Beast follows four high-level fighters at one of the sport's elite gyms, Florida's American Top Team. Doug Merlino had unprecedented access, training alongside the men for two years, traveling to their matches, and eating in their homes. Mirsad Bektic, a young Bosnian refugee who started in karate as a boy in Nebraska, dreams of stardom. Jeff Monson, a battered veteran at 41, is an outspoken, tattooed anarchist enjoying a bizarre burst of celebrity in Russia.
"Pretty good, but...."
The experiment was dreamed up by two fathers, one white, one black. What would happen, they wondered, if they mixed white players from an elite Seattle private school and black kids from the inner city on a basketball team? The team's season unfolded like a perfectly scripted sports movie: The ragtag group of boys gelled together to win the league championship. The experiment was deemed a success. But was it?