Tom Hardy stunned the 2022 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Open Championship in England over the weekend when he arrived unannounced, taking down all of his competition. The 45-year-old Venom and Warrior star humbly took home the gold, proving all those muscles aren’t just to look good in all those scantily-clad Myspace profile images.
“Everyone recognized him, but he was very humble and was happy to take time out for people to take photographs with him,” a spokesperson for the event tells The Guardian. “It was a real pleasure to have him compete at our event.”
In the semi-final round, Hardy spared martial arts veteran Danny Appleby, who was rightfully thunderstruck when he learned who he would be competing against. The Hollywood actor entered the competition under his real name, Edward Hardy, maintaining some level of anonymity until he arrived.
“I was shell-shocked,” Appleby says about Hardy’s surprise appearance. “[Hardy] said, ‘Just forget it’s me and do what you would normally do.’”
Appleby continues, “He’s a really strong guy… You wouldn’t think it with him being a celebrity. I’ve done about six tournaments and I’ve been on the podium in every one. But he’s probably the toughest competitor I’ve had—he certainly lived up to his Bane character, that’s for sure.”
In the final round, Hardy faced Andy Leatherland, who described the Mad Max: Fury Road actor as “very focused.”
“I made a mistake and he capitalized on that. He absolutely nailed it, and he subbed me, and it was over relatively quickly,” Leatherland tells Independent.
The Milton-Keyes event marks Hardy’s second martial arts competition win of the year. Back in August, the actor won the REORG Open Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Wolverhampton, a tournament aimed at “raising funds for military personnel, veterans and emergency service workers.” Hardy currently works as a trustee for REORG, a charity that teaches jiu-jitsu to those suffering from serious injuries, PTSD, and depression.