We’re still waiting on Xu Xiaodong to get into another freak-fight with a traditional martial arts practitioner (and see whether footage of the fight escapes Chinese censors), so until then we’ll have to be satisfied with the exploits of Xu’s buddy Xuan Wu.
Following in the footsteps of Xu, the Beijing-based MMA trainer who has been blasting tai chi and wing chun practitioners for the last two years, Xuan — an MMA fighter — recently fought Tan Long; a wing chun stylist who was wearing a yellow jumpsuit reminiscent of the famous garment worn by Bruce Lee in the 1973 flick ‘Game of Death’.
News of this ‘contest’ comes via South China Morning Post, which features video from avid China-watcher Fight Commentary Breakdowns. That video of Xuan vs. Tan can be viewed below:
The fight happened after Xuan (whose nickname is Black Tortoise) and Tan beefed online about the merits of traditional kung fu versus modern MMA. It’s an argument that has been playing out in China since at least 2017, when Xu Xiaodong knocked out tai chi master Wei Lei in a viral video. Since then Xu has become a celebrity in China for his crusade against the ‘fakery’ of kung fu. That crusade has earned him many problems and some powerful enemies.
But Xuan doesn’t seem intimidated by the fate of his friend Xu. In his match with Tan, which took place in a ring erected inside of a shopping mall in Yinchuan, the MMA’er chased the Bruce Lee cosplayer (SCMP goes with ‘wannabe’ in their piece) around the ring before putting him down with a pair of head kicks. All in all, the bout lasted around 12 seconds.
MMA wins again, much to the likely chagrin of the wulin (the collective term for China’s traditional martial arts community).
There will probably be another fight like this popping up online soon. Xu himself is rumoured to be competing again in the near future. However, Chinese combat fans don’t have to wait that long for some fights. August 31st sees the UFC roll into the country with, for the first time ever, a title on the line.
UFC Fight Night: Andrade vs. Zhang takes place in Shenzhen, Guangdong and is headlined by Jessica Andrade defending her flyweight belt versus Hebei’s Weili Zhang. In the co-main event Li Jingliang, who hails from Xinjiang Province, takes on Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos.