It’s the world’s toughest sport and cage fighting, or mixed martial arts, is widely thought of as an ultra-violent free for all.
So just who are these men and women choosing to step into the cage and risk it all?
Caged tracks a year in the lives of Claire, Martin and Ali - three ordinary Australians who share this extreme pursuit, to uncover what drives them, and the pressures they face as they balance their daily lives, jobs and families with the demands of the sport.
Caged is a dramatic and sometimes shocking look at the sacrifices cage fighters must make, which for one athlete quickly becomes a life and death situation.
In regional NSW, 36-year-old Claire Todd runs a race horse stud with her father. A newcomer to the sport, Claire is preparing for her first appearance at Brace – Australia’s biggest MMA tournament.
Martin Nguyen is a 26 year-old car mechanic and family man who isn’t chasing personal glory; for Martin, cage fighting is a means to secure his young family’s financial future.
23-year-old Ali Cevik says cage fighting is has kept him out of jail. He’s extremely talented, but will Ali be able to maintain the intense level of self-discipline needed to make it to the top?
Despite enormous global popularity, and a growing fan base in Australia, MMA struggles to shake the stigma of violence, danger and brutality.
Caged, an In Films production (Hitting Home - ABC), gains unprecedented access to fighters, their families and coaches, and unique behind the scenes footage at major MMA events.
Caged goes beyond the controversial headlines into real, personal stories of ordinary Australians turned unlikely athletes as they try to achieve their dream of rising to the top of this extreme sport.