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Independent film ‘Spirit’ builds horror story around perils of weight cutting

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A screenshot from the trailer for the independent film “Spirit”
Puzzle House Productions, Vimeo

We often hear about fighters talking about the horrors of weight cutting. Now filmmakers Cole Winokur and Nicolas M. Sato want to bring that struggle to the big screen.

Their independent film Spirit is described as a “sports horror” story presenting the fictionalized account of an MMA fighter who has to cut 12 pounds the night before weighing in.

The project comes along at a time when extreme weight cutting has become a hot topic of discussion among fighters, fans, and the media, with some questioning its deleterious effects on athlete health.

See the teaser trailer below:

A brief description of the film has been released as well:

The story follows Pablo, a mixed martial artist, as he wages an internal battle between self-doubt and determination. Unlike most fight films, Spirit focuses on the fight outside the cage, unveiling a lesser known aspect of the sport — the extreme dangers of cutting weight.

To be competitive, MMA fighters often must cut ten to fifteen pounds in the 24 hours before the official weigh-in. This severe and rapid weight loss is achieved through extreme dehydration, pushing one’s mind and body to dangerous limits. Fighters often cite that they feel on the verge of death during this process. Only those with unbreakable will and determination succeed.

As part of the film’s promotion, UFC veterans Gilbert Melendez and Urijah Faber also lent their opinions on weight cutting:

The filmmakers are planning to set up a Kickstarter on April 4 to fund the project and begin production in June 2018.

Learn more about Spirit at