Local 'Hawaii Five-0' star was former ultimate fighter

Published: Apr. 22, 2012 at 10:25 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 23, 2012 at 8:11 PM HST
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Taylor Wily
Taylor Wily
Wily in the feature film "Forgetting Sarah Marshall"
Wily in the feature film "Forgetting Sarah Marshall"
Wily (on right) in UFC 1
Wily (on right) in UFC 1

LAIE (HawaiiNewsNow) - Like many other children, growing up Taylor Wily dreamt of being on television. But Wily never had a plan and never thought getting on TV would be possible. Still, the Laie boy was determined to succeed.

Taylor Wily is most well known for his role as "Kamekona" on the CBS show Hawaii Five-0. He's also played a role as "Kemo" in the movie "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." But in Laie, his community knows him simply as "Big-T."

"Before I never like the name," said Wily, "growing up fatso like that, last thing you like hear is big."

But being big physically was a blessing in disguise. After graduating from Kahuku High School, Wily pursued sumo wrestling in Japan. It was there where he shared a stable with a future Yokozuna.

"Me and Akebono was close, we was in the same stable," said Wily. "I was actually at the top of the stable so I took him under my wing."

The Samoan racked up 57-wins over a two year span, which caught the eyes of a then unknown company called the "Ultimate-Fighting-Championship." The UFC then offered Wily a chance to fight in their very first event. However, the debut of the company may never have happened if he hadn't been there.

"They informed us that you couldn't cover your knuckles in the ring," said Wily. "So there was arguments in there. It was getting heated in there."

The fighters final contracts were handed out the night before the event, but none of the fighter felt comfortable signing it. However, without hesitation, Taylor Wily did, and became the first official fighter in the history of the UFC.

"The owners of the UFC came up and thanked me because they said they don't know if everyone would have signed the contract had I not did that," said Wily.

The door on his mixed martial arts career closed after just one round, but then a path opened to pursue his childhood dream. Wily crashed an audition for the movie "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and was awarded the role of "Kemo." A few years later, Hawaii Five-0 came around.

"I actually crashed their auditions too," said Wily. "I was lucky that the boss was there because he took a liking to me, and the rest is history."

History that he hopes to pass onto others who hope to follow in his footsteps.

"Number one, dream big, when you stop dreaming, I cant imagine that," said Wily. "Number two, you need a plan, you can have money, you can have all the opportunities in the world, but without the plan you aren't never going no where, because without a plan, you don't even know where you going."

Hawaii Five-0 has been renewed for a third season, so you can look forward seeing more of Wily in future Five-0 episodes.

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.