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Built by Pain

Built by Pain
Short Film

On May 16, 2014, Ring of Combat heavyweight champion Brendan Barrett stepped into the ring to defend his title against Justin Woods. Little did he know how that fight would change him. After recovering from surgery to fix a broken hand with a steel plate, Barrett was cleared to fight. Within moments of the first round, it only took one hit, and his career was jeopardized.

In Built by Pain, a short film by director Noah Shulman, viewers go beyond the octagon and dig deep into the mindset of MMA fighters Brendan Barrett's motivation, overcoming adversity, and the ability to push through the pain. It's a human story that is pinpointed to a key moment that put everything into perspective. Almost two and a half years later Brendan is set to defend the same championship title that almost ended his career.


“My initial perception of Mixed Martial Arts and how it’s portrayed in the media is an image of blood and violence. The goal with this film was to try to dig deeper and break down those walls. I wanted to share a human story that people can relate to and be inspired by, regardless of their knowledge of MMA.

While Brendan has overcome much adversity in his life, the key moment that kept coming in conversation was when his hand shattered a second time with a steel plate holding his bones together during a title fight in 2014.

Brendan thought his career was over. He had to go back to the beginning and used it as fuel to push through the pain and I completely admired that. This entire process was my reaffirmation on why I love filmmaking. During each step of the process I learned more about myself as much as I learned about Brendan. My perception has completely changed on more violent sports like MMA and boxing through this process. I hope others feel the same after watching this film.”

-Director, Noah Shulman


For more information:

ROLE: Direction, Editing


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