Mixed martial arts has exploded in popularity over the last decade, turning athletes who in an earlier time would be, at best, obscure and scary, into bona fide celebrities and in some cases, outright movie stars. But the journey to that fame and newfound cultural acceptance comes with a high price for the fighters who punish their bodies regularly. The documentary The Hurt Business, written and directed by Vlad Yudin (Generation Iron) and executive produced by Yudin and Edwin Mejia of The Vladar Company with Jim Czarnecki (Fahrenheit 9/11, Bowling For Columbine), takes a deep, empathetic look at the people involved in the world of MMA, digging into their personal lives, training, the long-term damage they’ve suffered, along with contributions from psychologists, neurologists and sociologists, and government officials. As you can see in this trailer, it’s a brutal road to success for these men and women. Check it out above.
Among those profiled in the film are Jon “Bones” Jones, “Suga” Rashad Evans, Ronda Rousey, the former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion, and Holly Holm, who defeated Rousey in a stunning upset in 2015. Other featured fighters include Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, Georges St-Pierre, Kenny Florian, Urijah Faber, Ken Shamrock, Bas Rutten, Josh Barnett and many more. The film is set for release in September.