Dwayne Johnson transforms into UFC champion as he returns to ring for next film

Professional-wrestler-turned-Hollywood-star Dwayne Johnson is returning to the ring to play mixed martial arts fighter Mark Kerr in his next film.

Johnson shared an image on social media of his transformation into Kerr, sitting in the corner of a ring while British actress Emily Blunt looks on.

The 52-year-old actor, who wrestled as The Rock in WWE before his move into acting, no longer has his body tattoos in the shirtless photo, and his usually bald head is covered in a short, dark wig.

Blunt will play Dawn Staples, a Playboy model and the ex-wife of the two-time UFC champion, in the film delving into the MMA fighter’s personal life and career.

On Instagram, Johnson wrote: “First look at Benny Safdie’s The Smashing Machine starring @therock and Emily Blunt.”

A 2002 documentary called The Smashing Machine: The Life And Times Of Extreme Fighter Mark Kerr, showed the athlete’s struggle with drugs and his preparations to take on Igor Vovchanchyn.

Ukrainian world heavyweight boxing champion Oleksandr Usyk will play Vovchanchyn in the film, with Bellator MMA champion Ryan Bader as another UFC fighter, Mark Coleman.

Oscar-nominated Oppenheimer actress Blunt starred with Johnson in Disney’s 2021 family adventure Jungle Cruise.