Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to Play Mark Kerr in MMA Movie “The Smashing – Sanabul Skip to content
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to Play Mark Kerr in MMA Movie “The Smashing Machine”

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to Play Mark Kerr in MMA Movie “The Smashing Machine”

The sport of mixed martial arts has grown tremendously. Mma organizations like the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and ONE Championship have given audiences many spectacular moments that people will remember witnessing for a very, very long time. 

One of the best and most recent examples of this came at the UFC 300 event, when Max Holloway (part of Team Sanabul) took on Justin Gaethje. If you want to skip this UFC 300 co-main event summary and read about The Rock’s new MMA movie, this part of the article starts after the next four paragraphs.

The former UFC Featherweight Champion (145lbs) Max Holloway was moving up a weight class to Lightweight (155lbs), the same weight class where Justin Gaethje had held an Interim UFC title.

Leading up to the fight, Max Holloway was counted out by a lot of people. Social media comments said that Max wouldn’t be able to handle Gaethje’s power, that Max didn’t have nearly enough power to damage Gaethje, and that it would be a very bad night for Max. Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje is a fighter known for his kill or be killed style, as his record leading up to UFC 300 was 25-4 (20 wins and 2 losses coming by way of knockout). His fights  had only gone to a decision 4 times in his professional career, meaning that  25 out of his 29 fights ended with a finish (86%). Fireworks were guaranteed.

Max Holloway surprised many people, outpointing and avoiding the heavy strikes of Gaethje. Entering the 5th round, many saw Max Holloway as having won a minimum of three of the four rounds that they had fought (social media arguments online even gave Max all four rounds, leading into the fifth). In the last 10 seconds of a fight that he was clearly winning, Max could have played it safe and avoided any risk and damage for the rest of the fight. Instead, he recreated his iconic moment with Ricardo Lamas, where he pointed to the center of the octagon and agreed to throw down for the remainder of the fight.

After Holloway avoided a rolling thunder kick, the 10s remaining clacks went off and he invited Gaethje to the center of the octagon. Pointing down at the ground, Gaethje agreed to Holloway's request and the two started furiously scrapping and throwing hands. Technique may not have been the best, but speed and power were there for both, as both warriors were trying to land more quantity and quality strikes than the other. With ONE SECOND remaining, Max Holloway knocked Justin Gaethje out cold – a moment that earned Max $600k in bonuses and immortality on the UFC highlight reel of finishes. You can find the finish at the end of this article.

There’s something so raw and human about two people fighting. Clearly it has a huge audience and fan base, as seen by the success and growth of MMA and martial arts as a whole in the past few decades, thanks to televised fighting events. It looks like MMA is going even more mainstream, now expanding the reach of combat sports from the TV to the big screen in the form of movies.

Earlier this year,  Conor McGregor starred alongside well known actor Jake Gyllenhaal, in the movie “Roadhouse” (2024). A global superstar thanks to his fighting abilities and success in the UFC, “The Notorious” helped bring more eyes to combat sports via this movie.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson looks to elevate MMA even higher. Recently, he has announced that he will be playing Mark Kerr in a new movie called “The Smashing Machine”, which pays homage to Kerr’s nickname.

Mark Kerr is a very accomplished combat sports athlete. He is a 2x UFC Heavyweight Tournament Champion, Vale Tudo World Championship winner, NCAA D1 Wrestling Champion, Freestyle Wrestling Gold (and silver) medalist at the World Cup, and a 4x ADCC champion.

A superstar thanks to his success in the WWF and WWE, Dwayne Johnson also made a huge name for himself. His charismatic reputation and ability to keep audiences hooked allowed him to seamlessly transfer over to the big screen, where he became a global superstar and celebrity actor.

On his Instagram, he has recently posted some photos and video of his training camp in  preparation for the movie. He displayed some striking, grappling, and transitions between the two. It’s very cool to see someone with a following as huge as The Rock’s bringing awareness to martial arts!

Max Holloway’s UFC 300 finish (mentioned earlier)

Joe Rogan Experience podcast clip: Max Holloway on Being Counted Out Before UFC 300 Win Against Justin Gaethje



Thank you for reading - we hope this movie can bring even more attention to martial arts, combat sports, and the benefits that they can have for EVERYONE!

If you’re interested in starting your own martial arts training, feel free to checkout our website for quality striking, grappling, and MMA gear at budget friendly prices!


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