Docu enters the cage with MMA athletes

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The bone-crunching sport of mixed martial arts will be coming to the big screen in a documentary produced by ProElite and Bombo Sports & Entertainment.

The feature will follow six to eight top athletes from the EliteXC league, which has appeared on Showtime, in pay-per-view events and live via streaming on ProElite.com. Bombo partner Paul Doyle Jr. is directing and executive producing the film, now in production.

"Theater audiences around the world will soon see through the eyes of these world class fighters why mixed martial arts is the fastest-growing sport in America," said ProElite CEO Doug DeLuca, who also serves as a co-executive producer on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live."

"The film will capture the essence of the MMA world through backstage access as well as a uniquely personal look at what makes these athletes tick," Bombo COO Steven Bram added.

Mixed martial arts is a less violent and more complex version of ultimate fighting, a sport that emerged in the early '90s. It showcases a unique mix of judo, karate, tae kwon do, jujutsu, wrestling, boxing and other established fighting techniques. MMA is still controversial, and events have been approved in fewer than half of U.S states.

Among the EliteXC athletes who will be profiled in the docu is Gina Carano, a successful fighter who recently transitioned from Muay Thai fighting to MMA and was a big hit on the Showtime card in February.

In addition to producing events, ProElite runs ProElite.com, a social community site that webcasts fight videos and brings together fans of several MMA leagues. Showtime and CBS are among the investors in ProElite.

The deal was negotiated by ProElite COO William Kelly and senior vp corporate development Eric Ficksman with Bombo's Bram.
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