Spike TV, Fox Sports Net, Showtime, 60 Minutes, and now MSNBC. The popularity currently being enjoyed by mixed martial arts is now being reflected by its presence on television. Spike TV can fairly be referred to as the UFC channel, but mainstream television has started to focus on the sport as well with the recent feature on 60 Minutes and now the upcoming series “Warrior Nation” on MSNBC.
“Warrior Nation” is a four-part series that takes viewers inside the world of mixed martial arts airing on January 9th, 16th, 23rd, and 30th. If the initial four episodes do well, there is the distinct possibility that MSNBC will continue the series.
The first four episodes feature fighters Urijah Faber, Enoch Wilson, Erin Toughill, Clark Bevans, Gina Carrano, Elaina Maxwell, Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz.
Following is the MSNBC press release with more information on the “Warrior Nation” series:
MSNBC’s “Warrior Nation,” takes viewers inside the world of MMA, mixed martial arts, beginning January 9th at 10 p.m. ET. MMA, one of the fastest-growing sports in the nation, combines various fighting styles including wrestling, boxing, Tae Kwon Do, Karate and submission grappling. It’s a “no-holds-barred” combat sport that has become a successful enterprise throughout the world and has been called “the next NASCAR.” Each episode opens the door to the lives of fighters and the struggles that they endure in this popular sport. Veteran fighters, such as Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz, fans favorites, including Urijah Faber, as well as up-and-coming fighters, are portrayed. The four-part series airs each week on consecutive Tuesdays, beginning January 9th at 10 p.m. ET. “Warrior Nation” is the first of two documentary series produced by 29 Stories LLC for MSNBC.
“‘Warrior Nation’ is not just about fighting,” says Long-Form Programming Vice President Michael Rubin, “it’s about a quickly growing American phenomenon; the millions of fans and tens of thousands of young athletes who gravitate to this new sport, hoping to springboard from obscurity to celebrity, using the most basic of tools–their bodies and fists.”
Episode One, which airs January 9th at 10 ET, follows Urijah Faber and Enoch Wilson. 27-year-old Faber is the number one MMA fighter in his weight class in the nation and one of the best in the world. A college graduate, he fights and trains full-time, has 14 career wins and over $100,000 in prize money. Wilson, a 26-year-old high school drop-out and single dad with 8 career wins, works at a plastics factory to support his training and his 14-month-old daughter.
The Following Tuesday evening, January 16th, in episode two we meet Erin Toughill. At 29-years-old, she is one of the top women fighters in the world. Toughill’s husband, Clark Bevans, a 32-year-old gym owner, also participates in MMA fighting. Together, they hope to become the first couple in the world to fight on the same night – and win.
Episode Three, airing January 23rd, unites two rivals for their second head-to-head fight. Gina Carrano and Elaina Maxwell meet at Strikeforce in San Jose, California. Carrano, the underdog, plans on repeating her previous win over Maxwell, but Maxwell, who has been training under Cung Le, the World Kickboxing Champion, expects to even the score. Nonetheless, both women won’t take this fight lying down.
Airing January 30th, episode four dives deep into the organization of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). The episode features two up-and-coming fighters, Steve Byrnes and Logan Clark, who have recently earned their first shot at fighting, as well as two celebrity veterans of the UFC, Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz. UFC President Dana White also explains his struggles and plans to Make MMA legal in all 50 states.