'Warrior' aims to be a hit with real-life fighters
Sports movies generally have two built-in problems to overcome.
First, it's not easy to generate suspense when everybody knows the outcome -- the good guy/underdog tends to win.
Second, you can be the best actor in the world, but if you're not an athlete or have never played the sport, it's immediately obvious to sports fans.
"Warrior" -- which was shot in Pittsburgh in spring 2009 -- tackled the second problem head-on. The two leads, Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton, had no experience with mixed martial arts fighting, so the director surrounded them with real MMA fighters. One of them was Nate "The Great" Marquardt, a rugged, bearded 170-pound welterweight from Wyoming. He's a headliner in Pittsburgh's first-ever UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) event Sunday night at the Consol Energy Center.
This time, Marquardt won't be sparring for the cameras with a movie star. He'll be battling tough welterweight Rick "The Horror" Story as part of a four-fight event that will be broadcast live at 9 p.m. on Versus. Though Story is replacing the injured Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, he's a formidable fighter in his own right.
In "Warrior" -- which is supposed to reach theaters in September -- Marquardt has an extended fight scene with Edgerton, who plays Brendan Conlon, a physics teacher who starts fighting when his family gets into trouble financially.
For a guy who's accustomed to beating his opponents into submission, Marquardt was surprisingly comfortable pulling his punches for the camera.
"When you learn how to fight, when you're sparring, you have to learn how to pull your punches," he says. "You can't just go out and hurt your teammate. You do the same stuff over and over. It's like a dance. And eventually, the dance becomes second-nature."
Edgerton ended up being fairly convincing as a fighter, Marquardt says.
"Honestly, he was great. He was a natural. He looked like a fighter, the way he moved and stuff. I think he could have shot the whole scene himself. We didn't really need a stunt double."
Edgerton had some previous athletic experience, and trained extremely hard in Pittsburgh for the role. His style was supposed to be more technical than overpowering, his moves based on jujitsu.
Marquardt says that some knowledge of Brazilian jujitsu, with its emphasis on ground combat, is almost essential for a successful MMA fighter.
"If you don't know Brazilian jujitsu, it's very easy to get you on the ground," Marquardt says. "So, you have to know it. If you don't, you're going to be put on your back and choked out.
"I'm a very well-rounded fighter. I have a black belt in Brazilian jujitsu, but I also have several knockouts in the UFC. I guess my fight style is that I'm very technical, but I like to fight. I like to do damage to my opponent. I feel that's the best way to win -- to do damage."Additional Information:
UFC Ultimate Fighting Championship Live
When: 4:55 p.m. Sunday
Where: Consol Energy Center, Uptown
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Bryant suspension opens doors for other Steelers’ receivers
- Pitt defense enters new season with something to prove
- Steelers notebook: LB Harrison believes Goodell will prevail in Brady ruling
- Fatal accident reported in Jefferson Twp.
- D3 football preview: Last year’s impact freshmen look to avoid sophomore jinx
- Steelers trade 6th-round pick for Jaguars kicker Scobee
- Aliquippa RB Bronaugh to miss season after cancer diagnosis
- No certainty for Pirates’ call-up veterans
- Kid Lit Style Children’s books inspire decor choices
- Steelers WR Bryant’s suspension upheld
- NFL notebook: Bills cut RB Jackson, name Taylor starting QB