Montreal middleweight David (The Crow) Loiseau went before the cameras for "The Striking Truth" documentary. Now the veteran mixed martial arts fighter is getting his own reality TV show.
The K.F. Dischley Group, a New York-based film and TV production company, has signed the former UFC fighter to star in a 13-episode series called "Crowtime."
Production is set to start in the spring, with the series scheduled to debut in the fall.
Loiseau, 32, says the show is about the daily life of an MMA fighter, inside and outside the gym.
"The interaction with fans, family, friends, teammates, other professional fighters, promoters," he said Wednesday. "It’s just going to be the real life of a fighter."
Lee Andrew Myers, CEO and chairman of the Dischley Group, cited Loiseau’s "personality and can-do spirit" as well as his background in choosing the Canadian.
"When you look at his past story and the adversity he had to overcome when he was younger to become who he is, that’s the other aspect," Myers said.
"People are going to be drawn to him because he has such an incredible spirit," he added.
Away from the cage, Loiseau is a big teddy bear of a man — a six-foot slab of muscle with an infectious smile. But the former UFC veteran has not always been able to use all his skills to their fullest.
Still his flashy kicks and moves have lived on in UFC highlight reels, even while the fighter himself looked on from outside the organization.
His spectacular spinning back kick and flying knee finish against Charles (Chainsaw) McCarthy at UFC 53 in June 2005 was immortalized in a highlight reel to the sounds of The Who’s "Baba O’Riley" before UFC pay-per-views.
Loiseau (20-10) is a survivor. As a teenager, he fractured two discs in his back in a car accident.
He is also determined. He learned basic English growing up in Quebec, but wanted it to be perfect. So one summer, as a 17-year-old, he took a job as a councillor at an English camp, forcing himself to learn the language.
He is considered an MMA pioneer in Quebec, making his pro debut in 2000 and entering the UFC in April 2003 when he knocked out Mark Weir at UFC 42.
UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, also featured in "The Striking Truth," says Loiseau is "like a big brother."
Loiseau fought for the UFC’s 185-pound title in March 2006, losing a punishing five-round battle to middleweight champion Rich (Ace) Franklin.
Franklin had his hand raised but at a cost.
He subsequently needed surgery to insert seven screws and a plate in his hand. He also suffered a hairline fracture in his foot and had ligament damage in his left ankle and right knuckle. Not to mention five stitches over his left eye.
Loiseau looked like Franklin had taken a baseball bat to his head. There were no broken bones — and only a few stitches — but it took a week for the facial swelling to subside.
Loiseau returned to the cage before Franklin did.
He was released and recalled by the UFC several times, with "The Striking Truth" documenting Loiseau’s last go-round with the organization.
He lost by TKO to Mario Miranda at UFC 115 in Vancouver in June 2010, with director Steven Wong’s film poignantly showing Loiseau’s confusion and pain afterwards as he contemplated his fighting future while on a hospital gurney.
Loiseau calls himself an entrepreneur as well as an athlete — "The Striking Truth" was his idea.
"There’s a lot more to my story than you saw in ‘The Striking Truth’ and what you see on Wikipedia when you type my name," Loiseau said.
After the Vancouver loss, Loiseau returned to win the Tachi Palace Fights championship in February 2011, defeating Leopoldo Serao.
An August title defence was derailed by a knee injury suffered in the gym. Loiseau has yet to resume full training but hopes to fight this summer.
The fighter came to the attention of the Dischley Group through Ron Chevalier, an executive producer who met him while commodity trading.
The two became friends and Chevalier pitched the reality show idea to Myers.
"I knew David had a lot going for him as far as his background, his drive, his personal ambition," Chevalier said.
Loiseau expects that making the reality TV show will be more "intense" than the documentary movie, which followed he and GSP in spurts.
"But I’ve been fighting for 12 years, so I’m no stranger to cameras."
The four-to six-man production crew will follow him for six to eight weeks — in Montreal and elsewhere as he travels in search of different training challenges.
Other Dischley Group projects include a bio-pic of Lou Pearlman, an inside look at the former manager of N’Sync and Backstreet Boys.