By Bryan Armen Graham
December 01, 2011

A weekly docuseries following the lives of three amateur MMA fighters will premiere on MTV in January, the television network announced today.

Caged will follow the lives of three young adults pursuing MMA careers in small-town Louisiana. Biagio Messina, one of the shows two executive producers, says the show will be like a real-life Friday Night Lights. The series is set to premiere Jan. 9 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

“Like all great TV, Friday Night Lights focuses on great characters and strong story. Football is the backdrop, and not the focus of each episode,” Messina wrote on the blog he shares with co-executive producer Joke Fincionen. “In the same way, Caged on MTV is about the small town life and the struggles young adults face, while the cage fighting itself is the (very exciting) backdrop.”

The show will feature Daniel, a hometown hero who struggles to live up to his “Golden Boy” nickname; Wes, a father of a six-month-old son with a girlfriend who wants to leave town; and Danger, a naturally talented fighter with family issues.

Caged will be a rare portrait of the lives of amateur fighters who aren’t necessarily on track to make it in the world of professional MMA. Fight fans usually aren’t exposed to MMA amateurs until they’ve almost made it pro, like the contestants on the UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter reality series.

The series will likely reach a broader television audience than documentaries about similar topics such as Fightville, since it will be aired by the same company that shows Bellator fight cards on MTV2. Caged will also start to air internationally on MTV channels in May 2012.

-- Stephen Boyle

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