'Cobra Kai' Star William Zabka Earns 'Zero to Hero' Honor During MTV Awards

William Zabka can now call himself the GOAT. On Sunday, MTV handed out its Greatest of All Time awards, looking back at the best moments in TV and film over the years. Zabka, who plays Johnny Lawrence in Cobra Kai and the 1984 film The Karate Kid, won an MTV GOAT award, earning the Zero to Hero honor.

Lawrence accepted the award virtually and thanked everyone who made it possible to win the award, including Ralph Macchio, who plays Daniel LaRusso in Cobra Kai and three Karate Kid films. A few of Cobra Kai's younger stars were there to present Zabka the award. This honor comes one month before Season 3 of Cobra Kai becomes available to stream on Netflix. In September, PopCulture.com spoke to Zabka, and he teased what fans can expect from the third season.

"It's not going to disappoint," Zabka said. "But it's also unexpected. The one thing that the writers are so great with is that if you tried to track this from Season 1 from episode one, you couldn't because there are so many twists and turns and ups and downs, and it continues in Season 3."

One of the biggest storylines of Season 2 was Lawrence reconnecting with John Kreese (Martin Kove). Kreese was Lawrence's old sensei when he ran the Cobra Kai dojo in the 1980s and had a falling out after Lawrence lost to LaRusso in the karate tournament shown in The Karate Kid.

"Playing Johnny and Kreese again at this level and in this show has been a dream," Zabka stated. "Johnny gave Kreese a chance, and he's a father figure in many ways. [But] he downloaded a lot of not good advice to Johnny and Johnny is trying to work that out, so it's like when you love somebody, but they're not good for you. It hurts to push away, and I think the end of Season 2 kind of says everything of the result of this kind of father-son dysfunctional relationship, semi-abusive, but through each of their points of view is good intention."


Zabka, 55, is best known for being in The Karate Kid and Cobra Kai but has worked steadily in Hollywood over the years. He starred in the film Hot Tub Time Machine in 2010 and played a recurring role in the TV series How I met Your Mother in Season 9.