Take down MMA fighter, win $2m

Mixed martial arts fighter Xu Xiaodong (at right) defeated taiji master Lei Lei in just 10 seconds during a fight in Chengdu on April 27.
Mixed martial arts fighter Xu Xiaodong (at right) defeated taiji master Lei Lei in just 10 seconds during a fight in Chengdu on April 27.PHOTO: WEIBO

GUANGZHOU • A Chinese tycoon has offered 10 million yuan (S$2 million) to anyone who can defeat the mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter who criticised traditional martial arts.

Mr Chen Sheng, 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, 38, took down taiji master Lei Lei, 41, in 10 seconds in Chengdu on April 27.

A video of the pounding that Mr Xu gave to Mr Lei, 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He Xirui and Shaolin monk Yi Long - have vowed to take on Mr Xu, who went on to claim that traditional martial arts was outdated.

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

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 08, 2017, with the headline 'Take down MMA fighter, win $2m'. Print Edition | Subscribe