I just finished watching the documentary "The Smashing Machine" about the life, and fight career of Mark Kerr.
The emotions that go through you, while watching this movie, are unreal. Seeing the guy at his highest highs, and his lowest lows is surreal. It really makes you wonder where Kerr would stand among the all time greats if he would have been able to stay away from the drugs, booze and everything else that brought him down.
But 3 big things stood out to me throughout this whole film:
1. Bas Rutten. Its such a shame that injuries took their toll on Bas to early in his career. You can see the different mind frame that Bas has compared to the other fighters (Coleman, Kerr) though out this film. He knew what it took to stay healthy and what Kerr needed to do to keep himself out of trouble, and pretty much told Kerr that nothing good would come from regressing back to his old Girlfriend.
Honestly, I don't know how Bas hasn't become one of the most sought after trainers. He's a legend of the sport, and he has the background and the technique to improve almost any fighter.
2. Pride and Drugs. There is a lot of talk about the drug use in Pride, but everyone says "prove it". Well, Kerr proved it. The scene after his drug overdose, with him going through his house and filling an entire paper bag up with needles, bottles and whatnot was scary to say the least. We will never know who was doing what, but clearly, fighters were able to do whatever they wanted without any ramifications. It makes you wonder how prevalent drugs were/are in the world of MMA.
3. Old Dogs. Watching Kerr fall from grace in such a short period of time was very depressing. He seemed like a legitimately good guy that made poor choices, which caused him to fall and fall hard. But its easy to understand why current fighters (Chuck, Tito, Sakuraba, Coleman, Shamrock) are having such a tough time letting go of the sport. To go from being an international superstar, top ranked fighter in the world, and making loads of money, to become a retired guy that no one cares about anymore...its sad.
Needless to say, its a very moving film, and one that any MMA or sports fan in general should watch. I'm not sure what Kerr is doing with his life now ( I think selling cars somewhere), and I don't know if he's still with his wife and if he's sober or not, but I sure hope so. He was a very like-able guy who happened to make the wrong choices, and life eat him up and spit him out. But to think about what could have been, especially from a fighter with the ability and physical dominance of Kerr...its very intriguing.