‘Sons of Anarchy’ Star Theo Rossi and His UFC ‘Addiction’


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

When the UFC landed on Fox and FX, the goal was for a whole new group of fans to learn and find out exactly what mixed martial arts was all about.

While that goal is still being achieved with every show broadcast on the network, some of the actors and actresses that are part of the Fox family are also starting to become UFC fans along the way.

One of those actors is ‘Sons of Anarchy’ star Theo Rossi, who first ran across the sport of MMA years ago when he was still making his way into the Hollywood scene.

Long before the days of Dana White and the Fertitta brothers, Rossi first encountered the UFC while working at a bar in Los Angeles. Unbeknownst to him at the time, years later the sport would come back around and become his new obsession.

“I boxed most of my life so I’ve always been training with boxing, I just always used it as a way to work out and then it eventually led to sparring, and I really, really got into it. I’m super competitive, so then what happened was it was kind of this natural move where UFC started gaining popularity, and obviously I have stories that go back to when I first moved to L.A. in October 99', I worked in this bar/restaurant, I was bartending, I was waitering,” Rossi told MMAWeekly Radio.

“While I was working there these guys came in, the guys that came in were Tank Abbott, Frank Shamrock, Ken Shamrock, and I believe it was Kimo (Leopoldo), and they all came in they had some kind of event. They came into this bar and literally I was their waiter at their table, and they were drinking and eating steaks, and this was a bar that was super rowdy. Drunk people everywhere, it was just one of those bars and the bouncers were saying ‘if these guys get in a fight, I am not jumping in’. Tank was like looking around for a fight, and I was just hanging around with them and I really knew nothing about it at the time. I didn’t know much about it.”

As time went by and Rossi spent more time in and around the bar scene in Los Angeles, he noticed a startling trend – the local pubs and clubs were showing a lot more mixed martial arts than boxing.

“So I started watching it, I started taking in little events here and there. I was still this boxing purist so it was really hard for me kind of really pay attention to it. Then, I would always keep my eyes open and my cousins own one of the biggest sports bars in Los Angeles, so the bars would always be packed for UFC fights and I found it really odd cause I was always in there,” explained Rossi.

Then in late 2011, the deal between the UFC and Fox was announced, and Rossi soon found himself on the list of actors set to walk the red carpet during the promotion’s first event on the network.

Rossi plays ‘Juice’ on ‘Sons of Anarchy’, the No. 1 rated drama on FX, and along with several of his cast mates they attended the UFC on Fox 1 card with Cain Velasquez taking on Junior dos Santos. When the night was over, like so many people before him, Rossi was hooked.

Rossi also had the chance to meet and greet UFC President Dana White and co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta, and much like his boss and Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter, their personalities all clicked right away.

“Then when FX and Fox kind of made the deal, I really started paying attention as in becoming more of a student of it. I was lucky enough to meet Dana (White) and Lorenzo (Fertitta) and it was like an instant connection, they’re just like the two coolest people, down to earth, everything I look for in this chaotic business,” said Rossi.

“The most real, you would never know what they do, you would never know anything about them business wise hanging out with them, they’re just two normal guys. Basically, I started, like I do with everything, studying up and getting more and more involved.”

After the initial UFC on Fox event, Rossi was invited out to Las Vegas to stop by the Ultimate Fighter set as filming on last season took place. The Sons of Anarchy star met with coaches Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz, and he quickly found two new friends.

As time passed, Rossi became a mainstay at all of the UFC events and now almost any time you turn on a pay-per-view, you’ll see the Sons of Anarchy star sitting at or near the front row.

“I would say I’m kind of addicted,” said Rossi. “We have the fights on in the craft service trailer, we watch the fights, I would watch fights between takes, I’m pretty addicted. Mainly because, I enjoy it so much. I enjoy the fact that people lose, I enjoy the fact that it changes, I enjoy what Dana and Lorenzo have done, I enjoy the company.”

Rossi says the crossover appeal between the popular FX outlaw biker drama and the UFC is a natural. He’s still blown away every time he walks into an arena and the UFC fans recognize him from his work on TV, and there’s no doubt the Sons of Anarchy crowd is a perfect fit for the fight world.

“It’s pretty surreal. Like I told Dana, I think UFC and MMA and Sons of Anarchy, motorcycles, Harley-Davidson, whatever and the military are like a perfect fit. That’s our wheelhouse. Those four. It was shocking to me just walking into the TUF house, or MGM or whatever arena it is to see the reaction for the show, that’s our people right there,” Rossi stated.

