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Old 09-29-2013, 09:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The top 10 action stars who may have done well in MMA

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Speculation will always abound with people thinking about what could have happened if this person fought that person. This article is all that since most of these actors are past their prime.

Just to clarify, people who were already in MMA before going into acting don’t count, so that excludes Bruce Lee, Randy Couture, Gina Carano and others known solely for their fighting. First up will be our honorable mention list:

~ Honorable Mentions ~

Gerard Butler-His training for movies like 300 and Olympus Has Fallen meant he’s a good learner and indicates unrealized potential for MMA.

Channing Tatum-Roles in Haywire and Fighting have shown him to go toe to toe with professional fighters such as Cung Le and Gina Carano.

Laurence “Mr. T” Tureaud-Granted we saw him was as Clubber Lang in Rocky 3 but it’s still a guess that he could have done more in MMA.

Dolph Ludgren-Several roles point to this including his role as Ivan Drago in Rocky 4, appearing in Universal Soldier, and several other films.

Ice Cube-This is a long shot but his role in XXX: State of the Union lends credence to the idea he could have gone into the sport in his prime.

Vin Diesel-The list for this actor is long including the Chronicles of Riddick trilogy, The Fast and the Furious series, and xXx just to name a few.

Arnold Schwarzenegger-Yes he was primarily a body builder but he actually used some MMA in The Last Stand indicating potential in MMA.

Bruce Willis-He showcased a little in RED and Live Free or Die Hard with several other roles indicating a potential for the sport had he done it.

Michelle Rodriguez-She’s been typecast as the bad ass girl, but it’s also what places her on this list because of the variety and skills involved.

~ Now for the actual list ~

~ 10 ~

Kevin James

He maybe rather rotund but like Tank Abbott, there’s more to him then meets the eye. Kevin James was actually an active athlete in high school which included making the football and wrestling teams (one of his wrestling teammates was future pro wrestler Nick Foley). He has also been a longtime friend of former UFC and Pancrease Champion Bas Rutten and trains with him regularly at Rutten’s gym. This actually happened long before both men stared in the moving comedy Here Comes the Boom. There is actually footage of James and Randy Couture training at the UFC Training Center before it was updated to its’ current state.

~ 9 ~

Jason Statham

The only British actor of this list, Jason Statham trained specifically for movie roles but still has skills for the sport. Statham studied the fighting disciplines of Wing Chun, Kung Fu, Karate, and Kickboxing. All of these disciplines came in handy for roles such as The Transporter series and the Expendable series. Those are only a few of the action roles he took that showcased his skills. We will continue to see in Expendables 3.

~ 8 ~

Sylvester Stallone

This man is probably one of the biggest names in the action film genre. Sylvester Stallone’s first major action role was that of his role as Rocky Balboa in the original Rocky. The training helped him in the next five Rocky movies and for the upcoming Grudge Match movie. However, he recently displayed actual MMA skills in the Expendables 2 in his fight with JCVD. Also upcoming for the actor is Expendables 3.

~ 7 ~

Angelina Jolie

In real life this woman simply is not another pretty face. Angelina Jolie actually has training in the heavily underutilized discipline of Krav Maga. This training has helped in many of her action roles including the Tomb Raider movies, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Wanted, and Salt just to name a few.

It’s also something that would be a good thing to teach to her kids if she were smart about it. Somethings do run in families.

~ 6 ~

Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris is the only man on this list to study individual martial arts before becoming an actor, then after he’d been an actor for years develop a martial art. Chuck Norris first learned martial arts in Korea while he was serving in the Air Force. Overtime he earned black belts in Tang Soo Do and Taekwando (he was the first documented Westerner in history to do so). These came in handy in many of his acting roles including his famous on screen fight in Way of the Dragon against Bruce Lee. He’s since developed Chun Kuk Do and created the WCL.

~ 5 ~

Steven Segal

Steven Segal’s first martial arts experience was in that of karate he learned from a man he worked with in a restaurant called The Wagon Wheel. He then traveled with his father to Japan through the military where he became a black belt in Aikido. He also became the first foreigner to operate a dojo in Japan. Afterwards he moved to California where he got into acting. He actually helped Team Blackhouse members Lyoto Machida and Anderson Silva perfect the Crane Kick in their respective matches against opponents Randy Couture and Vitor Belfort.



~ 4 ~

Jean-Claude Van Damme

This is the only man on this list who has a professional kickboxing record. Jean-Claude Van Damme started Shotokan Karate at age 10 and then at age 16 took up ballet, which is where his amazing flexibility comes from. He then went onto have a successful kickboxing career going 18-1. It was only after that did he go into acting. Even now he still showcases his kickboxing in his various movie roles like Expendables 2.

~ 3 ~

Michelle Yeoh

Even though she’s been most identified with Chinese roles, Michelle Yeoh actually hales from Malaysia. It’s also interesting to note that Yeoh doesn’t come from a martial arts background. In fact she comes from a dance background, having learned her whole childhood. However, that didn’t keep her from excelling while studying and choreographing for various martial arts films. Also her roles are endless to recount.

~ 2 ~

Jet Li

There was no way this man wasn’t going to make it this high on the list. Jet Li first made a name for himself as Chinese National Champion in Wushu. He then retired at age 19 and pursued an acting career in China before finding success in America. One of his earlier successes included the highly underrated film The One in which he plays good and evil versions of his character. See him soon in Expendables 3.

