Actor Tom Hardy is surprise winner at martial arts competition

Actor Tom Hardy burnished his resumé in a big way Saturday, quietly entering -- and winning a gold medal -- at a martial arts tournament in the United Kingdom.

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Hardy, 45, entered the 2022 UMAC Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Open Championship in Milton Keynes, England, according to The Guardian. The “Venom” actor entered the competition under his real name, Edward Hardy, Variety reported.

“Everyone recognized him, but he was very humble and was happy to take time out for people to take photographs with him,” a tournament spokesperson told The Guardian. “It was a real pleasure to have him compete at our event.”

The actor owns a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, according to The Guardian.

One of Hardy’s opponents said he was “shell-shocked” when he realized that Hardy was his opponent.

“I recognized him straight away. Everyone knows who Tom Hardy is, don’t they?” Danny Appleby told Teesside Live. “I was shell-shocked. He said, ‘Just forget it’s me and do what you would normally do.’”

This was not the first time Hardy has slipped quietly into a martial arts tournament.

In August, “The Dark Knight Rises” actor won the REORG Open Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Wolverhampton, England, The Guardian reported. Hardy is a trustee for REORG, a charity that teaches jiu-jitsu to people with serious injuries or are suffering from PTSD and depression.

Mohamed Itoumaine, a referee and spokesman for Ultimate Martial Arts Championships, the tournament organizer for Saturday’s event, told CNN that Hardy had agreed to take part in the competition after his appearance at the Wolverhampton event.

“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 told the news outlet.”It is very hard to get a famous person to come to a local competition because their schedules are so busy.

“(Hardy) is a legit blue belt,” Itoumaine told CNN. “I have over 10 years of experience as a ref and after I first saw him compete at the REORG championship, I knew he would smash it at my competition.”

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