Now the successful star can add the martial arts champion to his list of action-packed rewards.
The 45-year-old English actor won gold at the 2022 UMAC Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Open Championships on Saturday after quietly competing, organizers told CNN.
While passers-by and fellow contestants were stunned when Hardy showed up at the school hall in Milton Keynes, England, organizers said he was “just keeping his word”.
Mohamed Itoumaine, referee and spokesman for tournament organizer Ultimate Martial Arts Championships, told CNN on Wednesday that Hardy had agreed to compete after his low-key appearance at the REORG Open Jiu-Jitsu Championship last month. Itoumaine was a referee at the previous tournament in Wolverhampton.
“I was really excited and impressed because he told me at the championship that ‘I’m coming to yours’ and kept his word,” Itoumaine said. “It’s very difficult to bring a famous person to a local competition because their schedule is so full.”
Itoumaine said UMAC kept the Hollywood star’s presence quiet to avoid adding pressure on Hardy ahead of the competition.
And when Hardy arrived, he made sure to deliver. Itoumaine said Hardy topped his division and qualified in stages before winning the top prize.
“[Hardy] is a legitimate blue belt. I have over 10 years of experience as a referee and after seeing him compete for the first time in the REORG Championship, I knew he would break it in my competition,” Itoumaine said.
“It takes dedication and hard work to get to that level. He’s technically, physically and mentally gifted. He’s someone who wants to win in the best way possible, which forces his opponent to submit and punch. “
Itoumaine, a second-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, said he plans to hold more competitions next year and hopes the star will take part in more tournaments.
CNN has reached out to representatives for Hardy for comment.