There are countless people who practice martial arts, but only a select few can rise through the ranks of the UFC. Sometimes martial artists end up becoming famous in one way or another. Their skills may have landed them in the film industry to star in various action films, but their skills may have spoken for themselves in competition.
Regardless of how famous a practicing martial artist became, many people wonder what would happen if some of the most famous martial artists fought in the UFC. The world has seen what can happen when a professional wrestler steps into the ring, for better or for worse, but a top fight with a famous practitioner could help sustain a UFC card. That said, not everyone who practices martial arts would be great in the Octagon.
ten Would – Donnie Yen
Some may not know that Donnie Yen is actually credited with introducing MMA to popular Asian culture. He has trained in countless styles of martial arts aside from punching, which makes him dangerous on every level. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how many styles, but the number appears to be at least 15, with several high profile belts.
Donnie Yen is arguably one of the most impressive martial artists to never step into the octagon with the amount of accomplishments he has. If he made it to the UFC, someone like Conor McGregor might even think twice before opening his mouth.
9 Wouldn’t – Jason Statham
To his credit, Jason Statham could probably beat most people, but maybe not dedicated UFC fighters. He is trained in karate, wing chun and kickboxing, which could make him an excellent striker. His problem would arise when any competent grappler got hold of him.
Being able to take on the best of them on their feet doesn’t mean much if their opponent’s game plan is to put them on the ground. If he could channel his action movie persona for a fight, he would still be someone an opponent could care about.
8 Would – Bruce Lee
Some people might think Bruce Lee was “too Hollywood” to be in a real fight, but his martial arts legacy is rooted in real unsanctioned fighting. Many know of his mastery of countless fighting styles, but many don’t know that he participated in bare-knuckle fights on rooftops.
If Lee was here today, he’d probably be able to pull off some amazing victories via strikes, and his legit fighting experience with what probably had few (if any) rules proves he has the mentality to really fight. another man when finishing.
7 Wouldn’t – Jackie Chan
If Jackie Chan could fight with half the creativity in the octagon like he does in most of his movies, it would be hard to see an opponent land a shot. He excels in multiple forms of martial arts and even has a black belt in Hapkido.
The only thing that put Jackie Chan in the “no” camp is that most of his training is centered on striking. While he is undoubtedly an impressive striker, it is debatable how well he would fare against someone with great takedowns and a ground game with only Hapkido to fall back on.
6 Would – Chuck Norris
Everyone knows that Chuck Norris is often considered one of the greatest North American martial artists of all time, but many may not know that he actually has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
There may be disputes over the impressive reality of his record, but regardless, Chuck Norris still beat many top opponents in his prime. His ability to pick his timing to strike, coupled with knowledge of the ground game, could give him enough of an edge to take on some of the strongest fighters in any division.
5 Wouldn’t – Ip Man (also known as Yip Man)
Absolutely, anyone who loves martial arts should have some respect for someone like Ip Man, but his mastery of Wing Chun probably wouldn’t save him in the octagon. Many people know that many martial arts mastering unique art forms can be put to good use in an MMA fight.
There has actually been an increase in videos of former martial arts masters facing off against what could be considered less than high quality MMA fighters in fights that have seen the masters destroyed. A strong attacker or violent takedown artist would likely be difficult for Ip Man to handle.
4 Would – Wesley Snipes
Many people may not be aware of Wesley Snipes’ many accomplishments in the martial arts. He is a black belt in two different disciplines and has additionally trained in kickboxing and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, making him a dangerous man to challenge in combat.
There was actually talk for a while of a potential fight between Wesley Snipes and Joe Rogan, but it never materialized for various reasons. At his peak, Snipes probably could have done very well in his chosen weight class if he had changed his primary focus to fighting.
3 Wouldn’t – Jet Li
Most people have probably heard of Jet Li at some point thanks to his wide array of amazing action movies. While he’s certainly a tough opponent, mastering Wushu at a young age probably wouldn’t be enough to stand in the octagon.
One only has to read Jet Li’s deep and downright beautiful thoughts on martial arts to come to the conclusion that he probably wouldn’t be interested in legitimately hurting another person. A lack of will to inflict violence on others is truly the biggest thing that would keep him from succeeding in the UFC.
2 Would be – Jean-Claude Van Damme
If Sylvester Stallone’s account of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s incident with Steven Seagal is to be believed, no one wants to mess with him. The man may have become a movie megastar, but he was a legitimate competitor in kickboxing.
The only loss on his dedicated kickboxing record of 19 fights came via disqualification, making his punching abilities even more impressive. Moving further into semi-contact, he had 48 fights and lost just four. His additional skills in karate, taekwondo and muay thai would only enhance his abilities.
1 Wouldn’t – Steven Seagal
Despite his solid aikido background and even an endorsement from Lyoto Machida, Steven Seagal probably wouldn’t beat any serious contender in the octagon. A solid martial arts background has proven to be far from sufficient in modern MMA.
If his online measurements are to be believed, Seagal could realistically compete in the middleweight or welterweight divisions of the UFC, which would see him come up against Israel Adesanya, Kamaru Usman, Colby Covington and Robert Whittaker. fighters he’d probably stand little chance against.
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