Fight Xchange Episode 1 Recap – The Beginning
The show starts in Rio de Janeiro at Nova Uniao. They explain that Nate Stark, Kira Kirsh, and Michael Imperato are Canadians who will be training in the club where UFC champion Jose Aldo, Bellator contendor Marlon Sandro, and Bellator champion Eduardo Dantas train.
Nate Stark says he is “a perfectionist”, while Imperato says he is a “good fighter” and can “train anywhere in the world.” Kara Kirsh says a fighter needs to be mentally strong.
Then viewers meet the Brazilians Felipe Olivieri, Claudia Gadelha, Daniel Almeida, who are shown in Canada cheering on a fight at a hockey game. They will be training with Sam Stout, Chris Horodecki, Mauricio “Veio” Amado, among others.
Claudia is going to “fight for her life” and she will miss birthdays of her family to become a better fighter. Daniel fights to give his son and wife a better life.
This episode occurs in Toronto at the boxing gym where George Chuvalo trained. It is being renovated to become a new gym – Evolucao Thai run by Mauricio “Veio” Amado. Veio’s brother Dida is opening a similarly named club in Brazil. Both brothers trained at the famous Chute Boxe academy. They show highlights of Vale Tudo fights and how people around the world went to Chute Boxe to train where “each session was a battle.”
Mauricio picked Kara, Nate, and Mike to represent his Evolucao Thai gym. Kara (26), who is very well-spoken, says she occasionally trains up to five hours a day against people who are much stronger than her. They show her boyfriend Mitch, a bodybuilder, who does not ever go see her train, which Kara prefers. Kara already knows that Aline Nery will be her opponent. She knows little about Aline.
Nate Stark (24) is fighting to make his kids and family proud. He wants to accomplish something. Nate has four children and wants to use MMA to help meet his responsibilities with the three mothers of his children. The first time he met his father was in jail when his dad was serving time for attempted murder. In 1992, his dad was killed in a shooting in Toronto. Nate wants to be there for his children all the time. MMA is his way of “staying on the positive path.”
Mike Imperato (22) is the experienced fighter in the group. Mike says he is respectful and humble and they show him cruising in his Hummer. He tells his hair stylist in Woodbridge that he will find his future wife in Brazil. He lists charges he got while a teenager including assault, robbery, criminal negligence that caused bodily harm, dangerous driving, and hit and run. Mike sees MMA as a way to improve himself and stay out of trouble.
The trio of Canadians train in front of friends and family before leaving for Brazil. It turns out that Mike, who is from Xtreme Couture, is a late replacement to the show. Nate and Kara know each other well, but Mike is unknown to them.
Next episode: The trio land in Brazil, get accomodations, and Kara is upset with someone she is calling ‘sexist’.