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Fightville is a documentary film that chronicles the exploits of the south Louisiana MMA scene. The film follows USA-MMA promoter, Gil Guillory, UFC Fighter and gym owner Tim Credeur, now UFC Fighter Dustin Poirier, and MMA fighter Albert Stainback.
The film was done over the course of about 18 months and I was fortunate enough to bear witness to all of this as I am a trainer at Tim's gym, Gladiators Academy. I was quite around for most of the filming and still I was taken aback by the emotional content in the film.
The film starts with some scenes from backstage at a fight venue in Lafayette, LA. Michael Tucker uses a very cool effect that darkens the background of many shots so your attention is focused on the characters on the screen. The soundtrack is also very good and brings an upbeat feel to the film.
They story shows Guillory doing his thing to promote his fights and lets it be known that he does virtually everything to make sure the show he is putting on will have attendance. Everything from handing out flyers to setting up the lights for the show even going in the gym and sparring with some of the guys Guillory is obviously a hands on promoter who wants his fight company to work.
The film goes into the training aspects of the fighters at Gladiators Academy. Tim Credeur is a current UFC fighter and is also training up and coming MMA fighters. Tim is shown as a true martial artist and guide for the young fighters in the gym. He trains along side the fighters and spars regularly with them to not only prepare them for upcoming fights but for his fights as well.
The sparring sessions that are shown in the film are full contact sessions. Head kicks, punches, and submissions are used to their full extent. There is also a sequence involving one fighter who has been missing practice, Corey Judice. Judice has not been coming to practice and still has a fight scheduled in the next few weeks. The sparring session is not kind to Judice as Tim dishes it out to him pretty good.
As I watched the scene I was thinking "Oh **** this one was bad." It was a pretty rough round and Judice even mouths off to Tim as Tim is holding him down and punching him. Even after that Tim shows that it was a lesson in keeping your word and working hard. After chastising Judice Tim gives him a good hug and lets him know everything is good.
They also show some scenes from a spoof video that was made at the gym for a fight Tim was going to have with Tom Lawler. The scenes in the movie are funny and show a lighter side to what we do at the gym.
Dustin Poirier is one of the other featured fighters and it chronicles his way up the MMA ranks and how he made it to the UFC. I can honestly say that if you watch this film you will become a fan of Dustin. At 22 Dustin has made his way to the UFC through a lot of hard work and solid fighting.
They go into his home life and his daily routines. Even showing one of his favorite weight cutting routines which is to watch the Food Network while eating a small piece of tuna. When asked what does he like to eat when not cutting weight his response is "How much time you got?" before listing some of his favorite indulgences.
The show stealer for me was the interviews with Dustin's mother, Jere Chaisson. She really opened up for the film and shed some light on Dustin as a young kid and a particular story about a neighborhood fight that landed Dustin in some serious trouble.
Albert Stainback is another Gladiators fighter that is featured in the film. Albert is also from a troubled past and seems to have a fascination with A Clockwork Orange. He regularly dresses as a droog for his ring entrances. Albert story unfolds and you really get to see the another side of a fighter as Albert constantly struggles with managing his life and training as a fighter.
Several other fighters from the area are shown in the film as well as several matches. The film has a great pace and you get sucked into the lives and stories of each one of the people who are followed in the film.
My personal involvement with the people in the film may make my review somewhat one sided but honestly they do us justice. I was concerned about the film since the film maker had no experience with MMA. My concerns were obliterated with each passing minute of the film. Tucker and his crew did a great job in depicting our gym and the featured guys.
The film is a great representation of the trails and tribulations that go in to being an MMA fighter and what it takes to advance to the next level. With a great soundtrack, fast pace, hard training sessions, and some great fights you get an intimate view into the world of MMA in south Louisiana.