5 Asian Martial Arts Athletes Who Made It To The Movies
Many of today’s most popular mixed martial arts stars grew up watching their silver screen heroes, inspired by their flashy fighting styles and action scenes.
A great number of these superstars actually got into martial arts after watching actors like Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, and Chuck Norris.
Not known to many, however, is that some of them have already graced the box office. Here are five Asian martial arts professionals who made it to the movies.
Brandon “The Truth” Vera
Brandon “The Truth” Vera co-starred with Filipino-Australian actress Anne Curtis in 2018 in Erik Mati’s Action Thriller “Buy Bust” released in 2018.
Vera’s character is Rico Yatco, a Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) agent who took part in a drug raid in the slums of Manila only for the operation to go wrong.
The 41-year-old’s scenes were full of action, a role fit for the reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion.
Peter “The Pistol” Davis
Malaysia’s Peter “The Pistol” Davis’ made his presence known beyond the cage when he decided to expand his portfolio to modeling, emcee roles, and movie appearances.
The lightweight, during his break from the cage, was cast to play a role for the movie “Sell Out” (2008) that would later earn accolades such as the NETPAC Award at the Golden Horse Film Festival and the Young Cinema Award at the Venice Film Festival.
This led him to appear in a few more movies such as “Apa Dosaku: The Sybil Kathigasu Story” (2010), “Apokalips X” (2014), and recently, “The Spiral” (2018).
With opportunities opening up for “The Pistol” after every project, one can only wonder what’s next for the Malaysian superstar.
“The Hero” Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex
The Muay Thai legend Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex is definitely one of the most exciting athletes to watch. He’s also appeared in both TV and movie roles.
As expected from the multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion, his roles were full of action which beautifully showcased his skills in documentaries such as COC Elite as well as reality TV Series “The Contender Asia” (2008).
He also appeared in the biographic film, “John Wayne Parr: Blessed with Venom” (2011), and of course the unforgettable film release in 2010, “Yamada: The Samurai Of Ayothaya,” where he played the part of Muay Thai exponent.
Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama
Japanese-Korean martial arts sensation Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama, also known as Choo Sung Hoon, has made appearances in both movies and television series.
He started his acting career outside of martial arts back in 2017 in a TV series called “1 Night and 2 Days.” He also made appearances in the famous Korean TV show, “Knowing Bros,” but his biggest role to date was a South Korean war drama movie, “Battle For Incheon: Operation Chromite.”
This box office smash hit retells the events at the Battle of Incheon based on the recollections of the survivors of the said war.
Saiful “The Vampire” Merican
Malaysia’s Saiful “The Vampire” Merican’s excellent performances in ONE Championship opened a new door in his career when he landed a part in his first movie role in 2017.
J Revolusi is an action movie that tells the tale of the leader of a Malaysian special police force officer who tries to clear his name after being framed by a mysterious terrorist all while rescuing his sister at the same time.
Though Merican only played a minor role as a bad guy going up against the police, this experience gave him a new passion and he now looks to do more acting roles in the future.
Featured Image via ONE Championship
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