Chinese MMA fighter leaves 56-year-old kung fu 'master' looking like he's trying Bird Box challenge

Tian Ye (left) after his battering by Xu Xiaodong.
PHOTO: Youtube/01Others Unlisted

Xu Xiaodong, the outspoken mixed martial arts star who has made it his mission to expose "fake kung fu", is back doing what he does best.

The man known as "Mad Dog" took on another kung fu "master" in China last weekend, this time under kick-boxing rules, and left his latest victim heavily bandaged and bruised.

A Chinese tycoon reportedly put up 30 million yuan (S$6.01 million) in prize money for 56-year-old Tian Ye if he could defeat Xu, who has outraged many in China and caused debate in the traditional martial arts community with a series of brutal knockout wins in fights against practitioners of kung fu.

Tian was guaranteed 3 million yuan even if he lost. But while his name may translate as "Wild Fury", he could offer anything but that as 40-year-old Xu toyed with his opponent and mocked him before finishing him in the second round.

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Tian started the fight off by throwing a flurry of punches, which Xu barely even bothered to defend against before exploding with a brutal combination of elbows to the face.

Xu Xiaodong lands an elbow that breaks Tian Ye's nose.Photo: Youtube/01Others Unlisted

Blood began to pour from Tian's clearly broken nose as the referee pulled the fighters apart with barely 30 seconds gone.

Xu turned away and shrugged his shoulders, and Tian went over to his corner to be treated by his team. His trainer then appeared to wave to the referee that his fighter could not continue, with Tian's nose flattened.

Xu began showboating and dancing in the ring as Tian got bandaged up, before slumping over looking bored in the corner and pretending to fall asleep.

Xu Xiaodong pretends to sleep.Photo: Youtube/01Others Unlisted

But Tian re-emerged heavily bandaged with his eyes and nose almost entirely covered, looking less like a professional fighter and more like someone trying their hand at the "Bird Box challenge" - a trend inspired by the hit Netflix film - where people blindfold themselves and do dumb things.

And taking on Xu when you're 56 years old and have evidently had very little MMA training is certainly a dumb thing.

Tian Ye is bandaged up.Photo: Youtube/01Others Unlisted

Xu could have ended things quickly but instead of further pulverising Tian's face, he took mercy and reeled off some brutal leg kicks.

"To me, he was a very nice person to do that," wrote one commentator on YouTube. "If he was nasty, he would have just kept attacking his nose."

Tian came out swinging again but Xu continued to shrug off his offence. Some more kicks took away Tian's leading leg before Xu dropped him with an overhand left.

Xu Xiaodong floors Tian Ye.Photo: Youtube/01Others Unlisted

The referee checked Tian out and somehow cleared him to continue. Xu then threw a spinning back kick and turned his back and casually walked away, as Tian comically tried to punch him from behind, before the bell sounded.

The fight went into a second round, and in more farcical scenes, the ref then got hit by a stray right hand from Tian and was knocked backwards with his earpiece falling out.

Xu Xiaodong casually turns his back on Tian Ye.Photo: Youtube/01Others Unlisted

Xu was clearly taking it easy, and was being far less aggressive than in his other fights, perhaps looking to get a little bit more screen time as he embarrassed his opponent.

He let Tian punch himself out with some non-stop windmilling but then decided enough was enough, charging forward and throwing a devastating flying knee to the body at 1:27 of the second round. Add that one to the highlight reel.

Xu Xiaodong lands a knee.Photo: Youtube/01Others Unlisted

Xu then took a bow before giving a nonchalant interview in the ring. Asked if there would be a rematch, Xu said: "No, we don't have anything more to do with each other, me and this guy."

The effect of that flying kick could be seen in the form of a huge welt on Tian's right rib area, while there were several other large bruises on his legs.

Still, he stood in the centre of the ring and waved to the crowd.

Tian Ye waves to the crowd.Photo: Youtube/01Others Unlisted

"I'm a martial artist, so I need to be able to take challenges," Tian said. "I will pull out my sword when needed."

The interviewer responded: "Yes, you pulled out your sword, but unfortunately it wasn't sharp and it didn't have its chance to shine."

Tian Ye crawls on his knees as Xu Xiaodong is declared the winner.Photo: Youtube/01Others Unlisted

As with most of Xu's fights, this one caused plenty of debate.

"Fights like this don't make traditional martial arts look good. I'm surprised that almost a year after Xu Xiaodong's first fight there hasn't been a martial artist serious enough to challenge him," said one user on YouTube.

Xu Xiaodong mocks his opponent.Photo: Youtube/01Others Unlisted

Another said: "The reason fights like this matter is because there is this idea in Asian martial arts that size and age can stop mattering in a fight when technique is applied, which is total c***.

"Put any 56-year-old kung fu martial artist who has ever lived against Yoel Romero or Jon Jones and they will get murdered. These martial arts do not work and their philosophies are flawed and harmful."

Xu Xiaodong lands a vicious kick.Photo: Youtube/01Others Unlisted

"Xu Xiaodong should at least fight someone who is younger or fit. Him fighting all these old men is pointless," said another user.

One comment read: "I don't agree with how he disrespects traditional martial arts, but eventually traditional martial arts was going to get called out."

Tian Ye tries to pick himself up off the canvas.Photo: Youtube/01Others Unlisted

"These guys [traditional martial artists] bend steel and break bricks at exhibitions but when it comes to real fighting they look like rank amateurs," said another.

A comment read: "Xu Xiaodong is not a good fighter by any means, but that's the whole point, even a s*** fighter can destroy these so-called masters that claim to have deadly martial art skills, these people are closer to scam artists then martial artists, they seek undeserved attention and praise by claiming to be unbeatable fighters."

This article was first published in South China Morning Post.