Alvey Kulina

Have you wondered what the life of an MMA fighter's really like? Do you ever consider the extremes they go to in order to put on the performance they do? Have you ever wondered what happens outside of the cage? How they live, or what they sacrifice? Well, one thing is for sure: it's not easy - putting your body through tough training and a rigorous diet, starving yourself of carbs that your body so craves, not forgetting the risk of getting injured during training camp. And, on top of it, cutting weight the day before weigh-ins!

Ryan Wheeler

These are only a few examples of what a fighter has to endure physically. But what about mentally? Emotionally? Spiritually? Sexually? Psychologically? All this is best encapsulated in Byron Balasco's hit TV series, KINGDOM.

Jay Kulina

“Byron Balasco has been at the helm of this gritty mixed martial arts family
 drama since its inception and has showcased heart wrenching topics that 
no other show on television has had the strength to touch.” - Christopher Long

Kingdom has been a big hit among fans. In Season 1, Alvey Kulina (Frank Grillo), a former professional MMA fighter, opens up a gym with his girlfriend Lisa Prince (Kiele Sanchez). He runs the gym, trains fighters and tries to maintain a healthy family life. But all this is very challenging as Jay (Jonathan Tucker) and Nate (Nick Jonas), Alvey's sons, have their own demons to deal with, while Alvey's ex-wife Christina Kulina (Joanna Going) is a drug addict and a prostitute.

Lisa Prince

“The success of season 2 of KINGDOM proves how captivating 
this series is and how viewers have invested and connected with the 
characters’ lives,” said Christopher Long.

The second season is even more enticing as the Navy St gym grows, and Lisa falls pregnant with Alvey's third son. Ryan Wheeler (Matt Lauria) gets back into the cage to see if he still has what it takes to be champion. Christina overdoses, leaving Jay and Nate to find her pale body. Lisa managers a female fighter (Alicia Mendez, played by Natalie Martinez). Jay also has another opportunity to prove himself as he steps back into the cage to fight for a title. With all the drama, excitement and suspense of the first two seasons, the third promises to pack a punch. Have a look at what’s in store.


Things you might not have know about Kingdom's cast

Some of the actors actually have a history in combat sport. Frank Grillo (Alvey) started wrestling when he was seven years old, boxing at 12 and trained Jiu-jitsu with the great Rickson Gracie, even before UFC1. When he was making the movie Warrior, he lived and trained with Greg Jackson for a few months. 

Natalie Martinez (who plays Alicia Mendez, the female fighter at Navy St) started training in boxing and, after a year, turned to Muay Thai, which she has been enjoying for the past five years. During the making of Kingdom, she started her journey in Jiu-jitsu. 

Matt Lauria (Ryan Wheeler) started training with GSP (George St Pierre) for his role in Kingdom.

The show stars a number of real-life MMA fighters, too. You might catch a glimpse of Cub Swanson, Kenny Florian, Joseph Benavidez, Joe Stevenson and many other familiar UFC fighters.

Greg Jackson from Jackson Wink MMA is a good friend of Balasco and also consults as a technical adviser and fight choreographer on the show.

We give it a solid 8 out of 10 punches! POW! 

Watch season 3 of Kingdom on Showmax. You can also catch up with seasons 1 and 2 if you missed out. Showax offers a 14-day FREE trial and there after a full subscription for only R99 per month. Visit
Christina Kulina
Nate Kulina


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