Sean Kanan Returning as Mike Barnes in ‘Cobra Kai’ Season 5

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Cobra Kai. Sean Kanan as Mike Barnes in Cobra Kai. Cr. Curtis Bonds Baker/Netflix © 2022

We’re just weeks away from Cobra Kai season 5 hitting Netflix around the globe and Netflix has just confirmed that we’ll be seeing another blast from the past returning for the new season. Sean Kanan is officially confirmed to return as Mike Barnes for the new season.

Creators of Cobra Kai have long been teasing more familiar faces turning up in future seasons (including season 5), with Jon Hurwitz teasing:

“There’s a lot of insanity; if you’re a fan of the franchise, maybe some familiar faces show up, maybe not; there’s going to be a lot of karate.”

It’s now been confirmed that Mike Barnes will feature in the new season.

His appearance has been long-rumored, and even subject to a few fan theories. On theory suggests that Barnes may even be Miguel’s father!

For those unfamiliar with the character, he was first introduced in The Karate Kid III and had the nickname of “Karate’s Bad Boy”.

Winner of numerous karate tournaments, Barnes was a skilled martial arts star who bested Daniel throughout most of the movie (until the end, of course). He was hired in by Terry Silver and allowed to own part of Cobra Kai had he defeated Daniel.

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Mike Barnes in The Karate Kid Part III – Picture: Sony Pictures

Until recently, Sean Kanan had been resistant to say whether or not he’d ever be returning to the role of Mike Barnes.

The actor spoke to Desert Sun in 2021, telling them, “There’s something about wearing that black-and-gold sleeveless uniform. You feel empowered and like a badass,” but ultimately concluding that he could neither “confirm nor deny” whether he’d return to the character in any form.

The star also told Desert Sun, “At least 50 people a day hit me up on Instagram asking me if I’m coming back for season four. I think there’s a definite possibility, but I can neither confirm nor deny.”

Since The Karate Kid III, Kenan has continued being an actor having appeared in titles like General Hospital, The Young and the Restless, and Studio City.


The news comes alongside a slew of first-look images for season 5 of Cobra Kai. The majority of the photos show us what we can expect going into the fifth season, which is an all-out war between Miyagi-do (reinforced by Eagle-fang and Chozen) and Cobra Kai, now headed up by Terry Silver.

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Cobra Kai. (L to R) William Zabka as Johnny Lawrence, Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso, Yuji Okumoto as Chozen Toguchi in Cobra Kai. Cr. Curtis Bonds Baker/Netflix © 2022

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Cobra Kai. (L to R) Joe Seo as Kyler, Dallas Dupree Young as Kenny in Cobra Kai. Cr. Curtis Bonds Baker/Netflix © 2022

Netflix also provided an updated logline for the upcoming fifth season:

“Following the shocking results of the All Valley Tournament, Season 5 finds Terry Silver expanding the Cobra Kai empire and trying to make his “No Mercy” style of karate the only game in town. With Kreese behind bars and Johnny Lawrence setting karate aside to focus on repairing the damage he’s caused, Daniel LaRusso must call on an old friend for help.”

Cobra Kai season 5 arrives on Netflix globally on September 9th, 2022.

Are you looking forward to seeing Sean Kanan reprise his role as Mike Barnes in Cobra Kai season 5? Let us know in the comments down below.

Sean Kanan Returning as Mike Barnes in ‘Cobra Kai’ Season 5

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Covering Netflix since 2013, Kasey has been tracking the comings and goings of the Netflix library for close to a decade. Resides in the United Kingdom.