There was three UFC fighters featured in the newest season of ‘Cobra Kai’ and Eryk Anders was one of them.
In his acting debut, the UFC Middleweight made into the second episode of season five. Anders played the role of ‘Vicente’, a Mexican MMA fighter who worked for Hector Salazar, also known as Miguel Diaz’s biological father.
Following his role in the show, Anders joked he doesn’t who he was anymore.
“It was cool,” Anders told MMA Island. “I mean, I’m in a bit of an identity crisis. I’m American, they think I’m Brazilian and play a Mexican. So, I don’t even know know who I am anymore.”
While he read his lines in Spanish, Anders revealed the show-runners decided to take out his voice and replace it with a fluent Spanish tongue instead.
“That’s definitely a voiceover. I tried to do the lines in Spanish, but man, if you just listen to me, I’m a bit too country to have a Mexican accent. They tried to bring me back and like do the voiceover after we shot the thing. Actually, when we did the scene, I was supposed to speak in Spanish, but I just spoke English and they really wanted me to speak Spanish. So I went back and was like reading lines in Spanish, but again, terrible.
“I guess, they had somebody else do it. Cause some of it’s me, but you know, a lot of it’s not.”
Of course, they didn’t bring in Anders for his Spanish-speaking, they brought him in because he’s a UFC fighter. The series would showcase ‘MMA vs. karate’ in the latest season’s second episode. They’d pit Anders’ character of ‘Vicente’ against main protagonist, the iconic Johnny Lawrence, played by William Zabka. You can watch the fight scene HERE.
“He’s cool,” Anders said of working with Zabka. “And you know, he actually throws that kick. It’s not a stunt devil, he could do all the punches and kicks, he could do them himself and I’m pretty sure he’s pushing 60. So, it’s impressive. It was cool, man.
“The only thing that sucks, we must have did that [fight scene] a hundred times. Then the scene and then how we rehearsed it, like on the fly, on the spot, as we’re shooting it, they switched it up and said, ‘okay, you’re not gonna do that, you’re gonna do this now’. I guess that’s just Hollywood though.”
Anders’ character nearly submitted Lawrence with a D’arce choke, but would ultimately lose after Johnny got thrown a pepper from his son, Robbie, to blind Vicente. After that, Lawrence would finish the fight with a headkick.
“I know it’s hard to believe me going for a submission attempt,” Anders laughed. “I didn’t finish it obviously, but Johnny had a little help. Should be a no contest. But still in a no contest, I only get one check. So, I was cheated.”
Along with Anders, Cobra Kai season 5 would feature the likes of former UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley and the UFC’s karate kid, Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson. Unfortunately, Anders wasn’t on set with his fellow UFC veterans but is glad they shared the spotlight in the show.
“I heard they were in it and were gonna be in it whenever I was doing my part. I think it’s cool that Cobra Kai is incorporating MMA fighters and people from other genres of martial arts. One, it’s great exposure for the fighters. Cause, it’s like the #1 show on Netflix. Two, it also kind of brings the MMA people into Cobra Kai.
“So, it’s like a pretty smart crossover, I think on their part.”
You catch Eryk Anders on Cobra Kai season 5, which is now streaming exclusively on Netflix.