by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
MEMPHIS – As Jon Fitch prepares for his showdown with Mike Pierce on Saturday night at UFC 107, a group of media and select members of the UFC production team attended a special screening of the documentary “Such Great Heights” focusing on his preparation and the aftermath of his 2008 title fight against Georges St-Pierre.
A well-respected fighter who is known for being tough as nails, Fitch was the subject of the documentary that followed him from his humble beginnings to the height of the sport as he battled for the UFC welterweight title.
The whole process started during a chance meeting of one of the producers, Philip Frank, who ran into Fitch at the San Jose Airport following his win over Diego Sanchez. Months later filming began and now the documentary has become a reality.
The film shows an emotional side to fighting that sometimes gets missed between the highlight reel knockouts and bone-crunching submissions. Without spoiling anything from the film, there are moments that definitely bring across the heart wrenching times following a loss, and AKA instructor Dave Camarillo admitted following the screening that it’s still tough for him to watch and not shed a tear.
“Just a week in we were already close friends, just spending so much time with these people,” Philip Frank, the producer on the film, said about the emotional aspect of the movie. “By the time Jon and his team were in Minnesota leading up to the fight, it was very emotional. The night of the fight we were a wreck. It was like a heart attack when we were sitting there watching.”
From start to finish, “Such Great Heights” brings the viewer into Fitch’s world as he continues to be one of the most soft-spoken, yet hard-nosed fighters in the business. His teammates at American Kickboxing Academy also play a big part in the movie as you see the other side of MMA where not everybody is making money and living a rock star lifestyle.
UFC commentator Joe Rogan made the screening and seemed very happy with the film. He commented on his Twitter page, “The Fitch documentary was really well done. It’s not available for the public yet, but when it comes out it’s a must see for MMA fans.”
While the film has no definite release date at this time, when “Such Great Heights” is available, MMA fans and film fans in general would definitely benefit from seeing the film as it takes in all the highs and lows of being a professional mixed martial artist.
“We’re hoping they see this as a sport. These are legitimate, heartfelt people,” Frank said in closing about what they hope fans will take away from the documentary.
Jon Fitch will next compete against Mike Pierce on Saturday night at UFC 107 in Memphis.