KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 — Zul Ariffin hopes Malaysians would start practicing Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) after watching Sangkar, Malaysia’s first MMA film.
The movie, set for release in May 2019, will see Zul star as an MMA athlete alongside professional MMA athletes, ONE Championship’s Jihin “Shadowcat” Radzuan and former ONE athlete James “The Hammer” McSweeney.
“I hope Malaysians will want to pick up the sport after watching the movie.
“Even I fell in love with the sport after the filming of the movie and whenever I have the time these days, hitting the pads is my priority,” the 32-year-old said.
The Taiping-born actor also said it was one of the tougher roles he had taken in his acting career.
“Working alongside actual MMA fighters was tough, but fun. I remember when I first stepped foot in the cage with McSweeney, I froze.
“He was so big and throughout filming I even got hit in the face, but I liked it. We were trying to make it look real so it’s no issue to me.”
When asked on the MMA scene in Malaysia, Zul replied: “It’s growing”.
“I love the sport and it is my first time here today (at a live MMA event). I’m impressed that Malaysians packed the stadium to support their heroes.
“Hopefully when we want to collaborate again together they would not be too busy.”
Malaysians can expect to see Zul on the big screen more often next year as he stars in two other films Misteri Dilaila and J Revolusi 2.
“I hope we can make a sequel to Sangkar in 2019 and collaborate with these athletes again.
“2018 has been quite a year for the local film industry and I hope it is something not seasonal. The success of several movies opens the doors to young film makers too and I hope they are not scared to try making something new,” he said during an interview session at ONE: Destiny of Champions.