An outspoken MMA fighter has caused yet another outcry in China after apparently humiliating an opponent who claims to be a descendant of kung fu master Ip Man.
39-year-old Xu Xiaodong, an MMA fighter and coach, knocked down Ding Hao, said to be a Wing Chun practitioner, six times in a three-round live game.
Less than a year ago, he knocked out a self-proclaimed Tai Chi master. And the recent duel again sparked a heated debate over whether or not modern combat tactics are superior than the traditional Chinese martial arts – the collective pride of 1.4 billion people.
MMA fighter Xu (left) and self-proclaimed Wing Chun master Ding (right) get ready to fight
Mr Ding attacks ‘Mad Man’ Mr Xu in the head but Mr Xu soon retaliates by sending punches
The fight between Mr Xu and Mr Ding took place on March 18 in Chengde, Hebei Province, as a part of a live-streaming combat show ‘City Fighting’ which is produced by Mr Xu.
Mr Xu has previously vowed to prove that traditional Chinese kung fu is a scam and he wants to bust it. This was his first high-profile game after a 10-month hiatus.
Compared to high-profile Mr Xu, little is known about his opponent Mr Ding.
According to various Chinese websites, Mr Ding, said to be 20 years of age, claims to be a fourth-generation descendant of Ip Man, a master teacher of Wing Chun and a mentor of Hollywood star Bruce Lee.
Wing Chun is a type of Chinese martial arts originating in southern China’s Guangdong Province, which allows practitioners to defend themselves against bigger and stronger rivals using close-range combat.
The MMA fighter hits the kung fu practitioner in the face and knocks him to the ground
Mr Ding is said to be bleeding in the face at the end of the duel which is live-streamed online
Reports claim that the game was arranged after Mr Ding taunted Mr Xu last year.
A three-minute-long video of duel shows Mr Ding initiating attacks on Mr Xu.
Mr Xu initially covered his head in defence but quickly started retaliating. Mr Ding was seen being hit in the head repeatedly and falling onto the ground multiple times. At the end of duel, Mr Ding was seen bleeding in the face.
The referee announced the game to be a tie, however the public and press quickly launched a discussion about why Mr Ding appeared to be beaten so easily.
Many questioned Mr Ding’s identity and qualification.
In a commentary on Sina, Chinese sports columnist Yang Hua claimed that Mr Ding could not represent Wing Chun, citing an insider. The author said Mr Ding is not a member of the Chinese Wing Chun Association and it’s likely that the game was a set up by Xu Xiaodong.
Mr Xu (left) claims he wants to prove Chinese kung fu is a scam and arranged a duel with Mr Ding (right), who claims to be a fourth-generation descendant of Wing Chun master Ip Man
Ip Man, who passed away in 1972, is played by Donnie Yen in popular film series Ip Man
Ip Man was a mentor of Hollywood star Bruce Lee. The picture shows them practising kung fu
Many Chinese web users agree.
One user ‘feihongjiyan’ said: ‘See the way he throws his punches, it does not look like Wing Chun at all.’
While ‘Wrench-Mr’ commented: ‘Ding Hao’s reaction is too slow for a Wing Chun master.’
Mr Ding’s master Yu Changhua, who runs a Wing Chun school in Jiangxi, claimed that the three-minute-long video did not reflect the duel truthfully. He said the video was edited, which appeared to show that Mr Ding had been beaten badly, according to Shanghai’s Great Sports Channel, citing Mei Ri Ren Wu.
Master Yu claimed that Mr Ding was in a good mood after the game, and ‘in fact Xu Xiaodong might have been injured more seriously during the game’, said the same report.
Some web users are calling the game ‘a fake battle’ after noticing a delay in the raising of the fighters’ hands by the referee.
One user ‘xiaonanfb’ said: ‘The referee raised Ding Hao’s hand up first, then Xu Xiaodong. They are trying to create an illusion that Chinese kung fu masters are bribing the referee.’
Xu Xiaodong is a controversial figure in China and is nicknamed ‘Mad Man’.
Last year, Mr Xu shamed a self-proclaimed Tai Chi master Wei Lei by knocking him out in 10 seconds.
Mr Xu told Chinese reporters that he wanted to use his influence to prove his claims that Tai Chi was a scam and he wanted to do it in front of the camera.
A following fight between Mr Xu and Ma Baoguo, another Tai Chi master, was called off by the Shanghai police who claimed the venue of the game was unlicensed and the game had been unlawful assembly.