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Idris Elba Will Train to Become a (Real) Pro Kickboxer on Discovery’s ‘Fighter’

Actor will compete in no-holds-barred bout by end of limited series

In case you were on the fence about just how big a badass Idris Elba really is, the actor has entered training to become a pro kickboxer. Fortunately, fans can follow the whole thing unfold via Discovery reality show, “Fighter.”

The limited series of three one-hour episodes was announced Tuesday morning at the Edinburgh Television Festival.

Elba, the star of “Star Trek Beyond” and the hit TV series “Luther,” will shoot the series over the course of one year on location in Britain, Cuba, Japan, South Africa and Thailand. Discovery Networks International channels plans to broadcast it across more than 220 countries and territories — including the United States and United Kingdom — in early 2017.

Elba, who will be mentored along the way by former world champions, trainers, and coaches, used to kickbox back in his 20s to stay fit, but the actor never fought professionally — until now.

“It has been a lifelong ambition of mine to fight professionally,” Elba said. “Entering the ring to further test myself as a human being is a challenge I have been looking to take on for quite some time.”

“This raw yet intimate series will show a side of Idris that viewers and fans won’t get from his spectacular film work,” Marjorie Kaplan, president of Content, Discovery Networks International, added. “From East London to the Far East and the Caribbean, he’ll explore strength, stamina and spirituality through a range of martial arts and their fascinating histories. We’re absolutely thrilled that Idris has chosen Discovery to tell his story and journey in the right way.”

Idris Elba: Fighter” is produced for Discovery Networks International by Shine North and Elba’s Green Door Pictures. Ed Sayer is commissioner and Victoria Noble is executive producer for Discovery Networks International. Rick Murray is executive producer for Shine North. Kaplan is president of content for Discovery Networks International.