Singing honky-tonk tunes doesn't pay the family bills for Art Long (Dennis Quaid), so he decides to go where the money is: fighting. After winning his first bouts in a local Toughman contest, Art finds himself headed for the national championship. Winning would mean $100,000 and a new start. But does he have the skills to make it to the top? With his wife, Caroline (Carlene Watkins), and fight promoter James Neese (Warren Oates) by his side, Art's about to find out.