Chinese MMA’s ‘Mad Dog’ batters another ‘kung fu’ master

Xu Xiaodong is at it again. The Beijing based MMA coach and amateur fighter has had another fight with a self-proclaimed kung fu master,…

By: Tim Bissell | 4 years ago
Chinese MMA’s ‘Mad Dog’ batters another ‘kung fu’ master
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

Xu Xiaodong is at it again. The Beijing based MMA coach and amateur fighter has had another fight with a self-proclaimed kung fu master, which — like all the others — has ended in brutal fashion.

This time he reportedly took on Lv Gang, a ‘pressure point Wing Chun master’ who traces his lineage to legendary practitioner Ip Man. The fight is said to have taken place in Karamay, a city in the Uygur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang. Video of the contest is available on YouTube thanks to user Fight Commentary Breakdowns. You can see that below:

The fight, if you can call it that, lasted around a minute. There were four striking exchanges, the first three resulted in Lv Gang (who is much smaller than Xu) being knocked down. The final exchange saw Xu landing punches at will until the referee mercifully called off the whole debacle. After the ref stepped in Xu — who was wearing face paint for some reason — mean-mugged his defeated opponent for about as long as the fight lasted.

For Xu this is another triumph in his crusade to ‘expose fakery’ in traditional martial arts. This bizarre odyssey of style-vs-style fights started back in April, 2017 after Xu went viral with a 10-second knockout of tai chi master Wei Lei in a gym in Chengdu.

That fight occurred after Xu and Wei beefed on Chinese social media platform Weibo regarding the effectiveness of traditional martial arts in self-defense and combat. After Xu beat up Wei he continued his rant about tai chi and similar martial arts being a sham; especially those that tout supernatural abilities.

After this incident Xu posted on social media that he would give a cash prize to any traditional martial artist who could beat him in a fight. A number of individuals claimed they were interested, such as Yi Long (Shaolin monk cosplayer who has over 70 pro kickboxing bouts), Lu Xing (a tai chi master from the ‘pushing hands’ school), and Pierre Francois Flores (a Montreal Wing Chun practitioner who has some viral street fights of his own).

Fights with those named individuals never materialized, despite a local juice magnate adding tens of thousands of dollars to the potential prize money available for beating Xu. A month after the crazy street-fight and online feuding everything went quiet.

Xu’s original social media posts disappeared from Weibo. Xu then told the BBC that he was no longer going to fight traditional martial artists and that he himself may start practicing traditional martial arts.

Xu’s (possibly forced) peace accord with China’s traditional martial arts community (known as the Wulin) didn’t last long, though. In June, 2017 police were called to a gym in Shanghai to stop a mass brawl that was scheduled between Xu and some MMA fighters and a group of tai chi practitioners.

There were no more public incidents with Xu for the rest of 2017, but in early 2018 he was back fighting and on a much bigger stage. Last March he fought a Wing Chun master named Ding Hao in front of a throng of television cameras.

Xu destroyed Ding, but somehow a very exuberant ref ruled the contest a draw. At that same event another MMA fighter Xiong Cheng Cheng (the One-Handed Bear) beat down a Wing Chun stylists named Yu Changhua. Xiong fought the entire contest with a hand tied behind his back.

A few months later it seemed as though Xu was gaining some popular support for his mission to fight undersized, over-age, and non-MMA-trained opponents. Xu was also garnering mass media attention, being interviewed by TIME magazine and featuring in a video documentary by Vice.

This January Xu took another fight, this time against a 56-year-old kung fu master named Tien Ye (‘Wild Fury’). The fight was fought under kickboxing rules with a purse of over $4million available to Tien if he won. He of course did not win. Xu bloodied his doughy opponent early on resulting in Tien having his head wrapped like a mummy for the remainder of the bout.

What comes next seems fairly predictable. In a few months you’ll be ‘treated’ to another grainy video of Xu fighting, and pummeling, a mismatched opponent who has never trained to do battle in combat sports. We’ll recap this all again when that day comes.

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About the author
Tim Bissell
Tim Bissell

Tim Bissell is a writer, editor and deputy site manager for Bloody Elbow. He has covered combat sports since 2015. Tim covers news and events and has also written longform and investigative pieces. Among Tim's specialties are the intersections between crime and combat sports. Tim has also covered head trauma, concussions and CTE in great detail.

Tim is also BE's lead (only) sumo reporter. He blogs about that sport here and on his own substack, Sumo Stomp!

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