Title Shot: Into the Shark Tank of Mixed Martial Arts

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Title Shot: Into the Shark Tank of Mixed Martial Arts [Paperback]

Kelly Crigger
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 15, 2008
In 2007, Army Officer Kelly Crigger embarked on a year-long journey into the shark tank of mixed martial arts competition. His quest was two-fold—to learn what drove fighters to put themselves through years of grueling training and into the cage, and to uncover the mainstream media's reason for focusing on the seedier side of the sport and its athletes. To dig for answers, he lived in five of the top MMA training camps in the United States, hung out at the toughest tournaments the sport had to offer, and spent time with the biggest names in the sport, including UFC President Dana White. Title Shot divulges the truths and personal stories he unearthed. Laced with sarcasm, humor and a touch of daredevil bravado, Crigger sheds a never-before-seen light on a misunderstood sport and its combatants. Whether you're a hardcore MMA junkie or a casual fan, Title Shot will have you hanging on the edge of your seat.

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Title Shot: Into the Shark Tank of Mixed Martial Arts + Total MMA: Inside Ultimate Fighting + No Holds Barred: The Complete History of Mixed Martial Arts in America
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kelly Crigger is an officer in the US Army and was deployed in Afghanistan with the 3rd Special Forces out of Fort Bragg. He has orchestrated seminars for the troops with some of the top mixed martial arts fighters, and he is a freelance journalist for several MMA magazines, including Real Fighter.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Victory Belt Publishing (July 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098150440X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981504407
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,494,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kelly Crigger enlisted in the Army as an Infantryman in 1986 and was commissioned in 1991 after graduating the University of Kansas with a degree in bartending and pizza delivery. Miraculously he was commissioned as an active duty officer (probably because all the good ones got out during the 1990 drawdown) and spent the next 24 years roaming the world with units like the 3rd Infantry Division and the 1st Special Forces Group. Finally Crigger was forced to pay his dues and was assigned to a desk job in DC managing R&D projects. He has an advanced degree in International Relations, so he's edumacated (read: got diploma online from Jamaica) and when you combine that with all the free time he has sitting behind a desk, it results in a lot of extramural writing. He has a penchant for cool words used correctly in a sentence, so if you ever meet him and sneak nefarious, endogenous, or arriviste into the conversation you'll make a friend for life.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a true depiction of MMA July 23, 2008
Author Kelly Crigger does a phenomenal job of depicting these athletes candidly and in their own environment. He captures the indomitable spirit it takes to compete in MMA, but also the manages to convey the various personalities of the fighters he meets. It is obvious Crigger is a fan of the sport but he doesn't get all starry-eyed and fanboyish about the MMA stars he comes across. Title Shot is funny and insightful and a must-read for any MMA fan.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars [...] December 10, 2008
Into the Shark Tank of Mixed Martial Arts
by Kelly Crigger (Victory Belt)
© Marc Wickert November 19, 2008

Title Shot is to mixed martial arts what Jack Kerouac's On the Road was to bebop, with author Kelly Crigger taking readers on an up-close tour of some of America's most successful MMA gyms, where they encounter very colorful coaches and competitors.

Crigger is a lieutenant colonel in the US Army, and served in the 1st Special Forces Group and the 3rd Infantry Division as well as completing the Army's Ranger School. His military career has included trips to the holiday destination of Afghanistan. Knowing firsthand about action, Crigger takes a trek across the US on a quest to see what makes mixed martial artists tick.

Title Shot opens with a visit from BJ Penn who "wants to do something for the troops" before he hooks up with Crigger. Of BJ, the author says, "He was gracious, humble, and genuinely happy to spend time with soldiers of Fort Lewis, Washington."

Like Kerouac's Dean Moriarty (Neal Cassady), Kelly Crigger then commences his yearlong journey across America, starting at Matt Lindland's Team Quest in Portland, Oregon, then travels to Cesar Gracie's, David Terrell's and Ivan Salaverry's gyms in Northern California, before cruising down to spend time with Greg Jackson in Albuquerque. Kelly leap-frogs up to Somerville, Massachusetts, to take in Mark DellaGrotte and his Sityodtong Muay Thai Academy, where Crigger plays some very amusing mind games with Mark using a stone dragon ornament that adds a lot of humor to the book.

Readers get more firsthand experience of MMA when they're escorted to IFL finals in Florida, and Coconut Creek's American Top Team gym.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Irreverent Portrayal of MMA World .. With Some Flaws August 20, 2008
Ex-Army Ranger Kelly Crigger produces an entertaining inside look at the growing world of MMA. MMA fans will likely find this book a delight. His approach is to visit and write about the top MMA training venues around the country, with some side trips to the US Army Combatives tournament, the IFL and UFC 79.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and have only three criticisms, two quibbling, one more substantive.

