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Bloodsport Passport

The classic formula for travel TV usually involves thatch, bikinis, and a star with great teeth. Now, some of those teeth are starting to get knocked out as adventure-program producers attempt to cash in on the success of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Over the past year, cable networks have debuted several series that pair exotic adventure with bare-knuck

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Megan Miller

Last One Standing
DISCOVERY CHANNEL

PREMISE:
Six athletes go head to head against indigenous warriors in places like Djilor, Senegal, and the Trobriand Islands.

PRE-FIGHT HYPE:
“Western athletes, remote tribes, real competition. Welcome to full-contact culture.”

IN THE RING:
The winners seem determined by who looks best in a loincloth. Meanwhile, the show struggles to overcome its colonialist premise: Will the Westerners beat the natives at their own game?

DECISION:
TKO’d in December, after one season.

Human Weapon
HISTORY CHANNEL

PREMISE:
Cage fighter Jason Chambers and NFL tackle Bill Duff train with the world’s masters and then fight the local talent. Along the way, they absorb exotic scenery and culture.

PRE-FIGHT HYPE:
Duff is 6’4″, 280 pounds, and, according to his bio, “undefeated in bar fights.”

IN THE RING:
Training sessions are interspersed with historical vignettes, but CGI models illustrating the mechanics of fighting styles add a modern touch.

DECISION:
Winner!

Fight Quest
DISCOVERY CHANNEL

PREMISE:
Cage fighter Jimmy Smith and Iraq vet Doug Anderson train with the world’s masters and then fight the local talent. Along the way, they—wait, this sounds familiar.

PRE-FIGHT HYPE:
Smith defeated Human Weapon host Chambers by heel hook in a 2006 cage match.

IN THE RING:
Smith whines a lot, and Anderson is a meathead, but the grueling training sessions are entertaining.

DECISION:
Still swinging. New episodes are in the works.

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