WATCH | The Rock starts MMA training to prepare for starring role of ‘The Smashing Machine’

By Josh Evanoff - May 6, 2024

WWE superstar Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is now preparing to play former UFC heavyweight Mark Kerr.

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson

‘The Smashing Machine’ was one of the earliest documentaries about the dark side of MMA. The HBO-made documentary came out in 2002 and starred the aforementioned Mark Kerr. The former UFC heavyweight was once one of the biggest stars in the sport but ended his career dealing with addiction and mental issues.

The documentary was a big hit at the time, and in 2019, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson announced plans to make a movie out of it. The WWE wrestler would play the role of Mark Kerr, and the news was announced at UFC 244 weigh-ins. Johnson later handed out the ‘BMF’ title for the main event featuring Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz.

Nearly five years removed from that announcement at UFC 244, the movie is finally in production. Earlier this year it was revealed that ‘The Rock’ will continue to star in the film, now being made by A24. The film will be directed by Benny Safdie, who is most known for creating the 2019 blockbuster Uncut Gems starring Adam Sandler.

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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson starts training to play former UFC fighter Mark Kerr

The WWE superstar has now taken to Instagram, showing his preparation for the role. In a video uploaded to Instagram this week, ‘The Rock’ showed himself hitting the pads. Johnson also did a bit of work on the ground, which makes sense given Mark Kerr’s reputation as a wrestler.

“Day 1. MMA training camp. Preparing for “Smashing Machine”.” Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson wrote in the caption of his Instagram post. “I’m learning daily and it’s been a very humbling, intense and motivating journey into this world of combat and becoming, Mark Kerr – the two-time @UFC Heavyweight Tournament Champion, World Vale Tudo Champion. I’m a hard worker, but I realized that I’d have to work harder with this role than anything I’ve ever worked for in my life.”

He continued, “This physicality is just one part of the larger journey, that is truly a team effort. Growing and grateful.”

As of now, ‘The Smashing Machine’ starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson as Mark Kerr lacks a release date. However, the film is expected to be released at some point in 2025.

What do you make of this news involving the former UFC heavyweight? Do you buy Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson as Mark Kerr?