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article imageReview: ‘Fightville’ is the heart of MMA Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Apr 7, 2012 in Entertainment
‘Fightville’ takes an in-depth look at the hard work and dedication that goes into becoming a major league mixed martial arts fighter.
The increasing popularity of mixed martial arts (MMA) has spawned a never-ending line of merchandise, pay-per-view events in sold out venues and a variety of reality shows. But before a fighter can be involved in any of those things, he has to claw his way through the amateur ranks and into a professional league. Fightville is the story of two men trying to do just that, as well as the trainers who help get them there and the promoter who gives them a venue in which to showcase their skills.
Albert Stainback and Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier fight for a living. They train 40 hours a week, pay rent from their earnings and strive to be signed by a major league. Both men are young and dedicated to the sport; though at 24, Dustin demonstrates a level of discipline not often seen in someone so young. “Crazy” Tim Credeur is a tough as nails trainer who expects absolute dedication from his fighters, and ensures those who do not meet his expectations are aware of his displeasure. At the same time, he looks out for their best interest, making sure they're ready for a match before getting into the cage. Gil “The Thrill” Guillory is an ex-fighter turned hottest MMA promoter in the South. He runs USA-MMA, a minor league that offers a chance to rise up to a major league like the UFC. He enlists the help of his entire family, including his three-year-old daughter, to ensure every event is a success.
Everyone is used to the flashy spectacle of a UFC match: the big names, the bigger sponsors and the undivided attention of tens of thousands of fans. Fightville shows you how they got to where they are and why they get into the ring. In short, it illustrates the heart behind the show. At Gladiators Academy, fighters clean up their own blood. They give their all because their training to achieve their dream, not someone else’s. To hear them speak is to listen to men who are truly passionate about not just a sport, but a way of life.
While the personalities being profiled are interesting, the documentary unfortunately adds nothing new to the viewers' understanding of the sport or its competitors. In a general sense, it’s similar to every film that steps behind the curtain. That said, it would still be of interest to fans of this particular activity because it adequately profiles each person and the hard work that goes into every element of a good fight. On the other hand, the style used to display the matches recorded for the film make the bouts somewhat less exciting beyond the anticipation of rooting for the fighter on which the narrative is focusing.
Fightville takes the spotlight out of Las Vegas and shines it on southern Louisiana, taking a hard look at the grueling underside of MMA fighting through the perspectives of four dedicated men.
Directors: Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker
More about Fightville, Albert Stainback, Dustin The Diamond Poirier, Gil The Thrill Guillory, Crazy Tim Credeur
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