On his 52nd birthday, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson shared footage of himself practicing mixed martial arts on social media in a series of clips posted to his 397 million followers

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has shared footage of himself training in mixed martial arts on social media.

In a series of clips posted to his 397 million Instagram followers, the 52-year-old can be seen kicking pads, practising takedowns and working on his ground-and-pound inside a ring.

The Rock recently enjoyed a successful return to professional wrestling, taking part in a tag-team match alongside Roman Reigns against Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins at WrestleMania 40.

His age-defying performances inside the WWE ring led to fans calling for a more long-term return to the squared circle.

However, the return was always set to end after the showcase event at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, to allow him to get started with his current training regime.

The Rock shared clips of himself beginning his training in mixed martial arts on social media


The Hollywood star is set to play former UFC fighter Mark Kerr in a biopic of his career

The 52-year-old recently returned for a short run in WWE culminating at WrestleMania 40

The Rock begins MMA training camp ahead of filming ‘Smashing Machine’

Nearly five years have passed since Johnson announced his production company Seven Bucks Productions would produce a film on former UFC tournament champion Mark Kerr titled The Smashing Machine, with himself playing the lead role.

Work has since begun on the film, with the Rock undergoing an intense physical training regime to help him transform into prime Kerr.

Writing on social media, the 52-year-old described the ‘humbling’ process of learning MMA, and shared clips of himself practising takedowns and ground-and-pound.

‘Day 1. MMA training camp,’ he wrote on Instagram.

‘Preparing for “Smashing Machine” I’m learning daily and it’s been a very humbling, intense and motivating journey into this world of combat and becoming, Mark Kerr – the two-time Heavyweight Tournament Champion, World Vale Tudo Champion.

‘I’m a hard worker, but I realized that I’d have to work harder with this role than anything I’ve ever worked for in my life.

‘This physicality is just one part of the larger journey, that is truly a team effort. Growing and grateful.’

One of the first decorated collegiate wrestler to step into MMA, Kerr arrived in the sport during a time where the ruleset we recognise today was still being developed.

Fighting his early contests bare-knuckle with few rules to protect the fighters, Kerr’s muscle-bound frame and dominant wrestling skills made him a star of the sport’s early days.

Kerr, pictured here with fellow MMA pioneer Mark Coleman, won two one-night UFC tournaments during the early days of mixed martial arts

The former collegiate wrestler’s tumultuous career was chronicled in a documentary titled The Smashing Machine

Kerr won two one-night tournaments in the UFC, before moving over to Japanese promotion Pride Fighting Championships in 1998.

Chronicled in an infamous documentary also titled The Smashing Machine, personal issues away from the ring combined with poor performances in competition saw Kerr spiral in the early years of the millennium, losing five fights in a row.

Now 55, Kerr retired from MMA in 2009 sporting a record of 15 wins and 11 losses.