Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson just announced his next film role: UFC legend Mark “The Smashing Machine” Kerr. Johnson revealed his plans to produce and star in a movie based on Kerr’s life to ESPN following his appearance at the UFC 245 press conference in New York City on Friday. A longtime fan and supporter of MMA, Johnson is set to present the $50,000 BMF (“Bad Mother Fucker”) belt to the winner of the UFC 244 match this weekend.
“I’m proud to say that myself and Seven Bucks Productions are going to make a film about the life of one of your founding fathers, the pioneering founding fathers, ‘The Smashing Machine’ Mark Kerr,” Johnson said. “Mark Kerr’s story is such an incredible story. Here’s a guy who won the two-time heavyweight tournament in the early stages of UFC, and here’s a guy who also went over to PRIDE, he had this incredible run. As many of these warriors have, and I wanted to shine a spotlight on this man.”
Kerr was widely regarded as one of the best fighters in the world at the height of his MMA career, having won the UFC heavyweight title not once but twice, as well as competing in the Pride Fighting Championships. The Smashing Machine, an HBO documentary about his life, including his addiction to opiates, was released in 2003.
“I think what’s interesting about Mark Kerr’s story is, yes, he achieved so much in his life, he was a ‘Smashing Machine,’ undefeated for a long time… But also like all of us and like a lot of these fighters, he battled these demons,” Johnson continued. “These demons of addiction, these demons of mental health, these demons of getting out and the pressure of fighting in front of 20, 30, 40, 50,000 people and what that does to somebody.”
“So here’s a guy who has gone through it all and hit rock bottom, but the best part about Mark Kerr, like all of us in this room, and like these fighters by the way, all these warriors, everyday you get up, and you want to do a little bit better tomorrow than you did today.”