Tom Hardy has cemented his reputation as a fully fledged action star on screen, and it seems his hard-man credentials are as strong in real life.
The Mad Max: Fury Road star took gold at the 2022 UMAC Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Open Championships at the weekend, after quietly entering the competition which was held in a modest school hall in Milton Keynes, England.
Bystanders and competitors were reportedly stunned to see the Oscar-nominated actor take part in the competition, organised by Ultimate Martial Arts Championships.
Mohamed Itoumaine, who was referee for the competition, told CNN that Hardy had agreed to take part in the competition after winning gold in another championship held in Wolverhampton in the UK last month.
“I was really excited and impressed because he told me at the championship that 'I'm coming to yours 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 he didn’t want to publicise Hardy’s involvement in the competition in advance to avoid any public pressure.
He said Hardy dominated his division and breezed through the competition’s various stages before taking home the top prize.
In photos posted on social media, Hardy can be seen holding his certificate, made out to his real name, Edward Hardy.
"Hardy is a legit blue belt,” 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."