Review by MMA Blaster
Riding the success of mixed martial arts, BET has put out a MMA reality show by the name of Iron Ring. The basic premise of the show is that celebrities Ludacris, Nelly, T.I. (pre-house arrest), Lil Jon, Floyd Mayweather and Dipset (Juelz Santana and Jim Jones) own MMA teams of three fighters. There is $100,000 of prize money up for grabs, how it is divided is still a mystery.
The first episode introduces us to the celebs and the coaches. I think I heard Mayweather's and Shonie's nicknames around three or four different times. Luda, Nelly, Lil John, and TI all seem to understand that you need a well rounded fighter to win in MMA. A funny/low point was TI claiming, "I invented that move" when he sees a guillotine performed.
The coaches include UFC vet Shonie Carter (Lil John), Pride/Elite XC vet Krazy Horse Bennett (TI), UFC vet Roberto Traven (Mayweather), UFC vet Jermaine Andre (Nelly), Abdul Mutakabbir (Luda)(Inventor of S.W.A.M.), Novell G. Bell (Dipset)(Claims to have trained in Asia).
The second episode features three teams tryouts and selections. Mutakabbir(Luda) and Novell Bell(Dipset) hold tryouts in New York. Mutakabbir gives a little speech stating he wants guys with heart. Bell gives a hip hop rendition about how fighters might not know him, but fighters gotta try to knock someone out.
Like the first episode, jump cuts, soundbites, and select highlights are replayed over and over. We see a long haired guy pull the same submission three or four times, a karate display that you'd never see in MMA three times, a pull-up routine three times, and the same shot of guys hitting the bag three times.
The NY selections of fighters seems arbitrary as you can't really tell who was good at the tryouts. If you are good at pull-ups, are you a good fighter? At the end fighters are picked (can't tell how many) to compete for the 6 spots the next day. It was quick, but I'm pretty sure there was a Joe Camacho (10-11), Carlos Moreno (4-2) and Wes Sims (19-11) sighting. Alex Aquino (5-2) claims to be undefeated and after complaining he is allowed to fight the next day.
TI's selections are different because he doesn't care about training he only wants to see them fight for a spot. This seems fine with 9 year MMA veteren Krazy Horse Bennett (19-14). He claims to have attended two formal practices in his life. So TI stages his own pro fights in a warehouse and lets the potential fighters brawl it out for spots. The fights were probably legal because there was a policeman in attendance. TI, Krazy Horse and posse sat in the front row and had a great time. Thanks to TI, we are able to see the first ever MMA match on BET as afro wearing Jamie Yager (pretty sure 0-0) won his bout over Antonio Hunter (could be 0-2) with a rear-naked choke.
promo photo of TI
This show desperately needs show at least 1 or 2 complete bouts every 30 minute episode. Less jumpcuts, soundbites, and 2 second highlights shown repeatedly.
*I wonder how Shonie Carter and Krazy Horse would run a practice...