"We can claim the stories of Randy Couture or Chuck Liddell could deliver movie magic and maybe that's true. But before the American consuming public can accept the movie narrative of Couture and Liddell's achievement, they have to believe the narrative of the MMA fighter is possible at all."
I read that in Luke Thomas' review of "Warrior" and it made me ponder. I'm not sure I accept the premise that there must be MMA movies with fictional characters before the viewing public can fully enjoy biopics. If the film is concerned with telling a fascinating story - not glorifying the subject - does it really matter if it's about a real person? It's too early for an MMA film in the mold of "Cinderella Man", but is anybody going to complain about "Raging Bull"?
But what interested me most was the off-hand references to Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell. Those are his go-to examples for fighters that interest people, which may have more to do with large fanbases than legitimately compelling life stories. I think my primary example of a dramatic life story would be Vitor Belfort. The plot for the Vitor Belfort movie is probably writing itself in your head as you read this sentence.
Or what about Royce Gracie? Kazushi Sakuraba? Bas Rutten? Fedor? Frank Shamrock? Evan Tanner? Brock Lesnar? There is no shortage of guys that spring to mind.
So here is a question for the BE community: if you were to write (or commission) a film about a mixed martial artist, who would it be? If you're feeling ambitious: what are the plot points? What's the climax? Who are the principle characters?