Taylor Wily, ‘Hawaii Five-0’ actor and competitor in UFC’s first broadcasted fight, dead at 56

Written by on June 21, 2024

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Taylor Wily, the first fighter to step inside the Octagon during a broadcast-turned-popular actor, has died at 56. Wily only had one professional MMA fight, entering UFC 1 on the strength of his sumo background. But that one fight turned out to be one of the most memorable in the promotion’s history.

That fight may have been as important as any other on the show, though it went poorly for Wily. Gerard Gordeau knocked him out in less than 30 seconds in the opening round of the event’s tournament, landing a head kick that created an iconic moment as three of Wily’s teeth were dislodged, with one visibly flying toward the crowd and two reportedly lodged into Gordeau’s foot.

As the first UFC fight seen by the masses — there had been a tournament alternate bout prior to the show’s airing — it set an immediate and shocking tone that established MMA as a completely different animal from boxing.

After his fighting career came to a quick end, Wily went on to a successful career in acting.

While Wily’s most famous role is likely as the affable Kemo in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” alongside Jason Segel, Kristen Bell and Mila Kunis, he also had major recurring roles in both the “Hawaii Five-0” and “Magnum P.I.”

The post Taylor Wily, ‘Hawaii Five-0’ actor and competitor in UFC’s first broadcasted fight, dead at 56 first appeared on CBS Sports.


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