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“Never Back Down” Taking a Blog Beating [Editorial]

By now, many in the MMA community have heard about the feature film “Never Back Down” which stars acclaimed actor Djimon Hounsou and the lesser-known Sean Faris. The films fairly cheesy trailer is currently showing on YouTube, and the movie appears to be losing serious clout due to the scrutinizing eye that is the MMA blogosphere. First, MMA Junkie has an interview with the film’s lead, Sean Faris, where the actor ends up sounding foolish after claiming years of MMA fanaticism:

“SEAN FARIS: Oh yeah. I was a huge fan of MMA before the role. I’ve been following it for eight or nine years now. Well, actually, I guess it’d have to be longer than that. I’ve got some of the really old DVDs when the UFC didn’t have rounds and you kept fighting until it was over. Once they came out on DVD and videotape, that’s when my friends and I really started getting into it.”

Fair enough, and who would this long time fans favorite fighter be?

“SEAN FARIS: Anderson Silva. Hands down”

And why is that?

“SEAN FARIS: That is a bad, bad man. You know he is. Huh? You know, right?”

Alright, anyone else?

“SEAN FARIS: I love that Chris Horodecki kid in the IFL. I haven’t seen him fight much but keep hearing about him and reading up on him. He’s a phenom. It’s so cool to see these prodigies coming into the sport.”

Now why would this guy say that he “loves” Chris Horodecki, if he’s never even seen him fight? It almost comes off as comical.

Any how, this kid sounds like he might be over selling his MMA background just a little bit. Though it’s unfortunate Sean Faris had to trip over himself, when he could have easily stated that he did not know everything there is to know about MMA, but trained hard and studied the best he could to provide a solid performance. Instead, he attempts to come off as some die hard fan but can hardly back up his knowledge.

Additionally, Bloody Elbow has an entire post dedicated to bashing “Never Back Down” as Editor-in-Chief Luke Thomas uses an interview with the films writer (Chris Hauty) as ammunition:

Is there a difference between Ultimate Fighting and MMA?
No. MMA is employed in Ultimate Fighting. Ultimate Fighting is sort of a loose term as well. UFC has co-opted that term but I think it just means “all in”. No rules; anything goes.”

It’s pretty disturbing to hear that the writer of an MMA film does not realize the difference between mixed martial arts as a sport, and the UFC as a brand name. Moreover, the writer pretty much says that his movie and MMA don’t really have a lot to offer other than the fighting component:

You saw nothing metaphysical about this story?
No. I don’t think so. I don’t think who are involved in MMA necessarily bring any metaphysical component to the dance. I think it’s more about physical excellence and discipline.”

Though it isn’t pretty, I encourage interested readers to check out the entire interview here to get the full picture.

Ironically, before I had ever read any of the posts mentioned above, I planned on seeing “Never Back Down” and providing a review for I suppose I will still see the movie because, well, I’m just that kind of guy. Even if I’m told it’s horrible by credible sources, if someone makes a serious attempt at an MMA film, I have to see it. Partly because I am a big movie snob and enjoy the opportunity to critique, and partly because there might actually be some cool fight sequences. I can only hope that this movie will not be as terrible as perceived so far.

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