Rattling the Cage Movie Review: Fightville

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012 by Tony Reid

I became aware of this documentary months ago but finding the time to sit down in front of the TV for more than a few minutes has been challenging lately, so I just recently had the opportunity to do so. Let me say that I am glad I decided to buy it when I found it at Best Buy as opposed to Netflixing or Red Boxing it. It is one I will be sure to watch more than once.

We Build Better Men. This is the catch phrase you see on the movie poster and the DVD cover and hear mentioned at a few key moments during the film. It is so much more than a catch phrase in this instance. I can’t imagine a better set of words to throw together to describe what Tim Credeur is doing down in Louisiana at Gladiator’s Academy.

Tim Credeur the multiple time UFC vet and TUF 7 participant is the man behind Gladiator’s Academy in Lafayette, Louisiana. He was the first person in the state of Louisiana to receive a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt. He shows wisdom beyond his years on that mats and away from them in this documentary. His “hands on” approach to those students and team members who have attendance issues, its something I am going to suggest we do at our gym to be completely honest with you.  Credeur seems to run his gym with an iron fist and an open heart all while having the fighter’s best interests in mind.

Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier is the up and coming, rising star and focal point of the documentary as we follow his rise from the local scene in Louisiana to a fight outside of the States to his eventual signing with the UFC. His struggles and sacrifice are clearly documented and you can’t help but root for him every time he steps in the cage. He has a close bond with his mother, who is interviewed a few times during the movie.

Albert Stainback is a likeable young fighter that (like many fighters do) runs into all the trappings of good intentioned fighters that get derailed from the main goal in sight. He has self doubt, personal struggles, responsibilities at work, and most importantly (or most commonly) girl trouble. All of these things are time stealers, taking time away from training, time away from focusing on the goal and will rear their ugly heads at the most inopportune time, just like they do in this film.

Gil “the Thrill” Guillorry is an ex pro wrestler and martial artist who makes his current venture of fight promoting a family affair. He has developed close relationships with the local gyms and fighters in the area and acts as much more than just a promoter and more like a big brother or father figure.

The documentary shows to clear line between the success in this tough as nails industry through 100%, full, unwavering commitment and the failures and struggles of those who are not in it fully. The great ones are all in; those that aren’t will be out…knocked out.

This is a combat sports documentary that clearly does what the great titles in this genre do, it humanizes the sport, educates the average Joe a bit, it portrays the subjects in a fair and honest light, shows the true level of dedication, sacrifice and passion it takes to make it in this sport and draws in the average person, the general public and those who don’t know an armbar from an asshole. Whether you are taking in and reflecting on Credeur’s wisdom, pulling for Stainback to get his shit together and get back in the cage, sitting on the edge of your seat to see if Poirier gets to the big time or even hoping Gil makes his money back in his foray into a bigger arena, the bottom line is this- Fightville will make you feel something. As many of the reviews you will read are written by people who have never set foot in a gym or been hit in the face by anything harder than a rain drop or the saliva from their braces, I can assure you this documentary is a real, gritty and honest look into what it takes to be successful in mixed martial arts.