HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES -- Nick Newell took a tough sport and showed he was enough tougher. Now there's a new movie about this one-armed MMA fighter.
It's based on the inspiring true story of a young man who came to be known as "Notorious Nick."
Newell went from high school wrestling to the world of MMA fighting, with a shot at becoming a champion. He does it all as a one-armed fighter who has a lot of fight in him.
Cody Christian from "Pretty Little Liars," "Teen Wolf" and "All American" has top billing and plays the title role.
"I just got goosebumps when you said that," said Christian when reminded of his role in the film. "I've been fighting to get this opportunity just to kind of, you know, show people that I can step into the shoes of leading a film and I can put that weight on my shoulders and deliver."
"He challenged us way more than we were challenging him in terms of determination, heart and compassion," said co-star Kevin Pollak, who plays a fight promoter.
Barry Livingston is his wrestling-turned-MMA coach.
"I think in the early stages, you know, he was like, well, you know, this will be an interesting experiment and he clearly saw that Nick excelled in wrestling," said Livingston. "I didn't have to work hard at all. You know, he was there. He was there every day bringing it emotionally because it's a heavy, emotional character in addition to the physical stuff."
"As much practice and rehearsal time that we put in to make it look the way it did, I definitely took a few licks, a couple punches in the face, lots of bruisings, lots of scrapes," said Christian.
And this film was shot in about a month.
"I would like to take this moment to thank the producers personally for reminding me that money isn't everything," joked Pollak. "It was an honor to be paid in coffee and doughnuts."
"Notorious Nick" hits theatres on Friday. It'll also be available on demand and streaming on most platforms.