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Michael Bisping to star in new boxing film, ‘The Journeyman’

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The charismatic Brit was cast in the lead role of the gritty sports drama.

UFC Hall of Fame: Official Class of 2019 Induction Ceremony
Fighter, commentator, actor, and now leading man, Michael Bisping
Photo by Todd Lussier/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping has proven himself a star within the Octagon and behind the commentators’ desk. He now has the opportunity to show what he is made of as a leading man in a feature film.

Somewhat similar in feel and theme to The Wrestler (2008) starring Mickey Rourke, The Journeyman is an adaptation of British author Mark Turley’s 2014 book, Journeyman: The Other Side of the Boxing Business, A New Perspective on the Noble Art.

The book is a nonfiction account of the career of East London’s Johnny Greaves, who fought 100 times and only won on five occasions. Turley interviewed a handful of other journeymen fighters as well, but Greaves is the focus of the book, and he will serve as technical advisor during production.

Director Dax Phelan, who co-wrote the screenplay with Turley, told Deadline, “For obvious reasons, Mike brings an authenticity and an X-factor to the role that no other actor ever could. His contributions to the script have been insightful and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to explore this character with him.”

While the book was nonfiction, the adaptation is not. Kenny “The Beast” Breen is a fictional amalgamation of the journeymen Turley interviewed. It will be Bisping’s job to bring the aging, drug addicted character to life. The story follows the final chapters of Breen’s career, as he continues fighting even after being diagnosed with CTE.

While this is Bisping’s first starring role, he has racked up quite a few acting credits, notably in Den of Thieves (2018) and xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017).

The film will shoot in the UK.