~ 1 ~

Jackie Chan

This man can’t be mentioned without action films also being mentioned. Jackie Chan essentially spent most of his childhood training in the Chinese Opera where he met longtime friends and fellow action stars Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao. During his early acting career, Chan worked as a stuntman in a few different Bruce Lee films.

He first started his main roles basically being groomed as another Bruce Lee, but eventually broke out into the comedic action film roles he is now known for today. Knowing how to utilize his environment could have give Anthony Pettis a run for his money if the two ever fought each other because both are known for their unorthodox utilizing of their surrounding environments.

Are there any other action stars that you think may have done well in MMA? Leave a comment to let us known.
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Old 09-29-2013, 09:25 PM   #2 (permalink)

 
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I'd have chuck Norris higher as well as having a respectable record as a karate practitioner and holding a blackberry in taekwondo he was also one of the first Americans to train BJJ under the Gracie's even before they blew up following royce winning UFC 1. Heck Norris holds a brown belt in BJJ and likely could have actually been a legitimate force in the early days of mma. You talk of Bruce lee being into mma before acting when in truth Norris was more of an mma practitioner in the modern sense than Bruce lee eve was
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Chuck Norris has a blackberry in taekwando? lol
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Statham should be higher he's a legit bad ass. Also, where is Cynthia Rothrock? Id have rated her over Jolie. Also, Philip Ree and Eric Roberts from Best of the Best? How about Ralph Macchio of Karate Kid fame? God list and idea though.


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Old 10-01-2013, 05:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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What about guys like Wesley Snipes (black belt in Shotokan Karate and Hapkido, dabbling in Capoeira and BJJ), Sean Connery (black belt in Kyokushin Karate), Mark Dacascos (Family art of Wun Hop Kuen Do, dabbling in Muay Thai and Capoeira) or Ed O'Neill (black belt and keen practitioner of BJJ)

Also to mention, Tony Jaa

And what about Brad Pitt - Fight Club says it all
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Tony Jaa is a gymnast not a fighter per se.
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Tony Jaa is a gymnast not a fighter per se.
He's an action star with interest in fighting arts as he trained in Muay Thai and TKD. So while not being a competitive fighter, he probably is better trained for fighting than Sylvester Stalone or Arnold Schwarzenegger.
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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All of these people, aside from Chuck Norris and definitely Mr T for their achievements and Jet Li / Jackie Chan for their deep martial arts and tournaments base, would get absolutely murdered inside any sort of cage.

The most legit guy on the entire list is actually Mr T who was built natural and like a brick wall, won a toughest bodyguard contest involving full contact boxing, and was involved in dozens of brawls as a bouncer and bodyguard. The rest have absolutely ZERO actual fighting or full contact experience, even Norris really only has karate tournaments with no head shots which is like 90% of what actual fighting is. He does have a BJJ brown belt which is pretty legit but still no full contact fighting experience.

I can't believe you're basing how they would do on what parts they played or "going toe to toe with fighters" in movies. It's not real! Based on that Toby Maguire would wreck all of them with spider powers. Every hollywood star has an action part or two posing in fighting stances and winging air punches at extras paid to fall, it doesn't make them fighters.

And for their token classes of choregraphed martial arts like Krav Maga, Aikido etc., probably 90% of the world has taken a few token TMA or non contact MA classes at some point or the other, you should add all 6 billion of them to the list.
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:55 AM   #9 (permalink)
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All of these people, aside from Chuck Norris and definitely Mr T for their achievements and Jet Li / Jackie Chan for their deep martial arts and tournaments base, would get absolutely murdered inside any sort of cage.

The most legit guy on the entire list is actually Mr T who was built natural and like a brick wall, won a toughest bodyguard contest involving full contact boxing, and was involved in dozens of brawls as a bouncer and bodyguard. The rest have absolutely ZERO actual fighting or full contact experience, even Norris really only has karate tournaments with no head shots which is like 90% of what actual fighting is. He does have a BJJ brown belt which is pretty legit but still no full contact fighting experience.

I can't believe you're basing how they would do on what parts they played or "going toe to toe with fighters" in movies. It's not real! Based on that Toby Maguire would wreck all of them with spider powers. Every dumb hollywood star has an action part or two posing in fighting stances and winging air punches at extras paid to fall, it doesn't make them fighters.

And for their token classes of choregraphed martial arts like Krav Maga, Aikido etc., probably 90% of the world has taken a few token TMA or non contact MA classes at some point or the other, you should add all 6 billion of them to the list.
You shouldn't take that too serious. As I understood, Kantowrestler just had a fun thought experiment. Mixing up a little bit of the athletic skills of the actors and what's to be seen in their movies. It's not for a real consideration, but just for fun. Relax.
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:10 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Id Have Dolph Lundgren near the top of that list.
  • 3rd Dan in Kyokushin Karate
  • Won European Karate Championship twice
  • Almost killed Silvester Stallon with a punch to the chest (it was so hard his chest bone touched his heart)
  • Had actually fought in a celebrity boxing match with Oleg Taktarov (UFC6 Tourney winner) and only lost to a judges decision - despite being 47 years old.
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