Why actor Devon Sawa loves MMA

Maggie Hendricks

Devon Sawa has been appearing in movies since 1993. His roles range from the mean boy Scott Wormer in "Now and Then" to the maniacal "Stan" in Eminem's epic music video to action hero Owen Elliot in the TV series "Nikita." He is also a huge MMA fan, and he talked to Cagewriter about how he feel for the sport.

Sawa started training in boxing and Muay Thai around six years ago, and was drawn in by the sport.

"I used to party a lot, and go to clubs a lot and do that whole thing, I just decided that I needed a different thing in life. I needed a change. I started boxing, and went to Thailand and tried Muay Thai. As I got into it, I started watching it. At first it was just UFC, and you know how it goes from there. All of a sudden I'm watching PRIDE, and waking up at 3 in the morning to watch DREAM, and it kind of snowballed."

He rarely misses fights since he rarely has to work on Saturday nights, though he's not happy about missing this weekend's boxing match because of a flight. Like many MMA fans, he has a hard time narrowing down his favorite fighters.

"I have to say GSP because I'm a Canadian. I'd love to see him go back to the old GSP but he's winning, and that's good. I'm a big Chael Sonnen fan. He's an exciting fighter to watch. I know he's got his thing, and he's a great promoter out of the Octagon, but when he's in there, he delivers. He makes it interesting, but he gets in the Octagon and he really does perform."

Like many MMA fans, he is still thinking about the five-round war between Dan Henderson and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.

"My favorite fight right now is the Hendo fight, because it just happened and you're still feeling the buzz from it."

Sawa hasn't attend too many live fight events, but he did attend a card that is now infamous.

"I was at a Strikeforce show where I was right up front, and it was awesome. I was there for the Mayhem Miller brawl with the Diaz brothers. I was turning to leave, and all of a sudden there's an all-out brawl in the cage."

He is currently starring on the CW show "Nikita," and finds that his MMA training comes in handy both on the show and in pursuing other roles.

"I didn't start MMA so that it would go into my work, but it has. I do this show "Nikita," and it's action-based. I have an episode coming up where I do a little Muay Thai, and I've used jiu-jitsu in another episode. Those skills come in handy."

Next year, he will play the friend of an MMA fighter in "The Philly Kid," a movie Sawa describes as a Rocky-type, feel-good story. Training alongside fighters at Legends MMA, he knows what goes into fight preparation.

"I train just for hobby. You watch these guys, and they put so much into it. There's so much they do just to get there. And it's one-on-one. They show their skills, and I've got a lot of respect for those guys. It's the ultimate test. Whose better conditioned? Who has better skills? If it ends up on the ground, can you handle that?"

Watch Sawa on Friday nights in "Nikita" on the CW.

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