Watch a Free Online Screening as a Marine Fights for His Family in MMA Drama 'Born a Champion'

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Sean Patrick Flanery Born a Champion
Sean Patrick Flanery wrote the screenplay and stars in the movie "Born a Champion." (Lionsgate)

Actor Sean Patrick Flanery plays a Marine who's also a legendary Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighter in the new movie "Born a Champion." We're all invited to a free online screening set for Friday, Jan. 22, at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.

Space is limited for this special online-only event, so make sure you sign up as soon as possible. Go to this EventLive link, click “buy” and enter the code BACMILITARY21 to sign up for your free screening. This is a one-time only premiere event, so make sure you watch the stream at the announced time.

The movie presentation will be followed by an in-depth conversation between Flanery, co-star Katrina Bowden and Military.com's James Barber.

Flanery, a longtime practitioner of the martial art, came up with the story for "Born a Champion," co-wrote the screenplay and spent a dozen years raising the money to film his dream project. He poured his heart into this movie, and the evidence is up on the screen.

Check out the trailer below.

Flanery plays Mickey Kelley, a Marine Corps veteran of the first Gulf War. It's the late '90s, and he's an early practitioner of the then-underground martial art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He's got a gig teaching the royal family in Dubai and meets his future wife Layla (Bowden) when he rescues her from a misguided "modeling" gig in the Middle Eastern country.

Mickey is recruited for the underground fights that set the stage for mixed martial arts (MMA)'s rise as one of the world's most popular sports, but his fighting career is derailed when a legendary Brazilian seriously injures Mickey in a bout after he may or may not have cheated.

"Born a Champion" becomes an engaging drama about family and a veteran finding his way before videos leak of his long-ago fight. In the years since that bout, Mickey's opponent Marco has become one of the first MMA stars, and public outcry wants to see a rematch.

Nothing's simple for Mickey and his family, but his journey leads him to a connection with a fight promoter and fellow Marine played by Dennis Quaid. Flanery and Quaid's characters have an intense connection that's only revealed to the characters and the audience in the last reel, but Quaid gets a rousing speech about loyalty and service before the movie's final bout.

If you don't have a chance to join the free screening on Friday, "Born a Champion" will also be showing in select theaters and available for digital purchase or rental from all the usual online stores on Jan. 22; it will be available to buy on Blu-ray or DVD on Jan. 26.

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