Well, Xu Xiaodong is back.
You might remember “Mad Dog”, who went viral in 2017 for obliterating a confident tai chi master in a matter of seconds:
The brutal beatdown sent shockwaves through China, where people of all ages reeled at the miserable performance of the tai chi representative, who was billed on State-run CCTV as “one of the greatest tai chi masters in China”.
After that, Xu made it his mission to expose traditional martial arts “frauds” in China. He’s returned to the news a couple of times (one underground fight he was scheduled to compete in was stopped by a squad of Shanghai police officers), but now he’s back to his bread and butter: brutalizing out-of-touch fantasy martial artists who have never stepped foot in the ring.
Seconds into the fight, 56-year-old Tian Ye appears to have his nose broken by an elbow from Xu. The fight stops and resumes, but Xu is more focused on clowning around than on fighting. He drops his hands and allows Tian to strike him several times, before shrugging it off and continuing. While Tian’s corner wraps him in a comical amount of bandages, Xu stands off to the side, showboating and looking visibly bored.
Somehow the fight continued, and we have to give credit to Xu for showing some mercy. Rather than follow up with more blows to his opponent’s unprotected face, Xu calmly throws leg kicks and warning shots, until deciding enough is enough and finishing the fight with a knee to the body.
And thus, debates rage on in China. One camp is bleeding, asking when a competent traditional martial artist will rise to defeat Xu Xiaodong (who is, notably, not even that great of an MMA fighter). The other camp, amidst China’s fast-rising interest in MMA, celebrates Xu for forcing big-talking martial artists to prove their skills in earnest.
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