“I love that. Just like at (San Diego) Comic-Con and I said it there and I’ll say it again, our fans are the most die hard fans, UFC fans are the most die hard fans, MMA fans are the most die hard fans, comic book fans are the most die hard fans. We’re in our fifth season and I’ve never met a fan who has told me ‘yeah I’ve seen one or two, and I really didn’t love it’. I’ve either had people go ‘I love the show, I’ve seen every single episode, I could sketch your diaper on a pad, I know every single thing about it, I love it’ or ‘I haven’t seen it yet, but I heard it’s fantastic’. Those are the two reactions I get. When I walk into that arena, just the reaction is incredible and it’s just the perfect fit.”

As Sons of Anarchy gets ready to kick off its fifth season on Tuesday night, Rossi will be excited to see how fans greet his latest work on television, but assuredly on Friday night he’ll be tuning into the new Ultimate Fighter and then UFC 152 next weekend.

One day, Rossi hopes his two passions might even meet.

No, Rossi isn’t planning a trip to the Octagon any time soon, but he might invite one of the UFC’s top stars to guest star alongside him on Sons of Anarchy. He thinks someone like UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos or Alistair Overeem would do great on the biker show – maybe even a fight would break out.

“Maybe because it’s on TV,” Rossi joked. “I beat them up.”

To hear the entire 30 plus minute interview with Theo Rossi including a preview of season 5 of Sons of Anarchy, check out his episode of MMAWeekly Radio

view original article >>

Related News

  • 28 days ago
  • 25 views

Cody Gibson reached his first major goal when he made his UFC debut earlier this year. You can find the rest of his goal on a list he keeps in his bathroom.Filed under: Featured Videos, News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos more

  • 22 days ago
  • 32 views

Ronda Rousey is the biggest star in the known universe. This may not be the most truthful statement ever written. But it feels that way, here in one of the many rooms that make up the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Rousey, clad in a gray Marilyn Monroe shirt, black leather jacket, designer Chuck Taylors and a gold Octagon necklace, is holding court on a small stage constructed specifically for her. To Rousey’s left is UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman. He is discussing his title defense again more

  • 19 days ago
  • 49 views

It doesn't take a doctor to see that something is very, very wrong with Uriah Hall's toe. Bleacher Report MMA tweeted out a couple of grisly images of his damaged foot (Warning: Images are graphic and NSFW): According to MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani, Hall could actually feel the bone in his toe poking out of the skin: Demonstrating exactly how tough he is, the 29-year-old continued using the injured foot to kick Thiago Santos, per Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee: Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman more

  • 19 days ago
  • 43 views

Those might have been 16 costly seconds for Ronda Rousey at UFC 175. UFC President Dana White revealed on SportsCenter the women's bantamweight champion may have broken her hand while knocking out Alexis Davis: Rousey required stitches to close up a cut on her hand after the fight, per Sportsnet's Mike Johnston (Warning: image is graphic): The injury was likely a result of one of the many blows she unloaded on Davis while the challenger was pinned on the mat. After landing a flurry of punches, t more

  • 19 days ago
  • 14 views

There's something disconcerting about finding beauty in the midst of absurdly cartoonish violence, but there was something jaw-droppingly gorgeous about Ronda Rousey's UFC 175 win over Alexis Davis. Watching Davis fly through the air, her night already over long before Rousey's perfect harai goshi throw ended all doubts, was mesmerizing. It may have lasted less than two seconds in real time—but in that moment, and in our memories, Davis hung in the air forever. It's here, in those eye blinks whe more

  • 19 days ago
  • 22 views

It was a long time in the making, but ADCC absolute and IBJJF World champion Robert Drysdale's UFC debut went about as well as one could hope. Facing Keith Berish in the opening bout of The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale card, Drysdale - the hometown Las Vegas, Nevada favorite - took control of the bout right away. The jiu-jitsu black belt level changed for a double leg takedown, which pushed Berish into the fence. The takedown proved successful and right away Drysdale went to work. Passing almost i more

  • 12 days ago
  • 44 views

Following his UFC release, ONE FC has signed 'the Truth' Brandon Vera. Brandon Vera has been representing the Philippines during his entire fighting career, but while he has had countless visits throughout the years, the Filipino-American fighter has never fought in the country itself. Once thought to be the perfect mainstay for a card in Manila, Vera never really had a chance to compete in front of Filipinos as the promotion kept delaying that long overdue event in Manila. Following his UFC rel more

  • 10 days ago
  • 34 views

Boxing's pound-for-pound best Floyd Mayweather Jr. claims to not know who Ronda Rousey is. more

  • 8 days ago
  • 19 views

Ronda Rousey made history by becoming the first MMA fighter to win an ESPY award. While most MMA fans were obviously tuned into UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs. Miller, there was the matter of the ESPY awards in Los Angeles. One of the categories for the ESPN-presented ceremony was "Best Female Athlete", with nominees Maya Moore (WNBA), Mikaela Shiffrin (2014 Olympic gold medalist in slalom skiing), Breanna Stewart (UConn college basketball), and UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. And t more