Now, the blockbuster star can add martial arts champion to his list of action-packed accolades.
The 45-year-old English actor won gold at the 2022 UMAC Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Open Championships on Saturday after quietly entering the competition, organizers told News84Media.
While bystanders and other competitors were left stunned when Hardy turned up at the school hall in Milton Keynes, England, organizers said he was simply “keeping his word.”
Mohamed Itoumaine, a referee and spokesperson for the tournament’s organizer, Ultimate Martial Arts Championships, told News84Media on Wednesday that Hardy had agreed to take part in the competition following his low-key appearance at the REORG Open Jiu-Jitsu Championship last month. Itoumaine was a referee at the earlier tournament in Wolverhampton.
“I was really excited and impressed because he told me at the championship that ‘I’m coming to your next’ and kept his word,” Itoumaine said. “It is very hard to get a famous person to come to a local competition because their schedules are so busy.”
Itoumaine said UMAC kept the Hollywood star’s attendance quiet to avoid adding any pressure on Hardy ahead of the competition.
And when Hardy arrived, he made sure to deliver. Itoumaine said Hardy dominated his division and qualified through stages before taking home the top prize.
“[Hardy] is a legit blue belt. I have over 10 years of experience as a ref and after I first saw him compete at the REORG championship, I knew he would smash it at my competition,” Itoumaine said.
“It takes dedication and hard work to reach that level. He is technically, physically, and mentally skilled. He is someone that wants to win in the best possible way, which is making his opponent submit and tap out.”
Itoumaine, a second-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, said he plans to hold more competitions next year and hopes the star will enter further tournaments.
News84Media contacted Hardy’s representatives for comment.