First, the omission of Miletich Fighting Systems in Bettendorf, IA is huge. So many elite fighters come from there, it's astonishing that one can tour the top training venues and skip over Bettendorf. It's like writing about Olympic highlights from Beijing and not mentioning Michael Phelps.

Second, in the effort to be funny, Crigger over-uses some humor conventions. Someone is "as grim as an IRS agent on April 15th." He was out of it like a ... And on and on and on. Nearly every page has one of these would-be witticisms. Some are amusing but after a while it gets tiresome and repetitive, repetitive, repeti - oh, well, you get the idea.

Third, at times Crigger - the ex Army guy - feels obliged to explain in asides how various ,members of the training dojo correspond to the hierarchy of the US Army. Ok, so...? Why should the reader care? He is shoehorning his Army experience into the book in a way that does nothing to add to the story.

Don't get me wrong, though. This is a fun book and Crigger takes at once a respectful yet puckish approach to the world of MMA. He takes the sport seriously but not too seriously.

Even with these reservations, I WOULD recommend "Title Shot"!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome look into the personal side of MMA July 23, 2008
"Title Shot" is the rare book that combines the author's unique blend of humor and passion for MMA to deliver equally to the hardcore fans and the novice learning about the sport. Crigger wanted an inside look to see what makes MMA tick, so he devoted a year to gaining the answers. He traveled to five separate camps, the IFL Finals, the Modern Army Combatives Tournament and UFC 78. Each time he hung out with the fighters and trainers, even getting a two-hour interview with UFC President Dana White. Throughout the book, Crigger blends just enough history on the sport to educate the novice without overwhelming the expert. But the most unique facet of this book is his insight into the personal side of the sport. He spent his time in the camps really getting to know the fighters and what drives them. This insight, coupled with some of the funniest sarcasm I've ever read, makes "Title Shot" a superb read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for MMA July 2, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent look into Mixed Martial Arts. Kelly Crigger does a great job of not only getting involved in MMA itself, but also the minds and philosophies of the fighters. He spends time at many of best gyms in the country and shows firsthand what makes fighters tick. Great book that I highly recommend for any interested in MMA.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun read
Really enjoyed this one. There was a story at each setting to go along with the tale of Crigger's journey to find out what makes MMA fighters do what they do. Read more
Published 19 months ago by M. Redmond
2.0 out of 5 stars not worth a shot
i, like most of you looking at this book love mixed martial arts. but this book is nothing more than some boring guy trying to decide if he likes the sport or not, and trying to... Read more
Published on April 1, 2011 by dantct
5.0 out of 5 stars An insider's guide into mixed martial arts competition seldom...
TITLE SHOT deserves ongoing and repeated recommendation as an outstanding account of an Army officer who embarked on a survey of mixed martial arts competition to learn what drives... Read more
Published on December 20, 2009 by Midwest Book Review
4.0 out of 5 stars See the side of MMA you can't get in UFC promos...
In his book, Title Shot, Lieutenant Colonel Kelly Crigger documents his visits to some of the most prestigious camps and events in the mixed martial arts world in this entertaining... Read more
Published on May 7, 2009 by James Kirkland
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good
Nicely done. Written pretty well with an informal personal style that sometimes got too "forced".

Quick read.
Published on February 17, 2009 by wrestler
5.0 out of 5 stars So easy to read, I couldn't put it down
Provided defininte insight into why some of the current and up and coming fighters do what they do. Traveling to five of the top camps in the country LTC Crigger was able to get an... Read more
Published on October 12, 2008 by D. A. Boling
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
My husband bought this book and I decided to give it a shot. It was fantastic!! I have a new love for this sport. The author made it very entertaining. Read more
Published on September 10, 2008 by C. Simon
5.0 out of 5 stars Title Shot: Into The Shark Tank Of Mixed Martial Arts
Great book, very entertaining, informative, and humorous. I ended up finishing it in a few days. The author worked with A LOT of people in the MMA industry when writing this... Read more
Published on September 5, 2008 by Edward N. Watanabe
3.0 out of 5 stars It's OK!
Lt.Col. Crigger did an ok job of going to the places MMA athletes train to interview them. His, adnauseum, accounts of sushi roles was a bit ridiculous. Read more
Published on August 19, 2008 by Rogue Iron Giant
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read on the world of MMA
I was browsing books and saw it sticking out. I picked it up and started to flip through it. I saw all the names I like to read about, BJ Penn, Matt Lindland, Deigo Sanchez, The... Read more
Published on August 4, 2008 by Benjamin L. Bradley
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