If you come across Martyn Ford in the street it would be hard not to stare. Standing at 6’8” and weighing 320 lbs with a shaved head and tattoos covering his body and face he certainly stands out from the crowd. The Englishman is sometimes referred to as the Real Life Hulk and it is easy to see why.
Martyn Ford is a professional bodybuilder and has a cultivated a large online following in the last number of years. His popularity and unique look has also helped him to secure a number of roles in popular movies such as Viking Destiny and Kingsman: The Golden Circle. He is also set to feature in the latest installment of the Fast and Furious franchise.
In 2018 Polish MMA promotion KSW announced that they had signed Martyn Ford to their roster of fighters. Ford has confirmed that he is training in MMA but a date has yet to be set for his debut.
Early Life & Cricket
Growing up in England Martyn always had a passion for sports and physical activity. Over the years he played a number of sports including javelin and shot put throwing. However it was the sport of cricket that was his first passion.
He began playing cricket at the age of 12 and went on to sign for the first-class county club Warwickshire. He played for them for about 7 years and at one stage was invited to enjoy the English Cricket Board Academy, which is a common route for young players hoping to turn professional. However Martyn suffered a bad injury at the age of 19. After this injury Martyn contracted Glandular fever and went through a tough mental health patch which thwarted his dreams of playing professional cricket.
As time passed Martyn began to realize that his goal of becoming a professional cricket player was slipping away. During this time he began lifting weights as a way of providing meditation and relaxation to help with his anxiety. However he soon developed a passion for lifting and it was not long before he became obsessed with bodybuilding.
In the years that followed Martyn built up an strong online following on Instagram and increased his popularity within the bodybuiling community. He also established a number of businesses aimed at providing training and nutrition tips. His website martynfordcoaching.com offers 1-1 coaching as well as customized diet and training plans.
Martyn regularly posts up his workout schedules and has said that he his calorie intake can be anywhere from 4,500 to 8,000 calories per day, depending on his current training goals.
Martyn’s unique stature and look have also provided him with a number of opportunities in the acting world. In 2016 Martyn landed his first role in the TV series Of Kings and Prophets. Since then he has featured in a number of other film and TV projects such as Boyka: Undisputed, and Kingsman: The Golden Circle.
Most of his roles to date have been minor parts but his acting career looks set to jump to the next level in the coming years. In 2021 he is set to feature in Joss Whedons’s latest HBO series The Nevers. He also announced via his Instagram that he is set to feature in the 9th installment of the Fast and Furious series alongside former WWE superstar John Cena.
In 2018 the Polish MMA promotion KSW announced that Martyn Ford had joined their promotion during an interview with him during a live broadcast.
Martyn Ford training BJJ at Gracie Barra
KSW is one of the biggest promotions in Europe and have modeled themselves on the now defunct Japanese Pride promotion. This means that a certain percentage of their matches feature unusual matchups in terms of spectacles and oddity. These matches appeal to a casual fan base who are keen to see novelty matchups and who may be less interested in the sport of MMA.
Ford is not the first celebrity to cross over into MMA with a number of other. In recent years the spectacle of online influencers and celebrities entering into the boxing and MMA rings has become more frequent. These fighters appeal to MMA organizations who leverage off these fighters already established fanbases. These type of match ups can be quite polarizing for fans and commentators. Many are torn between the exposure it brings the sport versus the dilution of the sport as a whole.
However Martyn Ford has made it clear that he is not getting in the MMA cage to make a quick buck. In an interview given to mmafighting.com Ford explained that he was under no illusion that he would be competing for the championship belt anytime soon but was relishing the challenge of fighting in professional MMA.
This is purely about passion. I’ve always wanted to be a sportsperson and my early cricket injury only intensified that. It’s like my first love that got away. I’ve always had that void in my life and this feels like another opportunity to fulfill it. This doesn’t usually happen for guys my age so I want to fully embrace it, enjoy it and give it 100 percent.
Ford does not have any background in any of the base combat sports that make up MMA. However he has begun training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He trains BJJ at Gracie Barra Coldfield near Birmingham, England where he is currently a white belt.
Since the announcement that Ford would be competing in MMA, fans have been having fun guessing at who might be his first opponent. Some fans have suggested that the “The Iranian Hulk”, Sajad Gharibi as his first opponent. Gharibii is an Iranian bodybuilder who is famous for his freakish muscle volume in relation to his height. It is easy to see why this freak match up might appeal to fans but it may be a hard match up to make in reality. KSW are more likely to match Ford up against an inexperienced fighter at a similar weight category in an attempt to build up his profile. Whoever his first matchup is against you can be sure that we will all be watching closely.