MMA is a growing sport, and it's still got a lot of growing left to do.
Athletes have sited financial issues as the reason for leaving the sport.
Top athletes have been busted for performance enhancing drugs due to the rigorous training and travel schedule. Not to mention the grueling nature of the sport.
Fans around the world increase daily and the UFC is broadcast in over 130 countries.
The UFC's economic impact when they bring an event to a new city is unquestionable.
MMA has made its mark, and is still growing. With all the negatives and positives there are stories now to be told, that means it's time for some amazing documentaries.
We've all heard of the Striking Truth, an amazing look at the climb of Georges St-Pierre.
A film that was put together by Steven J. Wong and James Hergott, who is now releasing his next showcase "Generation Iron".
Fightville is another excellent documentary that caught up and coming star Dustin Poirier before he started getting his name out in the UFC world. Poirier is fresh off a win in his last UFC outing, has a little work to do, but may one day still contend for the title.
TapouT crew just released the story of Evan Tanner, it's a heart wrenching journey and worth a watch by fans and by anyone with family going through tough times.
The list is long, and impressive.
I recently had a chance to sit down and watch the newest movie in a growing list of outstanding MMA documentaries: "Scheduled Violence" by filmmaker BJ Verot.
Scheduled Violence followed one of Winnipeg's local MMA Icon's to the silver screen.
Joe "El Dirte" Doerksen has been an innovator in the Winnipeg scene and a force to be reckoned with in international MMA competition.
He has fought some of the very best in the industry, and won. It was time for a guy that is this hard working to be recognized, and to see his story in his words played on TV and on the big screen in select theatres.
I asked Verot why he chose to make the film about Doerksen.
"Joe is a UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) veteran with a prolific list of fights already to his credit, and he's had more fights than any other Canadian in the sport of MMA," said Verot.
"Having just been cut from the UFC, easily the biggest promotion in the world, he was contemplating retirement when we crossed paths. Joe wanted to make a final run in the ultra-competitive world of MMA. He was at a point in his career that was very compelling, and he was an easy choice as a subject for the film. It was a very high stakes, all-or-nothing approach to the doc."
Since the film has made it to the big screen and has created a buzz what's next?
"I am co-founder of Strata Studios, alongside my business partner Brad Crawford, who served as Editor and Director of Photography on the film," said Verot. "I'm currently developing an MMA doc series that is very character-driven, and has an interesting angle of approach to set it apart from the typical MMA shows that are currently out."
So there is more to come from a team of MMA fans and producers, which is great news for those of us who love the sport for the history, training, and commitment it takes to succeed in the game.
As for what Verot thinks about Doerksen's future, he thinks the road could lead back to the big time.
"If Joe comes out with another win at CFC 8, he could very easily find himself back inside the UFC octagon," Verot said prior to the event taking place. "He's also expressed an interest in fighting overseas for the surging company in Asia, OneFC. With a potential three-fight win streak to his credit, I wouldn't count out another run in a major promotion."
This is Joe's passion; it's all he wants to do. That's probably why he does it so well and has over 50 fights to his credit. If you are a fan of MMA and want to watch this outstanding background story "Scheduled Violence" is currently available on MTS TVs Stories From Home, and will be submitted to screen at festivals for the 2014 circuit.
Support local talent; help grow the sport at a grass roots level. It's important as fans that we see and support MMA fighters before they hit the Octagon. Fans build sports; it's our job to be there before the fame. Without fans, no one wins.