Fight club students' TV show aiming to be a knock out with viewers

9 April 2018

Mixed Martial Arts series created by UCLan students and staff is on national television

The world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is being brought to national television screens thanks to undergraduates and staff from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). 

Final year student Samuel Liles and Adam Robson, course leader in television production and media production, have created a series of 10 shows covering the hugely popular sport and they are being aired on Front Runner, a sports channel available on Sky and Freesat.

Samuel, a final year BSc (Hons) Media Production student, has worked with a small team to build a set, film fights, edit clips, present the shows and direct the episodes. The pre-recorded 30-minute shows are the culmination of his final year project.

The 22-year-old, from Kingston-upon-Thames, said: “Sharefight Presents: The UK Fighting Championships is a magazine show for MMA, just like Match of the Day is for football. MMA is huge around the world but there’s nothing like it out there for such a rapidly growing sport.

"Thanks to Adam’s massive influence and industry contacts we’ve been able to put into action what we’ve talked about for ages. To have the programmes broadcast on a national platform is incredibly exciting and a great end to my University life."

MMA is a combination of boxing, wrestling and tae-kwon-do. The series features fighters from all over the UK and Europe, while the bouts have taken place in Preston’s Guild Hall. They have already had more than 9 million views on the YouTube page and more than 50 million views from Lad Bible, UniLad, ESPN Asia and

Samuel, who has spent the past two summers directing live tennis matches at Wimbledon and the US Open for Hawkeye Innovations, studied on UCLan’s media foundation course to get a flavour of the subject before enrolling on to the three-year degree.

He said: “I studied psychology, sociology, chemistry and biology at A-Level so not the usual subjects which automatically make you think of a career in the media. The foundation was great because I learned how it all worked and I fell in love with television production. I now dream of being a live sport and event director and this work can only help boost my portfolio.”

"It’s the first televised TV sports series created by UCLan so it’s a fantastic achievement for everyone involved in the project. I’m immensely proud of this work because it’s industry quality and that is being recognised on a national level."

The three-month collaborative project also involves TV production student Chloe Francom, journalism student Molly Brewer, acting student Emily Glover, and media interns Joe Willetts and Aleks Zdan-Michajlowicz. The shows are airing on Fridays at 10.00pm on Sky channel 468 and Freesat channel 250.