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Hoo-Rah! Armed Forces Invade MMA TV Shows

(Jason Miller on the unpleasant end of an Army Ranger “stress position.”)

Two new MMA-based television series are being readied for debut — and we’re already liking them better than The Iron Ring and Settle Your Grudge.

— Next Monday through Wednesday at 10 p.m., the mini-series T.O.P. Army Fighter will air on the Military Channel. Each episode features military personnel competing in four-man tournaments — in seven weight classes ranging from flyweight to heavyweight — using modified MMA rules that prohibit knee strikes to the head and leg-locks, among other attacks. The fights will take place in a ring and will employ a scoring system that awards points for things like takedowns and passing guard. Army Ranger and MMA pro Tim Kennedy (IFL, HDNet Fights) will be one of the 28 servicemen competing on the show. Sounds like it could be a bit too complicated for its own good, but hey, it’s fighting on free TV. Now we just have to figure out what the hell the Military Channel is.

GI vs. Pro, a series where MMA-trained armed services members fight professional mixed martial artists, debuts July 19th on Fox Sports Net. The action will be more traditional than T.O.P. Army Fighter‘s, with each match slated for three five-minute rounds inside a circular cage. The GI team will be led by BodogFIGHT/FCC vet Nick Agallar, while the Pros squad will be led by UFC/KOTC vet Chris Brennan. Both lightweights will face off in a match during the show’s September 13th finale.

— In other MMA-on-TV news, Strikeforce on NBC premieres late this Saturday night at 2 a.m., immediately following Poker After Dark. The first episode will focus on Cung Le, and will include his June 2006 fight with Brian Warren. With that time-slot, how could it not succeed!

(Props: MMAJunkie)

Cagepotato Comments

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phil magroin- April 10, 2008 at 12:53 pm
Hold up. I want to set the record straight. There are several legitimate fighters in the army. Tim Kennedy, Damien Stelly come to mind immediately. Let's discuss the Army combatives program;

It's not designed to turn out real fighters. It is designed to give a base and build confidence and interest. Most bases have a real BJJ school right outside the front gate. I went through the program and started training at Fort Bragg with team ROC. i then switched to ALLIANCE in Atlanta when i moved. I do not consider myself an MMA fighter but I am a technically sound BJJ guy.

The guy that started the Army program realized that you can't build a real fighter in like six weeks. Anyone that thinks you can is probably a douche. The only problem I have is all the dudes that train for six weeks and then cover their vehicle in Tapout stickers and have a closet full of Afliction T-shirts. Most of the guys in the military(all branches) think they are a MMA fighter after a minor pittance of training. we get them in our acadamy all the time. Mostly army and marines. they show up talking smack about how they are at a Blue belt level. about half can make it through the warm up. All get tapped or choked by our white belts. Few return. FeniX is correct but there are quite a few legitimate competitors in the military.

Get some Tim......mitch
Steves a tard- April 9, 2008 at 8:47 pm
Nope 100% wrong
Steve- April 9, 2008 at 5:33 pm
Am I getting this right? They're taking soliders, giving them some training, then feeding them to professional mixed martial artists? Seriously?
TheFeniX- April 9, 2008 at 2:46 pm
I'd say look out for some wrestling and possibly not much else if these guys haven't had any other serious training. Talking to a few of my buddies coming back from the Marines and Army: they wrestled almost non-stop in basic (a lot more for the Marines than Army). But that was pretty much where all the emphasis was. Let's face it: their job is to shoot enemies, not knock them out.

For every Brian Stann, there's another military guy who will just get you down and "lay and pray." Still sounds like a good way to pass some time, and I do have the Military Channel.