ByDominique Hatcher, writer at
Black Geek. Aspiring Writer. Oxymoron wrapped in a contradiction.

Scott Adkins is one of the most talented and electrifying martial arts stars working in movies today. Having gotten his start in various Jackie Chan and Jet Li films as a henchman, Adkins burst onto the scene with his role in 2006's Undisputed II: Last Man Standing, the direct-to-video sequel to 2002's Undisputed that starred Ving Rhames as heavyweight champion George "Iceman" Chambers imprisoned for rape and set to fight against reigning prison champion Monroe Hutchen, played by Wesley Snipes. For the sequel, Michael Jai White took over the role of Chambers, while Adkins appeared as Yuri Boyka, King of the Prison Fighters who brutally destroys his opponents in the ring and has crowned himself The Most Complete Fighter in the World. Following his defeat by Chambers at the end of that film, Boyka is a broken man relegated to mopping up the prison toilets when the events of 2010's Undisputed III: Redemption take place. The criminal elements behind the illegal prison fight circuit organize a worldwide championship where the winner is granted a clean record and early release from prison. Humbled by his recent loss, Boyka is a more stoic but still brutal fighter, taking on all comers and emerging victorious against his rivals, limping off into the sunset a free man.

What began as a simple prison boxing movie has exploded into a bonafide action franchise with Adkins at the center. The other man responsible for the success of the franchise, and arguably of Adkins himself, is director Isaac Florentine who made an impact with action fans due to his early films Desert Kickboxer, Savate and U.S. Seals 2. After serving a 3 year stint in the army, he attained a degree in Film & Television from Tel-Aviv University. He quickly found his niche in martial arts films, due in part to his own training in Karate from the age of 13 and running a highly successful Karate school before immigrating to America. His first film with Scott Adkins was 2003's Special Forces in which Adkins had a supporting role as part of a team of special operatives infiltrating a Hezbollah terrorist camp to rescue a hostage. Later, it was Florentine who pushed to have Adkins cast as Boyka in Undisputed II, as they wanted a bigger, more imposing actor for the role. After the success of that film, the two would go on to collaborate on five more films together, each one just as hard hitting. For a while, it seemed that the fourth film would continue the trend of having the previous film's villain appear as the protagonist in the following entry, but fans have been heavily clamoring for a return of their favorite fighter, Yuri Boyka and Florentine and Adkins have listened and returned to deliver.

Adkins has once again taken up his very specific training regimen to not only pack on the necessary muscle mass and definition to accurately portray the world's most perfect fighter. For Undisputed II, Adkins bulked up to 200 lbs. in order to look menacing enough to stand up to Michael Jai White (220-230 lbs.). He cut down to about 194 lbs. for Undisputed III but that's still heavier than the 175-180 lbs. he normally sports. Adkins' fighting style contains multiple components but seems to have a heavier emphasis on Taekwondo and Wushu, which are more fluid and acrobatic. Such motions are more difficult to perform with excess muscle mass, which is a problem that has plagued Adkins in his past portrayals of the character. Going into his third time as Boyka though, he seems to have gotten the hang of it. The tenatively titled Boyka: Unidsputed IV is currently filming in Bulgaria but almost nothing else is known about the production at this point. Adkins is very active on social media (particularly Facebook) so I'm sure we will see some behind-the-scenes photos and videos popping up online relatively soon.....


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