10 must-see combat sport movies - Sports Involve

Sports Involve

10 must-see combat sport movies

Professional athletes and sportspeople require an outrageous amount of stamina, hard work, and dedication, but for those in combat sports, it is a completely different ball game. Perusing combat sports like MMA and boxing doesn’t only require hard work and discipline, it quite literally requires blood, sweat, and tears, but also an unbreakable spirit.

Of course, when we see movies that are made about combat sports, we see actors pulling off a boxer or MMA star role and doing the superhero stuff in the ring, we can’t help but admire this. Here is a list of huge Hollywood combat sports movies that you should give a watch.

1. The Rocky series, 1976-2003

rocky balboa movies

Rocky, 1976

Rocky is thought to be the greatest boxing movie of all time with global superstar Sylvester Stallone playing the lead role of Rocky Balboa. The Rocky film series portrayed the hard life and effort of a boxer to the big screen, and the overwhelming response to the films opened up a whole world of combat sports movies, which also found their footing in the cinema world.

Watch the trailer HERE

2. Warrior, 2011

warrior movie 2011

Warrior, 2011

Warrior was a modern film starring Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton playing two estranged brothers who are forced to come to terms with each other and their pasts when entering into their MMA career. The movie is mainly remembered for its emotional and dramatic sequences which gives the plot a padded back story, compared to the regular combat sports film which is just about mindless punching and kicking.

Watch the trailer HERE

3. Million-dollar baby, 2004

million dollar baby movie

Million Dollar Baby, 2004

The 2004 drama film, which was produced by Clint Eastwood and had Hilary Swank in the lead role, narrates the journey of an underdog boxing trainer who is on a quest to make up for the mistakes of his past. During the film, the trainer helps a female boxer achieve her dream of taking up professional boxing. The film went onto win four academy awards, largely due to the brilliance of Clint Eastwood and Hilary Swank.

Watch the trailer HERE

4. The Never Back Down series, 2008-2011

Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown

Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown, 2011

Never Back Down was a film series that took youngsters obsession with MMA to a whole other level. Once the first part of the film series was released in 2008, college fights reached a new level and hooks, armbars, submissions, and knockouts became every college guy’s fantasy and the norm of the day. Sean Faris’ character from the first instalment of the series remains the fan-favourite to this day. The second instalment, Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown sent audiences into disarray with the huge fight scene starring Evan Peters, Michael Jay White, Dean Geyer, and many others.

Watch the trailer to the first movie HERE

5. The Undisputed series, 2002-2010

undisputed movie 2002

Undisputed, 2002

Undisputed is an American sports drama starring Wesley Snipes, Ving Rhames, Scott Edward Adkins, and many others in the 3-part series. The first part of the series wasn’t very impressive, but the 2nd and 3rd instalment ensured that this series secured a spot on our list. The most memorable movie being the 3rd film in 2010, Undisputed 3: Redemption, the much-loved character of Yuri Boyka, played by MMA star Scott Edward Atkins, appeared as the main protagonist and gave the audiences a treat in terms of MMA.

Watch the trailer to the first film HERE

6. The Karate Kid series, 1984-2010

The Karate Kid movie

The Karate Kid, 1984

The Karate Kid series is about martial arts, mainly Kung-Fu, but the story of both parts of the series deals intricately with the relationship between the master and the disciple, during the teachings of Kung-Fu. While the first instalment of the film series is well known and iconic, most of this generation will be too young to have watched it. The 2010 movie starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan struck a chord with the younger generation, and the impact of the film was also heightened by Jaden Smith who ultimately stole the thunder from Jackie Chan with his impressive portrayal of a child who finds comfort and inspiration in martial arts.

Watch the trailer HERE

7. Blood and Bone, 2009

Blood and Bone, 2009

Blood and Bone, 2009

Blood and Bone, 2009’s big action release, was directly released onto DVD format, but it only really became popular and found its fandom when it was broadcast on television. Michael Jai White played the lead role, an ex-con who embarks on a journey of underground fighting where he takes the world by storm to fulfil a promise to a fallen friend. The brute force of the character played by Michael Jai White took his onscreen presence and his image as an action movie star to the next level.

Watch the trailer HERE

8. The Fighter, 2010

the fighter movie 2010

The Fighter, 2010

Most big-time action stars have boxing movies as a must-do on their list, so there was no surprise when Christian Bale signed up to star in The Fighter. One thing that did grab viewers’ attention is the shocking physical transformation that Christian Bale underwent to play the character Dicky, a skinny, balding, and drug-addicted boxing trainer of his younger brother, Micky, played by Mark Wahlberg. During the film, Mark Wahlberg’s character went on to become a championship boxer, and with the spirited performance of the pair, the film was nominated for 7 Academy awards.

Watch the trailer HERE

9. Real Steel, 2011

real steel movie

Real Steel, 2011

At a time where boxing movies were becoming repetitive and boring, Real Steel burst onto the scene and upped the game, complete with its steel grinding avatar boxing storyline. Replacing the common routine of human boxing, Shawn Levy’s Real Steel introduced a futuristic side of boxing and what it may hold. The movie is also remembered for its dramatic father-son relationship between Hugh Jackman and Dakota Goyo.

Watch the trailer HERE

10. IP Man, 2008

ip man 2008

IP Man 2008

Bruce Lee is commonly considered as one of the gods of martial arts, but not many know much about his beginnings in combat sports. The 2008 film, IP Man, is a semi-biographical martial arts film featuring Bruce Lee, based on the life of Lee’s master. The film follows the events of Ip’s young life in the Japanese city of Foshan during the Sino-Japanese war and is a fan favourite for authentic Kung-Fu lovers.

You can watch the trailer HERE

These films are a must see for all combat sports fans, so why not grab the popcorn and have yourself a combat sport movie marathon this weekend? If you enjoy these films like we do, and want to master the moves yourself, why not check out our club directory to find a combat sports club in your local area.


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