Tom Hardy surprised viewers when he competed in a martial arts championship and proved he’s just as much an action star in real life when he took home the gold.
The Venom actor, 45, showed his strength as he competed in the UMAC Milton Keynes BJJ Open 2022, held at Oakgrove School in Milton Keynes on Saturday.
He had secretly arranged to attend the fight at a local school gym, where he took all of his opponents to the ground.
The crowd couldn’t believe their eyes as the Hollywood star emerged in a blue jiu-jitsu gi that showcased his toned physique and intricate tattoos.
Looking ready for action, Tom showed off his jiu-jutsu skills as he knocked down his opponents and amazingly fought his way through to the finals.
The fighter, who holds a senior blue belt in ground fighting, made short work of the competition when he won gold with an impressive armbar.
He was seen posing with his gold medal and certificate, which included his full name, Edward Hardy, but he more commonly goes by his middle name, Thomas.
According to an event description of the UMAC BJJ Open, it was open to all “BJJ belt levels in adult, youth and children’s divisions”.
Sean Rosborough, who sponsored the event, said organizers knew the global megastar would arrive at the championship a few weeks early.
But he said they kept the actor’s performance “to themselves” to prevent crowds of people “distracting” him from attending the competition.
Sean, 37, said Tom is “brilliant” with fans reaching out to him for photos, adding that the mums in the audience are “all over him”.
He said: “We found out he’s probably coming a couple of weeks before that.
“But the organizers kept it to themselves – and didn’t want crowds of people to distract him from what he was doing.
“He was brilliant. Lots of people came up to him asking for photos and he had no problem with that at all. The mothers were all over him. It didn’t bother him.
“And when he was fighting, he was focused on what he was doing. He’s great at jiu-jitsu.”
Speaking of Tom’s appearance at the event, one of his opponents – who was not named – told MKCitizen he recognized Tom immediately and said he was “shocked” by the star’s surprise appearance.
He said: Everyone knows who Tom Hardy is, right? I was shocked. He said, “Just forget it’s me doing what you normally would.”
“He’s a really strong guy … You wouldn’t believe it when he’s a celebrity.”
Tom reportedly got into Brazilian jiu-jitsu while training for the movie Warrior, where he played the role of a former boxer training to become an MMA fighter.
Participants in the centuries-old sport tussle with their opponents on a floor mat to achieve “nonviolent” submissions.
Sean, who watched each of Hardy’s fights, said the actor picked up quick wins in all of them to be crowned the champion of his section.
He said: “I saw his matches and he had entries in all of them – and they were really fast.
“He did really, really well. He doesn’t have the highest grade but you could tell he came to win and he was impressive in every fight.
Sean said he tried not to bother the star too much, adding that he thought the actor was having a “good time” at the local event.