You know whatâ€™s awesome? Kung Fu. You know whatâ€™s even more awesome? Kung Fu movies. Letâ€™s face it, none of us reading or writing this article is going to become Kung Fu masters anytime soon, but that doesnâ€™t stop us from watching someone else become a Kung Fu master in two to three hours. Whatâ€™s even more entertaining than that is to see how those same movies influence certain fighters today. From flashy moves to even flashier names, prepare to enter the 36th chamber as we highlight the most Kung Fu-rrific fighters of our time.
Alex â€œBruce Leeroyâ€ Carceras
A fight name should be a crystallization of everything a fighter is, and at the same time must be fluid enough to encasuplate everything the fighters wishes to be. â€œThe Axe Murderer,â€, â€œThe Korean Zombie,â€ â€œShogunâ€, all of these names immediately convey the fighting style and heart of each of the fighters that own the.
Bruce Leeroy is no exception.
Back in the 1980â€™s, Blacksploitation films were at their peak. Kung fu and Karate movies werenâ€™t spared the Afro-American treatment, and it soon occurred to Barry Gordy (the executive of Motown Records) that no one had made a quality African American Kung fu/karate film. Enter â€œThe Last Dragonâ€. The main character is an inner city black kid named Bruce Leeroy, and Iâ€™m going to stop right there. The movie is as terrible as it is awesome, and any Kung Fu fan should give it a chance.
Alex Carceras is an MMA fighter first discovered on the GSP vs. KOSCHECK season of The Ultimate Fighter. I distinctly remember the scene when he first introduces his name. After his win, the referee asks him for his name, and he responds â€œBruce Leeroyâ€ like he was ordering a pizza. The ref asks again out of disbelief, but the answer doesnâ€™t change. The name stuck, and now we have a true Kung Fu character kicking ass and taking names in the octagon.
If youâ€™re a fight fan and you havenâ€™t heard of Cung Le, youâ€™ve been living under a rock. What you need to do now is go back to that same rock and bash your head into it repeatedly until youâ€™re dead.
Cung is an Asian-American success story so hardcore that Walt Disney himself would get a boner writing the script (right before he said something racist). Abandoned by his father, his mother and her family fled a war-torn Vietnam days before Saigon fell and ended up in a refugee camp in America. Setting down roots in San Jose, being Vietnamese in America during the Vietnam War went over about as well as youâ€™d expect. Bullying led him to Taekwondo at the age of 10. Eventually he found wrestling and then San Shou. Basically every martial art he touched he used to rip a new asshole into the competition.
His main style to this day remains San Shou, a form of Chinese kickboxing mixing striking with takedowns and throws. Known to many fighters as the best kicker in MMA, Cung brings an aggressive fighting style that few can cope with. When they sculpt the Rushmore of great Kung fu fighters, take comfort in the fact that Cung Leâ€™s face will be a part of that epic undertaking.
Dan â€œThe Outlawâ€ Hardy
Dan â€œThe Outlawâ€ Hardy is known for his attitude and his heavy hands. Heâ€™s known for his red mohawk and penchant for slug fests. What he isnâ€™t known for is his legit Shaolin Kung Fu training.
Before Hardy became one of the UFCâ€™s welterweight bad boys (sorry, Koscheck) Dan Hardy spent his college loan money on legitimate Kung Fu training in China. He speaks about his experiences openly and candidly, telling anyone willing to listen how his time there shaped him into the fighter he is today. Out of anyone on this list, Dan Hardy may be the one who has the most legitimacy in calling himself a kung fu fighter.
Watch this if you donâ€™t believe me!
Roy â€œBig Countryâ€ Nelson
When I say the word â€œKung-Fu fighterâ€, I want you to think of the most typical kung fu practitioner you can conjure up. Itâ€™s probably a dude, since monks tend to be dudes. Heâ€™s probably Chinese, since Kung Fu originated in China and has been practiced there more than anywhere in the world. Youâ€™re probably thinking of a light, spry, quick-as-lightning-and-just-as-deadly shaved warrior-monk with he reflexes of a cat and the agility of a mongoose. No matter how creative or imaginative you are, I can guarantee you that youâ€™re not thinking of this:
Thatâ€™s right, according to this manâ€™s official biography, he has studied Kung Fu, and even lists it as one of his disciplines when he fights in the goddamn UFC. Isnâ€™t America grand? Only in the great melting pot can a white-trash looking American with the nickname â€œBig Countryâ€ represent the ancient art of Kung Fu. And heâ€™s good. Really good. He won the IFL World Heavyweight Championship, and decided that wasnâ€™t enough so he went on the Ultimate FIghter: Heavyweights and won that too. He has a black belt under Renzo Gracie which is like getting your degree in Beards from Chuck Norris himself, and he has two Knockout of the Night honors in the UFC just to poop on the haters.