by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
Urijah Faber, World Extreme Cagefighting Featherweight Champion, and fighter Enoch Wilson are featured in a new documentary series on MSNBC tonight. “Warrior Nation,” which airs the first of four original episodes tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern Time, takes viewers inside the world of mixed martial arts by presenting an in depth look at the lives of various fighters in the sport.
The episode airing tonight provides a stark contrast in the lives of professional fighters. Faber, who defends his WEC title on January 20th in Las Vegas, is a college graduate and entrepreneur that has never really had a 9 to 5 job and makes his primary living from fighting. On the flip side, Wilson is a high school dropout (although he did attain his GED later that same year) and single father who works a full-time job, in addition to his training and struggles to make a career out of mixed martial arts.
“Warrior Nation” does a good job of presenting the fighters and the sport without the usual narrative spin that most mainstream outlets tend to put on mixed martial arts. Following a brief introduction, the primary content of the show is the fighters being viewed in various aspects of their lives, from family to fighting to everyday living, with the fighters’ own narrative leading the way.
Thought the premier episode is focused on Faber and Wilson, “Warrior Nation” also contains commentary from UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell and takes a brief look at two female fighters just getting their start in the sport.
Overall, the “Warrior Nation” gives fair treatment to both the positive and negative aspects of the sport. The fighters are given ample space to present themselves, their lives, and their ambitions of competing in mixed martial arts as professional athletes, much the same as a professional football or basketball player.
Probably the most refreshing aspect of the show is the narrative provided by the fighters and the people in their lives without the intrusive voice of a narrator that isn’t really adept at the sport or it’s development.
Both Faber and Wilson were pleased with the end result as well. Despite initially seeming to be portrayed as a down and out individual, Wilson was “very impressed. They did a good job showing some of the struggles I’ve went through and all of the hard work that I’ve put into [MMA] and how it is starting to pay off.”
“It was really good. It got a really positive twist on mixed martial arts and I think it’s going to be really positive for the sport,” stated Faber. “It is really entertaining and also gives an intro into women’s fighting, which is starting to blow up as well.”
The scheduled airings for “Warrior Nation” on MSNBC:
Episode 1: Tuesday, January 9th at 10 p.m.
Featuring Urijah Faber and Enoch Wilson
Episode 2: Tuesday, January 16th at 10 p.m.
Featuring Erin Toughill and Clark Bevans
Episode 3: Wednesday, January 24th at 10 p.m.*
Featuring Gina Carrano and Elaina Maxwell
Episode 4: Tuesday, January 30th at 10 p.m.
Featuring the UFC, including Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz
All episodes premier on a Tuesday except for Episode 3, which premiers on Wednesday, January 24th due to the State of the Union Address.