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Rory Markham

Where Are they Now? Rory Markham – The Starring Film Role

Any individual holds the key to prevail over any challenge to arrive at their chosen goal or destination. As one door closes on a remarkable fight career, another would open for one Rory Markham. This door would reveal a promising role, as Markham found himself on a new platform in a different yet contrastable familiar position expressing himself, now as a movie actor.

In the final installment of the two-part series, MYMMANEWS covers Markham’s transition from the octagon to the big screen, and how it has set a new path of growing on a personal level.

You seem to have found a new avenue to excel in as an actor. What would you say has been the best attribute gained from MMA, which allowed you to shine in the acting field?

Rory Markham:  “The most exceptional tool fighting gave me on screen is my ability to place myself in the void, understand the timing in my soul not through memory, and never being nervous or intimidated on set. If I’m doing a scene with whatever star, Will Smith, for example, I have the scars and the history in my being to look at that man, give a head nod and a smile, communicating to us both that although we have both had different lives, we still comprehend the intensity and have each other’s backs in the scene. From there, we feel the scene and make the magic happen. The more I learn and live inside the camera the more I want. It’s truly not for stardom. I’ve had my taste of that, and it’s so sad to see what you thought was your life’s blood turn on you and ridicule you when you’re down. I take so much from my experience in fighting, especially the bad times. I could care less what people think of me. If they haven’t done their homework and found out the man I am, I have superhuman empathy for anyone in a struggle, and I want to show that person that inch by inch we’ll get you out of that hole. Acting will be the stage I become, which will make God proud. That’s my dream.”

From your perspective, is there an ill-fated reality that awaits athletes that don’t have a plan after fighting, as opposed to what you have done with acting filling the void of MMA?

Rory Markham:   “The unfortunate reality of fighting is that, yeah, it’s fun but if you listen to those fighters that have grown around you and ask simple stuff like where’s my health insurance, retirement plan, or 401k? There’s not one fighter that has it walking away from MMA.Look at what the actors of old did to get our Union started. How many can come together and oppose the brass for the tiniest of times and get a union formed. The sport that I’ve invested my retina, my back, and my brain for will never pay me again, and I’ve never received a role because I was recommended by the UFC or recognized from fighting. To all the fighters out there, remember, nothing will be handed to you when you leave MMA. Always look toward the future while living successfully in the now. Use your fame now to build something you’ll love doing for the rest of your life.”

 Although you are not actively competing, you still find time to train. Is it more of a relaxing routine instead of your past schedule, getting ready for a fight every three months?

Rory Markham:  “Yes and no. I find that I’ll quickly try to get in the best shape of my life in six weeks until I get injured. It’s a compulsory tick that is built-in through so many years of working out. Now, I do a Toyama Ryu Kata with Katana and it gets my body in unison with my mind. I believe working and training my mind which is the best use of my time. Pat Miletich gave me the best compliment I have ever received. He said: “Rory, you are the most talented fighter I’ve ever trained.” He looked at me deeply and said, now listen to me and understand what I’m saying to you. Not the best this or best that. You are a damn good fighter that is very talented. I want you to go for it this acting. I can see your name across the big white screen getting an Oscar for a performance of a torn bad guy. I see this just like I saw my first world title. We looked at one another both in tears. Embracing him in the best hug, I said to him I love you Pat, and he said you too bud.”Rory Markham

Your fire for competing didn’t extinguish as you found yourself back in the cage in 2016. What did it mean to you being back after the long layoff?

Rory Markham: “I simply needed to go out with a win. I didn’t want to leave the sport with an empty void and a loss as my legacy. Imagine carrying around an egg your whole 13+ year career. I held that egg in battle and became conscious that if I took any more severe punishment, my brain wasn’t going to be there to help me when I need it in the film industry. I care for all the competitors out there. I rode that wave of success and fame that the game provides, and on it, always remembering to protect yourself long term. Special thanks to BioXcellerator for their generous sponsorship. I hope that their stem cell program helps with some of the damage I took during my days in the ring.”

Do you have any future ambitions in one day making a full return to Mixed Martial Arts?

Rory Markham: “I’d love to say you may see me back in action, as there is that crazy in all of us fighters that never allows us to hang up the gloves entirely. I’m still sharp, especially now with more man-strength and a more educated mind for the game. So, who knows? If I return, I’d like only to fight for a major organization. One thing I won’t do is hang around the feeder circuits and rebuild my way back to the UFC or similar organization. One thing that eats at me the most when it comes to my UFC career, with a heavy head, I recall making a promise in my post-fight speech. While Joe Rogan was interviewing me, after my win in my UFC debut against Farber, I told the respected brass and my fans I loved so much, “Thank you for having me, I will fight my heart out. While I didn’t fight with all my heart; I did give my whole heart in that fight. The good news is that I haven’t taken a headshot in years and will be cautious of that going forward if I was ever offered the right contract. With the wonders of science and brilliant leaps we have made with dieting and training, I can’t say anything other than I would love to fulfill my promise to the Heads of the UFC, to my fans, and more importantly than all to myself. Let’s just say it’s important for me to be known as a man of his word.”

How would you like to be remembered?

Rory Markham: “I want to be remembered as a man that has been through it all and didn’t become jaded toward the pulse of the human heart. We are all built for love. Even some of our closest relationships began in a fight. It’s so universal in that way. As I go forth with my legacy, no longer living day-to-day, while being as selfless as possible, I hope to attain some enlightenment on how the fight of the human spirit is closely tied to our happiness. We all know that immediate victory has an abrupt feel-good conclusion. When I am referring to fighting, this applies to every fight we endure as humans, from that victorious feeling of getting out of bed to that humble win of taking out the trash before our significant other notices and gives you that rewarding smile. Yet, it is in learning and gainful successes of acceptance of a loss and the eventual knowledge from the experience that we find and gain true victory over one’s self. I want to be a man remembered for getting through to those who need this knowledge, showing through my journey that those who think they are down for the count; those who feel lost, I can provide some semblance of an answer and show them there is always one more round.”


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