SINGAPORE - Chinese mixed martial arts (MMA) star Wang Guan, who was recently signed by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), has leapt to the defence of traditional martial arts and condemn compatriot Xu Xiaodong for being disrespectful.
A video of Xu beating taijiquan master Wei Lei in 10 seconds in Chengdu, Sichuan, on April 27 had gone viral and Xu had later said that traditional martial arts are outdated and only good for keeping in shape.
The 38-year-old also insisted that freestyle fighting or boxing would be more practical in actual combat.
The New York Times reported on Wednesday (May 10) that Xu has gone into hiding, as Xu said he has "lost everything, my career and everything".
Wang, who was speaking to Singapore media in a telephone interview from Chengdu on Thursday (May 11), hit out at Xu. Wang said: "Some friends have told me that if he (Xu) fights with me, I can definitely beat him easily.
"I think Xiaodong cannot represent the MMA community because he is not a professional fighter. He can represent only himself. His language and words were indeed disrespectful towards wushu or traditional martial arts."
Wang, a 31-year-old Beijing native with a 15-1 career win-loss record, will face American Alex Caceres at UFC Fight Night Singapore held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on June 17.
It is the first time UFC will hold a live event here since 2014.
Wang added: "The impact of Xiaodong's fight is huge and everyone knows him now. But it's not a real competition.
"For sure, after the fight, (Chinese) people who practise traditional martial arts would have some bad impression of MMA. But it also means that they don't know a lot of what MMA is."