Joe Daddy Stevenson Shows Off His Moves as ‘Kingdom’s Fight Coordinator

Justin Lubin/ The Audience Network

Sorry, Scandal, but the real gladiators are on Kingdom, DirecTV Audience Network’s smashing mixed-martial-arts drama (Wednesdays, 9/8c), where the moves are as brutal as the gritty plots. Here, fight coordinator, UFC vet and guest star Joe “Daddy” Stevenson explains how he turned Jonathan Tucker, Matt Lauria, Nick Jonas and Natalie Martinez into the lords (and lady) of the ring.

How did you initially start the job?
I got a call from [the show’s MMA consultant] Greg Jackson asking me to do a two-week camp and get these actors in shape and ready for some MMA. So I broke it down into a syllabus of five hours a day for 10 days in a row. What these actors did in that time was unbelievable. I put them through pretty much a fight camp every day. They did all of it, and they finished it two days early.

How much time does it take to stage a big fight scene?
Two weeks. Any of the actors can tell you that I make them do everything I make my real fighters do. I let them know why they are fighting, because when you know why you’re fighting, you fight harder. You can’t fake this, so I had to teach them to fight for real.


How tough was it to train Nick Jonas, given all his other commitments?
Nick is honestly one of the most professional people I have ever met in my life. Between these seasons, while he was on tour, I went and worked with him on stuff that I was already going to have choreographed. He gets it down better than my stunt guys.

What is the worst injury the actors have sustained during filming?
I once had to superglue Tucker’s head closed. Matt’s hip was busted. Everyone [is injured.] You never go into a fight 100 percent—that’s what we say!

Kingdom, Wednesdays, 9/8c, DirecTV