Tom Hardy Has Been Quietly Dominating Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Tournaments This Whole Time

After bringing the box office back to life with last year’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage, the little alien love story that could, things have been awfully quiet on the Tom Hardy front. A little too quiet. Turns out, there’s perfectly good (and surprisingly badass) reason for that: Hardy’s been traipsing across England while winning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments.

According to a report in the Teesside News, Hardy showed up unannounced to a tournament over the weekend, much to the surprise of his opponent who had no idea what was happening until the 44-year-old actor came out to fight him.

“I recognised him straightaway. Everyone knows who Tom Hardy is, don’t they?” Danny Appleby told the small town paper. “I was shell-shocked. He said ‘just forget it’s me and do what you would normally do.'”

After gaining his composure, Appleby took on Hardy, which he thought would be an easy fight against a celebrity. Not so much. Via Teesside News:

“He’s a really strong guy,” he continued, “you wouldn’t think it with him being a celebrity. I do okay, 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.”

After the match, Hardy reportedly chatted it up with folks and revealed that he actually has family in the area. He’s “genuinely a really nice guy,” Appleby said about Hardy. The actor even posed for the tournament sponsor’s Instagram account where he can be seen holding his win certificate made out to his real name: Edward Hardy.

(Via Teesside News)