A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter from Teesside who found himself standing across the mat from Tom Hardy in a competition was forced to tap out before his arm was broken. If you’ve not seen their scrap yet, you can click the video below to catch up:
40-year-old Army veteran Danny Appleton was competing at the martial arts competition organised by charity REORG in Wolverhampton on Saturday (August 20) when at the semi-final stage he realised that his opponent was to be Hollywood A-lister and fellow blue belt Hardy.
This – understandably – came as quite a shock, given that he had no idea that the Peaky Blinders star was even in the building, let alone competing against him.
In the end, Appleton was forced to submit after Hardy managed to lock him into an armbar.
However, there’s no shame in tapping out, particularly when the consequences could be dire.
Appleton said: “I know when to tap – you kind of know when it’s on and you’re just daft if you don’t tap, really.
“As soon as you know it’s straight and it’s on – if you don’t tap, your arm is going to snap.
“It’s as simple as that.”
So, tap he did.
That being said, getting your arm snapped by a movie star might be a pretty interesting anecdote down the line, right?
“I’m happy with this story, to be fair!” he insisted.
“I’ve still got my arm intact and I’m still at work today.”
Explaining the ‘surreal’ build-up to the bout, Appleton continued: “It was surreal, we were in the semi-final match, and I went to the mat I was supposed to be on - you get given a mat and an estimated time of start - but it kept getting pushed back and forward, so when I went for the mat at the time I was called they changed it.
“I thought ‘what’s going on here’ as it’s never happened before.
“As the referee called us on, I looked over to the side to see who I was supposed to be fighting and Tom Hardy was there.
“I thought he might have shown his face because I know he practices Jiu-Jitsu and is a high-level blue belt.
“The event was for a charity called Reorg which is a veteran charity, and I know Tom is the ambassador for them and does a lot of work with them.
“I thought maybe he might show up and watch and raise a bit of awareness, but I didn’t realise he’d actually be competing, so it was a shock.”
He added: “It was a lot to take in, you’ve got the nerves of the fight and the atmosphere of a competition, and I had my children and my gym there.
“You never want to let down your children or your gym, so you’ve got all that to contend with and then Tom Hardy is stood across from you.
“I was definitely starstruck.”
Despite admitting that he ‘definitely gave it a good go’, Hardy came out on top and eventually went on to win the gold medal in the final afterwards.
Still, he’s not down about the outcome and even received some praise for his performance from Hardy as they chatted afterwards.
In the end, he concluded: “I did try my best, but he was just a lot stronger than me, I’ve got to admit.
“He’s a strong guy and a talented guy, too.
“I’ve got the story to tell, the kids were there to watch - which was the main thing – and I got a bronze medal - so it’s not at all a loss - and I lived to tell the tale.”
REORG is a charity that is dedicated to helping military personnel, veterans, and blue-light workers.
You can find out more or donate at reorgcharity.comFeatured Image Credit: Danny Appleton