The Hurt Business won't tell a story that veteran fight fans haven't heard a thousand times before — a "brutal" sport makes a meteoric rise from carnival show to being banned on PPV to worldwide phenomenon. What the documentary from Generation Iron director Vlad Yudin does well is capture a moment in time unlike other, more focused documentaries in the MMA space.
In The Hurt Business, you see the rise and fall of both Jon Jones and Ronda Rousey in an intimate portrait not seen elsewhere. You visit Gary Goodridge as he works through years of brain trauma, and Joker Guymon as he tries for one last fight. We even see Rashad Evans and his various knee injuries play out in real time.
For all the heartbreak, it's still a positive look at a hard sport that's as unforgiving to its stars as its newcomers and has-beens. You simply don't get access to many of MMA's best and brightest like you do in this film.
That doesn't mean the movie is flawless. It feels disjointed and esoteric, but can still scratch the itch of MMA fans who want to experience the behind-the-scenes of their favorite sport. There's enough here for the casual fan, and certainly enough for the die-hard who sat slack-jawed while seeing MMA's greatest fighters fall from grace.