The “Fight Life” mixed martial arts documentary is going to be one of a kind. An exclusive interview with director, James Feng, will follow shortly. Here’s some more information about the film provided by fightlife.tv:
Fight Life is a new groundbreaking documentary that gives the audience an intimate look into the real life of the modern day professional fighter. From paying dues starting out at the smaller shows to the championship fight on prime time TV, Fight Life chronicles the daily lives of professional fighters from all different levels over the course of one year. Directed by award-winning indie filmmaker James Z. Feng, this documentary currently stars: Frank Shamrock, Jake Shields, Nick Diaz, Lyle Beerbohm, Ryan Schultz, Matt Lindland, Miesha Tate, Gilbert Melendez, “Big” John McCarthy and Sam Sheridan (author of “A Fighter’s Heart”).
Starring three different fighters in different points in their career, Fight Life brings you a spectrum. From the 15 long minutes inside the cage to the countless hours in the gym, this new profession of mixed-martial arts has finally flourished into mainstream America. The evolution of the sport within the last ten years from an underground sport to Spike TV and CBS has surprised all nay-sayers who a decade ago said the sport would never survive 2000. Along with this new sport comes the lifestyle of professional fighters who are paving the way for the next big thing.
“Highest of high, lowest of lows” a fighter once told me about the sport of MMA. In the spirit of capturing this new modern phenomenon, Fight Life chronicles the early struggles of the sport of MMA through the lives of our selected fighters. Focusing on our three main protagonists’ lives both inside and outside of the ring, we offer the behind the scenes view of both the triumphant and inglorious times the fighters go through in their daily lives. From the moment of victory every fighter is chasing after, to the devastating knockout in defeat, we follow these fighters during their journey chasing a dream few dare.
Fighters featured in this documentary include:
Born: January 9th, 1979
Fighting out of: San Francisco, CA
Record: 23-4-1 (Win-Loss-Draw)
Bio: Jake Shields began amateur wrestling at the age of nine and has been a professional MMA fighter for over ten years. He began his MMA training at Chuck Liddell’s SLO Kickboxing Academy in 1999. In 2001, Jake received a wrestling scholarship at San Francisco State and moved to San Francisco where he began training with the Cesar Gracie Fight Team (Dave Terrell, Nick and Nate Diaz, Gilbert Melendez). Jake is a lifelong vegetarian and a proud father, whose competitive edge and hard work has earned him a place in the top five welterweights in the world. Fight Life gives an inside look on Jake Shields life and what it takes to be a champion.
Born: August 2, 1983
Fighting Out of: Stockton, CA
Record: 20-7-0, 1 No Contest
Bio: Nick Diaz was born and raised in Stockton, CA. Growing up in a tough neighborhood, Diaz started training in martial arts as a teenager to defend himself. He and his brother, pro MMA fighter Nate Diaz, began training at Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy where he met close friends and training partners Jake Shields and Gilbert Melendez. Since starting his MMA career in 2001, Nick has fought in numerous promotions (IFC, WEC, UFC, Shooto, Pride, Strikeforce) and has cemented himself as one of the top MMA fighters in the world. Upfront with his use of cannabis and his no BS attitude have garnered him the love and hate of many MMA fans. Fight Life gives a rare perspective on one of the most misunderstood fighters in MMA today.
Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez
Born: April 12, 1982
Fighting Out of: San Francisco, CA
Gym: El Nino Training Center
Bio: Born and raised in Santa Ana, CA, Gilbert Melendez competed as a wrestler at Santa Ana High School. Upon graduation he earned a wrestling scholarship to SF State where he met Jake Shields who encouraged him to train in BJJ and MMA with the Cesar Gracie Fight Team. Gilbert has been fighting since 2002 and has garnered an impressive record of 16-2 and has earned the nickname “El Nino” (in reference to his fighting style that “wipes out everything in its path”). Fight Life takes you to the eye of the storm and shows what it takes to be one of the top lightweight fighters in the world.
