Premieres Friday, September 15 at 9 PM ET/PT on SHOWTIME
“TOUGH GUYS” is a feature-length documentary that explores origins and the development of the mixed martial arts (MMA) movement. Executive produced by critically acclaimed filmmaker Morgan Spurlock and Academy Award winner Ross Kauffman, the film tells the story through the colorful first-hand accounts of scrappy brawlers and amateur promoters, TOUGH GUYS brings to life the loosely regulated mixed martial arts competitions of 1980s Pittsburgh that served as a precursor to what has now become a global phenomenon.
"When I was around 12 years old, my dad took me to my first tough man competition in my hometown of Beckley, W.V., and I have to admit, it was one of the greatest things I'd ever seen,” said Spurlock. “So when the opportunity came along for me help tell the story of its origin, I jumped at the chance. ‘TOUGH GUYS’ is an unbelievable tale about the creation of this one of a kind, man against man, skill against skill, sport of the ages. Films like this are rare discoveries, and the characters behind them are even more incredible. If you like watching guys get punched in the face as much as I do, then you are going to love this movie."
These personal accounts of the original “tough guys” – fighters, promoters and fans who were entrenched in early MMA in western Pennsylvania – are coupled with archival footage and rarely seen photos to portray a grassroots competition that both skirted the law and paved the way for the development of modern mixed martial arts.