It's brutal, it's violent, and yet more and more people are watching the sport that was once banned from television for being too bloody. Now cage fights are prime-time TV events, and mixed martial arts, MMA, is a billion dollar industry, but far from the spotlight of the UFC everyday Americans are stepping onto the mat. What you're going to see over the next several years is guys who were to play baseball, basketball, football will becoming involved in mixed martial arts instead.
We meet an all American guy and a female fighter with big expectations, in places you'd expect and in places you wouldn't, including church where cage fighting and the Bible go hand in hand. For some MMA offers a chance at the dream. For others those dreams have been crushed.
Savant Young is a professional mixed martial arts fighter, a 13 year veteran of the sport. If you type in his name on YouTube it only takes 15 seconds to see how he earned the fighting name "Black Superman", but now Savant now spends more time teaching other fighters than he does knocking them out.
Savant is the co-owner of Fight Academy, a gym in Pasadena, California that specializes in mixed martial arts, or MMA. Gyms like Fight Academy are springing up all over the country, and in 2010 over 2.5 million Americans trained or fought in MMA. Many trained to simply stay in shape, but everyone wants to fight.
When guys walk in fresh off the street saying they want to fight, they've got to go through all the prerequisites, go through the training, because at the end of the day it's a pretty serious consequence to being not prepared to do this sport.
MMA combines multiple combat sports like wrestling, boxing, and Jiu Jitsu. Because competitions are often held in a cage, it is also known as cage fighting. While fans of MMA love the highly technical side of the sport they also celebrate the raw brutality. Fan made knock out videos routinely go viral online.