Caged (TV series)

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Caged logo.jpg
Starring Wes Branch
Tony "Primetime" Kelley
Daniel Payne
Matt "Danger" Schnell
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 10
Executive producer(s) Amy Bailey
Joke Fincioen
Biagio Messina
Dave Sirulnick
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) Joke Productions
Original network MTV
Original release January 9 – March 12, 2012
External links

Caged is an American reality television series which aired on MTV. It focuses on a group of young up and coming mixed martial arts fighters in small town Minden, Louisiana. The series premiered on January 9, 2012 on MTV and ran for 10 episodes on its first and only season.


  • Wes Branch (Amateur 3-2)
  • Tony "Primetime" Kelley (3-0)
  • Daniel Payne (Amateur 6-3)
  • Matt "Danger" Schnell (9-2)


No. Title Original air date Viewers / Ratings
1 "Caged pilot" January 9, 2012 (2012-01-09) 619,000 / 0.64[1]
Three different mixed-martial arts fighters from disparate backgrounds try to make names for themselves in Minden, Louisiana. Wes and Danger win their fights while Daniel loses his.
2 "Backlash" January 16, 2012 (2012-01-16) TBA
An injury threatens Wes' next fight; Danger beats another opponent. Daniel loses his fight.
3 "Retribution" January 23, 2012 (2012-01-23) TBA
Daniel wins his fight after a loss in episode 2 on the night of the anniversary of the death of his ex-girlfriend, a Miss Minden winner. Wes still can't fight due to his injury and starts becoming increasingly annoyed by Red, who he feels incessantly nags him. Danger wins his fight while battling his own inner demons about whether or not he can date a woman.
4 "The conflicted" January 30, 2012 (2012-01-30) TBA
John Wesley trains for his comeback fight. Red finds pictures of Wes having sex with other women on his computer and is upset by the pictures, which confuses Wes. Daniel’s mother forces him to break up with Britani because she does not approve of their relationship. Donny, the owner of Karate Mafia, propositions Danger and he reluctantly accepts, leading to doubts among his peers who are not sure if he can take it. The temptation for Daniel proves to be too overwhelming and he agrees to Donny’s advances. John Wesley wins his first fight in three years but panics and ends up in the hospital. Danger also wins his fight.
5 "Birthday fight" February 6, 2012 (2012-02-06) TBA
Daniel and Britani confront their relationship since his mother disapproved of it and agree to remain friends. While training, Daniel discovers that he has shingles and has to cancel his fight. His mother breaks the news to the fight promoter as he can not bring himself to make the call himself. Wes and Red fight over Jax's birthday party and he has difficulty training for his upcoming fight as he is saddled with work and financial obligations. Danger becomes increasingly upset that Lauren keeps showing up at the gym, as he prefers only the company of men while training. We also see his conflict regarding his feelings towards his sister and mother. The gang travels to New Orleans to watch Wes fight. Wes struggles to make weight. He then loses his fight by decision on his son's birthday.
6 "Life takes its toll" February 13, 2012 (2012-02-13) TBA
Daniel fights a rival from his hometown. Danger starts to get depressed about his most recent feelings towards his mother.
7 "Life is short" February 20, 2012 (2012-02-20) TBA
Danger tries to lead Karate Mafia, but no one really pays attention to him. He attempts to get signed by local sponsors, but no one is interested at all, having difficulty understanding him. Daniel and Dane spend a night out together as he confesses that he has difficulty relating to women, which he blames on his ADD. Wes drinks before his fight and does not train. When he attempts to drop 14 pounds in 1 day to make weight by running and spending extended periods of time in a sauna, he starts to feel ill and is hospitalized. John Wesley wins his fight.
8 "Second chances" February 27, 2012 (2012-02-27) TBA
Daniel goes to the beauty salon to get his highlights in his hair done, where the girls tell him he needs to start dating. He asks out a waitress he meets and takes her on a date to a maze in a cornfield, which bores her. Danger trains with a group of professional fighters which pushes his limits. Tony trains for his first fight since a bar fight left him with an orbital fracture. Wes and Red start sleeping together again. Tony and Danger are the only ones to fight in this episode and both win.
9 "Second chances" March 5, 2012 (2012-03-05) TBA
Danger visits his dad in Florida and the fighters form a new training team.
10 "Finale and the End of the Road" March 12, 2012 (2012-03-12) TBA
Tito Ortiz goes to watch the fights in Louisiana looking to discover new and previously unknown fighters. Daniel takes a girl on a date and bonds with her when she makes him feels validated for his ADD and OCDs, as she accepts his condition as her brother suffers from the same afflictions. Tony wins his fight while Daniel loses his. Wesley quits drinking and starts training for the first time in his life, which leads him to choke out his opponent fairly easily, being in by far the best shape of his life. Danger wins his fight against a tough adversary by using an arm bar.

Impact of the show[edit]

Although the show is typically panned by MMA fans, it catapulted Danger to the professional ranks after being discovered by Tito Ortiz. Punishment Athletics endorses the fighter and now sells a t-shirt with his nickname on it.[2] In November 2012, he won his professional debut against fellow newcomer Ryan Hollis by a split decision victory by a vote of 29 to 28.[3] Tony Kelley made his professional debut in April 2013 winning by first round tko against Kody Thrasher.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

From Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly:

From Lucas High of TVGEEKARMY:

From Stephen Boyle of Sports Illustrated:

From Josh Nason of Bloody Elbow:

From Eric Ball of The Bleacher Report:


  1. ^ "MTV's "Caged" draws disappointing ratings : The Business of MMA". 2012-01-13. Retrieved 2012-01-30. 
  2. ^ Stupp, Dann. "Although future of MTV 'Caged' is uncertain, Matt 'Danger' Schnell committed to career". Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  3. ^ "Ryan Hollis vs. Matt Schnell "Controversial Decision" at Legacy FC 14". Retrieved 2013-05-07. 
  4. ^ "Fight Path: Tony Kelley continues career after MTV reality show". Retrieved 2013-04-25. 
  5. ^ Stransky, Tanner (2012-01-09). "'Caged' premiere review: MTV goes MMA | Ken Tucker's TV |". Retrieved 2012-01-21. 
  6. ^ Tuesday, January 10, 2012, by Lucas High (2012-01-10). "Caged, "Episode One": MTV's promising new reality show about cage fighters". Retrieved 2014-03-10. 
  7. ^ "MTV's 'Caged' follows amateur MMA fighters | Counterpunch -". 2012-01-06. Retrieved 2014-03-10. 
  8. ^ Slack, Jack (2012-01-09). "Review: MTV's 'Caged' Exactly What You Would Expect". Bloody Elbow. Retrieved 2012-01-30. 
  9. ^ "MTV Caged: Cable Network Reaches New Low with Grotesque Fighting Show". Bleacher Report. 2012-01-09. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 

External links[edit]