A Chinese tycoon has raised the stakes even higher for a much-anticipated event that promises to pit a MMA fighter against traditional Chinese arts masters, promising to stake a total of 10 million yuan in prize money.
After making short work of one Tai Chi “master” last week, 38-year-old MMA fighter, coach and promoter Xu Xiaodong issued a challenge earlier this week to any other traditional Chinese martial arts masters who think that they can take him down in a no-holds-barred fight. Xu even bragged that he was willing to take on two or three “masters” at the same time to prove to the world that they are nothing but frauds.
That bold challenge has become one of the most hotly-debated topics on Chinese social media this week with a number of martial arts experts stepping forward to the defend the dignity of their discipline. While he may not be a fighter himself, multi-billionaire beverage and food magnate Chen Sheng, the founder of the Tiandi No 1 drinks empire, has stepped forward to provide a bit of extra incentive.
“I want him to understand, he used this kind of extreme method to provoke Chinese traditional culture, and will need to pay the price,” the South China Morning Post quotes Chen as saying.
The 10 million yuan will be divided up equally between five matches between Xu and his challengers with the winner of each bout taking home 1.5 million yuan, while the loser leaves with 500,000 yuan, but without his dignity. If he wins all of the matches, Xu stands to walk out of the arena with 7.5 million yuan.
This is all in addition to the 1.2 million yuan that Xu said would be up for grabs in his original Weibo post.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Wushu Association wants nothing to do with the event, saying that “arranged private fights” are a violation of the law as well as “Tai Chi morality.”
It’s not known when or where the fights will take place, or who Xu’s challengers will be. However, many martial arts experts are confident that they will fare better against Xu than did Lei Lei, the 41-year-old founder of the “Thunder-style of Tai Chi, who was beaten to the ground in about 10 seconds.
After failing to land a single blow, Lei has made a variety of excuses for his humiliating loss, including that he was wearing new shoes and slipped and that he had been holding back his true power in order to not kill his opponent.
In case you somehow missed it. You can watch the fight below:
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