Fighters Only, the world’s first monthly mixed martial arts and lifestyle publication, announced that Dolph Lundgren will host the 11th Annual World MMA Awards Wednesday, July 3 in Las Vegas.
“In the 1980s, Dolph Lundgren skyrocketed to international fame for his iconic role as Ivan Drago in Rocky IV,” said Rob Hewitt, CEO of Fighters Only. “Not only has he has held this fame, he’s become known to an entirely new generation of fans as Drago in the latest Rocky franchise film, Creed II. As a lifelong martial artist and huge supporter of combat sports, we are honored Dolph Lundgren is hosting our Awards show.”
“I am a big fan of MMA and am as excited as anyone to find out who wins an Award this year,” said Lundgren. “As a lifelong martial artist, I have so much respect for these athletes, and everyone behind their success. I wish everyone good luck! See you soon in Las Vegas.”
Since playing the character Ivan Drago in Rocky IV, Lundgren has starred in more than 70 feature films. In addition to Creed II, he starred as King Nereus in Aquaman, along with Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe and Nicole Kidman.
Lundgren holds a third degree black belt in karate. He also served as the captain of the Swedish National Karate Team and became the individual champion of the Swedish, European and Australian heavyweight Full Contact divisions. Additionally, Dolph was selected by the U.S. Olympic Committee to serve as the Team Leader of the U.S. Olympic Pentathlon Team during the 1996 Atlanta Games.
Prior to his acting career, Lundgren served in the Swedish Marine Corps. After completing his military service, he enrolled in the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm in pursuit of a chemical engineering degree. He attended both Washington State University and Clemson University in South Carolina on various scholarships. He graduated from The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, completing his Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering on an exchange program with the University of Sydney in Australia. After graduating the head of his class, he was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, one of the world’s top engineering schools.
Lundgren has two production companies, Thor Pictures and Red Orm Productions, which are developing several projects, including the thriller Malevolence, and a period piece set in Sweden titled Nordic Light.
Fighters Only has presented the World MMA Awards every year since 2008 to honor exceptional performances in the sport. Each year an industry panel of experts selects nominees across 20 different categories. Once nominees are announced, fans inherit the power to determine the winner. For one month, fans vote for nominees through the official Awards website, WorldMMAAwards.com, using their mobile devices, smart phones or personal computers. The most anticipated awards include Fighter of the Year, Knockout of the Year and Upset of the Year.
The Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards is sponsored in part by Cellucor, the makers of America’s best-selling pre-workout brand C4® and a global leader in sports nutrition.
Photograph © Glenn Francis, www.PacificProDigital.com