Frank “The Legend” Shamrock
Born: December 8, 1972
Fighting out of: San Jose, CA
Gym: Shamrock MMA
Bio: Born Frank Alisio Juarez III, Frank spent his childhood in and out of foster homes and crisis centers. Eventually he went to live with Bob Shamrock, a man who has taken in hundreds of troubled boys including Frank’s stepbrother Ken, and adopted the Shamrock name. In 1994 during the beginning stages of the sport, Frank Shamrock took to MMA as way to support himself. Since then he’s amassed numerous world titles and established himself as a respected authority on MMA. In Fight Life, Frank Shamrock lends his experience and insight on the sport of MMA, a sport that he was instrumental in getting sanctioned in the US.
Matt “The Law” Lindland
Born: May 17, 1970
Fighting out of: Portland, OR
Bio: Matt Lindland started wrestling at the age of 15 and became an All American at the University of Nebraska. He then earned a spot on the 2000 Summer Olympic Wresting team and went on to win the silver medal. Preceding the Olympics, Lindland won a protracted court case earning him the spot on the team as well as the nickname “The Law”. Lindland with Randy Couture and Dan Henderson started Team Quest, a training facility where today Lindland trains and manages some of the best fighters in the business. Aside from fighting in the ring, Lindland has also fought in the political arena nearly winning the Republican Oregon House of Representatives seat in 2008. In Fight Life, Lindland shares his perspective on MMA as a fighter, trainer, and manager
Ryan “The Lion” Schultz
Born: July 4, 1977
Fighting out of: Portland, OR
Bio: Ryan Schultz grew up in North Platte, Nebraska and was a member of his high school wrestling team. He continued to compete at the University of Nebraska where he met Olympic wrestler and MMA fighter Matt Lindland. After graduating with a Criminal Justice degree, Ryan worked as a plumber before making the move to Team Quest in Oregon and training full time with his former wrestling coach. Supporting his wife and son through fighting, “The Lion” (a nickname that he wears on his back) epitomizes the reality of what it is to be a professional MMA fighter and to live the Fight Life.
Lyle “Fancy Pants” Beerbohm
Age: 30 years old
Fighting out of: Spokane, WA
Bio: Lyle Beerbohm has had his share of ups and downs. Wrestling in high school, Lyle already showed tenacity in competition and was ranked in the state. Things took a turn for the worst when after high school, Lyle fell into the wrong crowd and got addicted to methamphetamines. This addiction would dictate the next six years of his life which he spent in and out of jail and amassed eight felony charges. While serving out his last sentence in prison, Lyle saw an episode of The Ultimate Fighter that sparked a fire in him to be a fighter. Eight days after he was released from prison, Lyle fought his first amateur fight and “traded one addiction for another”. His parents, once weary from constant disappointment of their son, are now his biggest fans and his mother shows her support by making him the fanciest fight shorts in the business. Fight Life gives an intimate look at one of the most inspiring rising stars in MMA.
Born: August 18, 1986
Fighting out of: Olympia, WA
Bio: Miesha began wrestling in high school where she joined the all-boys wrestling team. Wrestling eventually led to MMA and she joined the MMA club at Central Washington University where she met future boyfriend and assistant fight coach, Brian Caraway. Her love for competition and MMA grew and soon Miesha left college to pursue a professional MMA career. She sought out world renowned fighter and trainer, Dennis “Superman” Hallman and began training at Victory Athletics. Sacrificing financial security and a comfy life, Miesha is driven to pursue her dreams and become a world champion. Fight Life gets an up close look at one of the rising stars in the newest sector (women’s MMA) of a new sport.
Bryan “Kid Lightning” Caraway
Born: August 4, 1984
Fighting out of: Olympia, WA
Bio: Brian Caraway has been wrestling his whole life, wrestling competitively in high school and college. While attending Central Washington University, Brian took up MMA as a hobby. It eventually developed into a passion and after earning a degree in Kinesiology, Brian left the more secure Pre-Med path and put 100% into training and fighting professionally. He trains and teaches at Dennis Hallman’s gym Victory Athletics and is the assistant fight coach and boyfriend of pro female MMA fighter Miesha Tate. The sacrifice that Brian and Miesha have made to pursue their dreams is a true inspiration and shows what it takes to live the Fight Life.