube credit: themmaclinic

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