Mojave Diamonds (2023)

To be frank, the moment I laid eyes on the movie poster featuring Rampage Jackson, Chael Sonnen, and Cowboy Cerrone, my initial excitement surged with the anticipation of thrilling on-screen fights.

However, my enthusiasm was somewhat dampened as the film didn’t deliver enough of the action-packed encounters I had hoped for.

Perhaps I had set my expectations too high, yearning for an adrenaline-pumping, MMA-packed action thriller featuring two of my all-time favourite UFC trash talkers. In hindsight, I think I was overly optimistic about what the film had in store…



Directed by Asif Akbar, and released in 2023, it features Chael Sonnen, Chris Maher, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Weston Cage and Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone.


The narrative unfolds as Joe (Chael Sonnen) and his brother Danny (Chris Maher) find themselves entangled in a dangerous web when their other brother, Roy (Donald Cerrone), a former MMA fighter, gets involved with a crime syndicate.

After a high-stakes underground tournament goes awry, Roy’s overconfidence leads to the theft of $50 million worth of illegal diamonds.

In retaliation, the crime boss Julian (Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson) kidnaps Roy’s girlfriend, setting off a chain of events that forces the brothers into a perilous mission to rescue their family.

Accompanying the brothers on their mission, viewers witness high-stakes battles, twists, turns, and the challenges of transporting stolen diamonds.

While the film draws on familiar elements of the genre, including the feuding brothers and the dangerous cargo, it weaves a story of survival, determination, and a yearning for redemption.


The film’s action sequences, as mentioned earlier fall short of expectations. The initial fights lack energy and spark, and even the high jacking scene, which could have been a potential highlight, is weakened by lacklustre execution. The film struggles to deliver the dynamic and engaging fight scenes expected from an MMA-themed action movie.

Also, there simply weren’t enough MMA sequences, and with all the martial arts talent on set, it wouldn’t have been unreasonable to have expected a more realistic, and grittier MMA-style of fighting to help push the narrative forward.

The fight scenes were shaky but fun. I enjoyed the first fight scene at the beginning of the film which in hindsight should have set the pace for the rest of the movie.

An MMA bout in a nightclub seemed to be a perfect catalyst for a great sequence of action and in a lot of ways it was. However, I think more grappling would have really made this scene stand out.

The cheesy moments make this movie at times hard to take seriously, however, this gave a fun feel to it, offering some interestingly amusing moments. There was the start of a scene where we see the disastrous last words “I got this…” only to follow with a swift death.

Clichés and Resolution

“Mojave Diamonds” leans heavily on familiar tropes, from the feuding brothers to the sudden availability of military-grade weapons.

The film introduces plot points and characters that feel more like clichés than fresh contributions to the narrative.

The resolution, marked by a deus ex machina involving an FBI agent, feels forced and unsatisfying, robbing the audience perhaps of a fulfilling conclusion.

But fear not, this is a film that serves up a hilarious cocktail of action, with occasional acting quirks that might make you wonder if the performers accidentally stumbled onto the set of a local comedy club.

Just picture this: fighters-turned-actors attempting to hold back their real-life punch power, because, let’s face it, insurance doesn’t cover flying heads.

This throwback action heist film is like a roller-coaster you accidentally boarded without a seatbelt. It’s overall a fun watch, even if it’s just to see some UFC legends go at it with guns as well as fists.


While “Mojave Diamonds” offers some fun and comedic moments, it falls short of delivering a truly satisfying MMA-themed action film and instead becomes more of a drawn-out actioner.

Put simply, for all the MMA personas and themes within the movie, there was not enough MMA!

Despite moments of potential, including a memorable bowling alley torture scene, the film struggles to overcome its clichéd plot, unimaginative fight sequences, and less-than-unsatisfying ending. That’s a shame because with the right action choreographer, it could’ve been so much better!

Favourite Quotes

  • “You questioning my honor?” – Joe (Chael Sonnen)
  • “I need collateral!” – Danny (Rampage Jackson)
  • “He’s a vagabond fighting people for scraps.” – Joe (Chael Sonnen)


  • “Mojave Diamonds” is available in North America on DVD and digital platforms via Lionsgate, with a UK release under the title “Nevada Heist.”
  • MMA Legends Chael Sonnen, Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone and Quintin ‘Rampage’ Jackson star in this movie.
  • The film’s working title was: Collateral Danger.
  • Cuba Gooding Jr. was under consideration for the character ‘Julian,’ but in the end, the role was given to Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson.
Mojave Diamonds 2023 KUNG FU KINGDOM

Mojave Diamonds 2023 KUNG FU KINGDOM

Film Rating: 4.5/10

Curious to see “Mojave Diamonds” and see what these UFC fighters got up to? Check it out on Amazon

What’s the best MMA movie in your opinion? Let us know in the comments below; Like, share and join in the conversation on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter & Instagram!

If it’s MMA you want, we gotchu covered in the KINGDOM of FU with these Top 5 Fights, Top 10’s, Top 5’s, exclusive interviews, get your training all LIT UP like a Christmas tree in timeless KFK gear, and subscribe for more MIXED MARTIAL FU on YouTube!

Andrew Laoudas

Andrew is a passionate martial arts enthusiast with knowledge on a wide range of disciplines including Nunchaku, Kali, Muay Thai, Wing Chun, and Judo. Driven by a deep love for the arts and a genuine appreciation for action movies, Andrew's focus on Wing Chun and Judo has given him significant experience and expertise. With a unique perspective that blends the excitement of action cinema with the technicality and beauty of martial arts, Andrew seamlessly integrates his passion for martial arts combat, cinema, and MMA. This fusion fuels his evolving journey of self-discovery and he hopes it will serve as inspiration for others to unlock their true potential.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Kung-fu Kingdom