Chinese tycoon pledges S$2 million prize money to martial arts exponents who can defeat MMA fighter

Tycoon Chen Sheng (left) said MMA fighter Xu Xiaodong (right) had provoked Chinese traditional culture and would have to pay the price.
Tycoon Chen Sheng (left) said MMA fighter Xu Xiaodong (right) had provoked Chinese traditional culture and would have to pay the price. PHOTOS: INTERNET

GUANGZHOU - Chinese multi-millionaire Chen Sheng has offered 10 million yuan (S$2.03 million) to anyone who can defeat the mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter who stirred controversy by criticising traditional martial arts.

Mr Chen, who founded non-alcoholic drinks firm Tiandi No. 1 Beverage, said he wanted to "defend the dignity" of martial artists, reported the South China Morning Post.

His offer comes after self-taught MMA fighter Xu Xiaodong took down taiji master Wei Lei in 10 seconds in Chengdu on April 27.

A video of the pounding that Xu delivered on Wei, who was bloodied in the fight, has since gone viral.

The bout triggered an intense online debate over the merits of traditional martial arts versus modern fighting techniques.

A number of exponents - including the head of China's Wudang clan He Xirui and Shaolin monk Yi Long - have vowed to fight Xu, who went on to claim that traditional martial arts was outdated.

 

Xu, who runs two MMA clubs in Beijing, also challenged billionaire Jack Ma's bodyguard and two-time Olympic boxing champion Zou Shiming, offering 1.2 million yuan of his own money to anyone who defeats him.

Meanwhile, Mr Chen said his 10 million yuan prize money will be split over five separate matches against Xu, the Post said.

The winner of each bout wins 1.5 million yuan, with the loser taking home 500,000 yuan.

Said Mr Chen: "I want him (Xu) to understand, he used this kind of extreme method to provoke Chinese traditional culture, and will need to pay the price."