UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre will appear in the upcoming sequel to Marvel’s 2011 hit superhero film Captain America: The First Avenger.
St-Pierre landed a role in Captain America: The Winter Soldier set for release in April 2014.
The 31-year-old Canadian is known for being one of the good guys in mixed martial arts, but he will play one of the villains in the Marvel Studios production, which stars Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson among others.
GSP landed the role of Batroc the Leaper, a villain from the Marvel Comics universe. Batroc is a mercenary with no superhuman powers and is — somewhat fittingly for GSP’s background — a master of the French form of kickboxing known as savate.
Here’s a look at Batroc the Leaper giving Captain America a swift boot to the back:
According to the Internet Movie Database, GSP appeared in several action films in 2009 called Death Warrior, Never Surrender and Hell’s Chain — all written and directed by martial artist Hector Echavarria.
St-Pierre was also the subject of a 2010 documentary called The Striking Truth in 2010, directed by Canadian Steven J. Wong, as well as another documentary set to be released this year titled The DNA of GSP.
Recently there have been rumours that UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey was in talks to appear in a future Hunger Games sequel, but UFC president Dana White said it’s unlikely to happen.
“I don’t want to take away any opportunities from Ronda, but at the same time, the thing that you have to keep in perspective is that her window of opportunity as a professional athlete is (limited),” White said in February on an episode of UFC Tonight on FUEL TV.
White has yet to comment on GSP’s film role.
Active fighters appearing in major motion pictures has been somewhat common in recent years and many fighters have budding film careers.
Most notably, Quinton (Rampage) Jackson starred as B.A. Baracus in the hit A-Team movie from 2010 and retired former UFC champ Randy Couture has a recurring role in the popular Expendables franchise. UFC middleweight Cung Le also has a successful film career; Canadian light-heavyweight Krzysztof Soszynski had prominent role in the MMA comedy Here Comes the Boom last year and welterweight Mike Pyle had a cameo in Men in Black 3; and UFC welterweight Tyron Woodley appears in the action flick Olympus has Fallen, which is currently in theatres.
Gina Carano, the former face of women’s MMA, made the transition into film following her fight career and starred in the acclaimed Steven Soderbergh picture Haywire in 2011 and is slated to be in Fast and Furious 6 later this year.
St-Pierre is coming off a unanimous decision win over Nick Diaz at UFC 158 in Montreal on March 16.