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MMA to Hollywood: 7 Instances of MMA stars having success in Hollywood

LockerRoom Team
31 January 2024

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters have increasingly found their way onto the big screen, showcasing their talents not only inside the octagon but also in Hollywood productions. The trend has gained momentum, with fighters taking on various roles in blockbuster movies and TV series. Here's a listicle highlighting some notable MMA stars who have leapt Hollywood:

1. Conor McGregor at "Road House"

McGregor's upcoming role as the antagonist in the 2024 remake of 'Road House opposite Jake Gyllenhaal marks a significant shift from his earlier reluctance to embrace acting during his feud with Nate Diaz. His transition underscores the changing landscape for MMA fighters in Hollywood.

2. Randy Couture and Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson in action

Couture and Jackson paved the way for MMA fighters in Hollywood with roles in 'The Expendables' franchise and 'The A-Team,' respectively. They initially navigated through lower-budget films before gaining recognition in higher-profile projects.

3. Gina Carano: MMA to 'Deadpool' and 'The Mandalorian'

Carano's journey involved breaking into Hollywood with roles in direct-to-DVD films before her breakthrough in 'Deadpool.' She later secured a notable part in 'The Mandalorian,' showcasing the industry's evolving acceptance of MMA stars.

4. Miesha Tate and Holly Holm: 'Fight Valley' to the Big Screen

Tate and Holm featured in 'Fight Valley,' representing the common trajectory for many MMA fighters who often start with smaller roles in low-budget action movies.

5. Valentina Shevchenko and Gabi Garcia: A New Era with 'Bruised'

More recently, Shevchenko and Garcia starred alongside Halle Berry in 'Bruised,' indicating a shift towards mainstream collaboration between A-list actors and MMA fighters.

6. Ronda Rousey and Georges St-Pierre: Opening Doors for Fighters

Rousey's mainstream appeal post-UFC career landed her roles in major films like 'The Expendables 3' and 'Furious 7,' paving the way for fighters to break into Hollywood. St-Pierre's progression from obscure films to the Marvel Cinematic Universe solidifies the trend.

7. Francis Ngannou: From Direct-to-DVD to Blockbuster 'F9'

Ngannou's appearance in 'F9' exemplifies how successful fighters are now securing roles in major Hollywood productions. This is a stark contrast to the past when their film opportunities were limited to low-budget releases.

As the popularity of MMA continues to soar, fighters are no longer confined to minor roles or niche projects. With fighters like McGregor and Rousey leading the way, MMA stars are cast alongside Hollywood icons, reflecting a new era of acceptance and collaboration between two dynamic worlds.

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