The best (and worst!) MMA movies of all time

Welcome to December, a month that is a veritable treasure trove of good movie releases every year.

Studios big and small stockpile their best stuff for releases late in the year, after many have premiered at the fall film festivals, in the hopes that they’ll stay more fresh in the award voters’ minds.

By this time of the year, if you’re a moviegoer, you may have survived sitting through “Serenity” and “Miss Bala,” “The Hustle” and “Dark Phoenix,” “Men in Black International,” and maybe you’re even a John Travolta fan and found a way to watch his true duds “The Fanatic” (written and directed by Fred Durst from Limp Bizkit, who may or may not have did it all for “The Nookie“) and “Trading Paint.” If you’ve dealt with some of the madness, you’ve earned the good stuff the next couple months, that’s for sure.

So what better time to take a look at some of the movies in the MMA genre than the start of awards season?

It may not be surprising to hear that in the history of non-pure boxing fighting movies, there haven’t been many that would contend for accolades – unless we’re opening it up to the Golden Raspberry Awards (The Razzies), which honor the worst movie achievements, to be generous, every year. Really, only one – our top choice – was ever part of the conversation (and got an Oscar nod) for some of its acting.

Yes, there have been some pretty awful efforts out there – and those seem to be movies that were trying to take advantage of the MMA boom late in the Chuck Liddell-Tito Ortiz era and early in the Anderson Silva-Georges St-Pierre era. You remember the time – you and all your buds were wearing Affliction and TapouT shirts, and if you were, you had to see these movies.

Who knows? Maybe over time, some of them will grow to the point of being so bad, they’re actually good – like “Showgirls” or “Howard the Duck” or “Superman IV.” It’s doubtful, but this is MMA – stranger things have happened.

Let’s take a look, then, at the best (but mostly worst) MMA movies out there.

(And if we left some off the list, don’t be offended – just add them in the comments. For the record, if a movie was purely karate or kickboxing or boxing, etc., we left it off – it had to be reasonably mixed martial arts to make the cut.)

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