Mixed Martial Arts Film ‘Warrior’ Opens Friday


An upcoming film about a dysfunctional family set against mixed martial arts fighting could bring the sport closer to mainstream. Warrior opens on Friday with some good reviews from critics backing it up.

The story revolves around estranged brothers Brendan Conlan played by Joel Edgerton and Tommy Riordan played by Tom Hardy joining a mixed martial arts tournament called the Sparta for the $5-million prize money. Writer and director Gavin O’Connor is clearly a mixed martial arts fan as key characters depicted in Warrior resemble real-life personalities in the sport.

Brendan is a former school teacher and fighter which would remind true MMA fans of Rich Franklin. Tommy may have been inspired by the likes of Brian Stann and Tim Kennedy, Iraq war veterans who have crossed over to professional cagefighting. An enigmatic Russian fighter portrayed by former Olympic medalist and professional wrestler Kurt Angle may remind one of MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko.

Nick Nolte plays the role of the abusive and alcoholic father to the two protagonists. Real MMA fighters like Rashad Evans, Stephan Bonnar, Anthony Johnson and Nate Marquardt also made appearances in the film.

This could well be MMA’s version of what Rocky was to boxing.

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