MMA Movie Premiere: Life of a Fighter: The Journey on FITE
Riveting documentary by director Anna Cespedes looks back at Chad George’s career, and the importance of mental health in sports; UFC, Bellator and Rizin stars Josh Barnett, Christos Giagos, Pedro Munhoz and Victor Henry featured
FITE will present the world premiere of the documentary Life of a Fighter: The Journey on Friday, August 27th at 8 PM ET. The film, directed by Anna Cespedes (Young and Alone, I’m Emilia) tracks MMA star Chad “The Savage” George’s last fight as he sums up his career and the road ahead.
Order and watch Life of a Fighter below:
“This film really puts you in the heart of a fighter,” says Cespedes. “It’s different because it’s so personal, you feel like you’re there with him going through this crazy journey and then rooting for him because now you’re a part of his world.”
Chad, a Jewish-Italian native of Sacramento, CA, was an All-American wrestler in high school who had two periods of homelessness before beginning his fight career with World Extreme Cagefighting, and later, BAMMA and Bellator. The 18-8 fighter was also the first Combat Jiu-Jitsu champion featured on UFC FightPass and a multiple-time world champion in NoGI.
“My career as an MMA fighter has been nothing short of the Cinderella story,” says Chad. “I’ve had every single up and down that you can think of, and I would change absolutely nothing about it. Easily the biggest obstacle I’ve had to overcome is myself. I had low self confidence and never gave myself enough credit.”
The film follows Chad as he prepares for his final fight and he transitions to become a sought after coach for other fighters—something he grows to love—including Josh Barnett, Lyota Machida and Cuban Olympian Maikel Perez.
“Fighting has given me a platform to teach others to ‘fight’ for whatever they want in life,” Chad says. “It’s time to pass the torch. Fighting is selfish. It’s time to be more selfless.”
Amidst the action in the film, the hard training and the hard truths, Chad coaches some young fighters and eventually faces a tragedy that hammers home, to both Chad and the viewer, the dire need for more care for mental health in combat sports.
This is the second documentary based on Chad’s career — the first was Occupation: Fighter (2011), made while Chad was at his peak. That movie also featured Josh Barnett as well as Meisha Tate, Mac Danzig and Dan Hardy.
About Chad, the great Brazilian UFC and Bellator champion Machida says: “When I’ve invited Chad to be my coach, he is in charge of the grappling part. But what he really teaches you is how to transition to the ground, how to attack during the take down. He’s so devoted, he does his best all the time. He was born for this: to take care of people. He’d give his shirt to you. I consider him part of my team and I consider him part of my family.”
Life of a Fighter: The Journey is presented by Other Peoples Children [OPC] and its share of PPV proceeds are committed to help TEAM USA grappling team go to the UWW World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia. OPC also presents The Grappling Network [TGN] events on FITE, including the recent 16-man Submission Only Series event which aired on July 31st and is available for replays.