Daniel Pesina

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Daniel Pesina
Daniel Pesina by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Daniel Pesina in 2017
Born (1958-12-01) December 1, 1958 (age 60)
OccupationMartial artist
Years active1991–present

Daniel Pesina (born December 1, 1958), is an American martial arts expert and a former freelance employee of Midway.

Pesina started his work as an extra in martial arts films, appearing as one of Shredder's foot soldiers in the 1991 film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.

During the creation of the 1992 video game Mortal Kombat, he played Johnny Cage and ninja characters Sub-Zero, Scorpion and Reptile, and served as a martial arts coordinator for the game. Then in Mortal Kombat II he reprised his roles from the previous game, also playing the roles of Smoke, and Noob Saibot.[1]

After his participation in MKII, Pesina parted from Midway,[2] and sued them for unpaid royalties from his likeness being used in the console versions of the first two MK games.[3] For this reason, from MK3 on his characters were played by different actors: the ninja roles were taken over by John Turk in Mortal Kombat 3 and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, while Johnny Cage would be played by Chris Alexander in Mortal Kombat Trilogy. During this time, Pesina promoted BloodStorm (a fighting game designed by former Midway employee who assisted in the making of Mortal Kombat series) in an advert, dressed up as Johnny Cage.[4] He and his younger brother Carlos also secretly worked on Tattoo Assassins, another competing game to Mortal Kombat. Carlos Pesina remained with Midway until the company's closure, and as of 2019, still works at NetherRealm Studios.

In the 2003 martial arts movie Book of Swords, which also starred fellow MK actors Katalin Zamiar, Ho-Sung Pak and Richard Divizio, he played a hitman whose task was to take out the film's leading man. Daniel and Carlos also appeared in a videogame-based comedy film entitled Press Start, which was released to DVD on September 25, 2007. In it, Daniel's character is called Sasori, which is Japanese for "Scorpion". As of 2004, Daniel is a teacher at the Chicago Wushuguan School.


  1. ^ Mortal Kombat II Archived 2012-07-17 at Archive.today, GameSpot, Retrieved, 22 Feb 2008
  2. ^ Leone, Matt (2012-07-12). "Mortal Kombat's Johnny Cage, 20 years later | Polygon". Theverge.com. Retrieved 2013-05-20.
  3. ^ "PESINA v. MIDWAY MFG. CO. - Leagle.com". Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  4. ^ Jensen, K. Thor (2011-01-11). "Bloodstorm - The Scrubbiest Video Game Ads Ever". UGO.com. Archived from the original on 2013-06-30. Retrieved 2013-05-20.

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