From Screen to Ring: Actors Who Turned Into Fighters

The media is filled with success stories of fighters - cage fighters, wrestlers, and especially martial artists - who found a successful second career on the silver screen. But this rarely happens the other way around. Many actors, even "action heroes" usually sit in the chairs with their names on them during the filming of fight scenes, eating sandwiches, drinking coffee, and checking out the latest news and the top UK slot sites while their doubles do the hard work in front of the cameras. But there are exceptions - at least two of them: actors who actually became legitimate fighters while off the camera.

Josh Herdman

Joshua Colin M. "Josh" Herdman might not be the Hollywood star everyone knows and loves but he has a role in a major franchise behind him - he played Gregory Goyle in all eight Harry Potter movies, and since then, he continued to take roles both on the silver and the TV screens. What most people don't know about him is that he is an amateur cage fighter - the 30-year-old English actor has been training in MMA for years, making his debut in the cage in 2016, when he faced - and beat - fellow UK fighter Janusz Walachowski. "I chose MMA because I love the sport. It's raw, exciting and unpredictable," he said when asked about this interesting choice. "I find it more interesting than boxing although I appreciate the beauty and art of boxing. It also made sense to move onto MMA because of my jujitsu training. I would like a few amateur fights first to get me started and where it goes from there, who knows?" Herdman will star in an upcoming movie called "Cagefighter" about a man who grapples with his inner fears in the violent world of British MMA.

Idris Elba

Idris Elba is not the actor who might strike you as an action hero. He is perhaps best known for his role in the UK detective drama Luther for which he was rewarded with a Golden Globe award in 2012. More action-oriented moviegoers will probably also recognize him from the Marvel movies featuring Thor - the actor with a deep baritone and a strong London accent played Heimdall in all movies featuring the Norse alien thunder god. What most people don't know about him is that he is a seasoned kickboxer - and it only took him a year to get there. Back in 2012, Elba decided to pursue his lifelong goal of becoming a seasoned fighter. He had all the help he needed - he trained for 12 months under Muay Thai coach Kieran Keddle. Discovery Channel even documented his efforts - the documentary "Idris Elba: The Fighter" was shot during his training and aired in 2017. "It has been a lifelong ambition of mine to fight professionally," Elba said during the filming of the documentary. "Entering the ring to further test myself as a human being is a challenge I have been looking to take on for quite some time." Ultimately, the actor-turned fighter stepped into the ring to fight Dutchman Lionel Graves, a seasoned kickboxer, in 2016 - and won by KO. He was 44 years old at the time.

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