Multimillionaire entrepreneur Chen Sheng is offering a total of 10 million yuan (more than $1.4 million) to any challenger who can beat mixed martial arts fighter Xu Xiaodong.
The 38-year-old MMA fighter, coach and promoter issued a challenge earlier this week to other traditional Chinese martial artists who believe they can take him down after he beat Tai Chi practitioner Wei Lei in about 10 seconds in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. He even bragged that he was up for taking on two or three martial artists all at once to prove to the entire world that they are a bunch of frauds, according to the South China Morning Post.
“[I] crack down on fake things, because they are fake. Fake things must be eliminated. No question,” said Xu, whose fans call him a “madman”.
A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.
Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.
Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.
Chen, the founder of the Tiandi No. 1 drinks company, has upped the ante to “defend the dignity“ of martial arts by offering prize money which will be split over five matches against Xu, who has reportedly been accepting more challengers from across China.
The winner of each round will take home 1.5 million yuan ($218,000), while the loser will go home with 500,000 yuan (more than $72,000).
“I want [Xu] to understand, he used this kind of extreme method to provoke Chinese traditional culture, and will need to pay the price,” said Chen, who is also known as “the king of pork” in Guangzhou, where he opened the Guangdong No. 1 Food Co.
However, the Chinese Wushu Association explained how the Xu-Wei fight violates the ethics of martial arts and possibly the law.
“Martial arts is a traditional Chinese sport as well as an excellent traditional culture that includes various forms like martial arts repertoire and free combat,” the group said in a statement on Wednesday.
“We are strongly against such bouts, especially scuffles held in the name of eliminating fake martial arts which are more about fighting and pure aggressiveness.”