Frank Dux may have won the Kumite in Bloodsport (spoiler, I guess), but he’s definitely not the coolest fighter in the classic martial arts movie. Where does he and every other character rank? Read on to find out!
Hi all! Dave here. A few months ago, I put together a definitive list I’ve wanted to do for years and ranked every single scene in the classic Simpsons episode “22 Short Films About Springfield.” Definitively ranking things within a single body of work has become something of an obsession since then, and it’s manifested itself in an even bigger list; ranking every fighter in Bloodsport.
Now, I know what you’re thinking; didn’t the movie’s Kumite tournament do that job? Frank Dux won, Chong Li finished in second, and so on. But that only takes into account fighting skill, whereas I have chosen to use a variety of criteria; looks, personality, outfits, fighting style, and a certain je ne sais quoi. Basically, I’m ranking them from lamest to coolest. We’ve got 30 fighters to get to (even after a dozen viewings, I didn’t realize the roster was so deep), so let the battle begin!
30- CHUAN IP MUNG
Chuan Ip Mung is just the worst. He beats a bunch of more-interesting opponents without any flair en route to getting killed by Chong Li in the semifinals. Unlike Ray Jackson’s near-murder, I can’t bring myself to care about this dude’s death. Sorry, but them’s the breaks when you say and do nothing of importance.
29- SADIQ HOSSEIN
If I had to give the “most dissapointing Kumite performance” award to someone, it’d be Bloodsport’s low-level first-act villain Sadiq Hossein. He’s got a cool outfit and some great lines when he’s goading Frank Dux at the bar before the fight, and then when it comes time to fight he’s wearing lame pants and loses like a chump. He also stays down when faced with Dux’s dukes and makes a poor attempt at a post-fight attack. The last cool thing remaining about him is gone shortly thereafter when his gold tooth becomes the property of the Kumite’s janitor.
Here’s another subpar opponent for Frank Dux. Nothing really of note about this guy besides the fact that he’s got a cool design on his shorts.
27- SEN LING
This bore loses the very first match of the Kumite in a one-sided fight against Suan Paredes. The only highlight is that he gets buried in betting slips by idiots who looked at this non-descript fighter and thought “yeah, he’s got Kumite champ written all over him.”
26- WHITE GI GUY
Who let this middle-America franchise dojo owner into the Kumite? Not only does he look like the dude every mom dates after their divorce, he’s comically inept. He’s fighting a guy who uses monkey-style martial arts and swings a good two feet above the head of a guy who never stands up straight.
25- NEON BLUE PANTS
I’ll give this guy some credit for wearing neon colors to the Kumite, but he wasn’t much of a factor in his fight, so he ultimately falls towards the back of the pack.
24- BROWN SHORTS
Kudos for having a fashion statement in the form of brown shorts, but his knocked-out pose is sub-par compared to some of the more cinematic beat-up-dudes we’ll see later on.
23- RAY JACKSON
Ray Jackson sucked at the Kumite. There, I said it. Besides one easy victory, his other two matches of note include almost getting knocked out by a nobody and prematurely celebrating a victory against Chong Li (which leads to Jackson almost getting killed). His fighting style includes grabbing people who get close to him and running at opponents with his arms outstreched. Also, his sweatpants are — bar none — the least fashionable attire worn at this worldwide gathering of the greatest fighters alive.
NTDD’s quick loss to Chong Li would be completely forgettable, except for the fact that he takes the worst bump in all of the Kumite, falling like a tree without any resistance when Chong Li shoots a takedown. You’re in a worldwide tournament of the best fighters, dude. Pretend like you have some skill.
21- GRAY GI GUY
I like this dude’s Brian Grazer-like hair and he has a few good movies before being brained by Paco, but his drab outfit keeps him from the upper echelon of the Kumite.
Up next… #20-11
30 thoughts on “Every Fighter in Bloodsport, Ranked from Lamest to Coolest!”
Holy shit Dave, this list was awesome!
Chong Li scared the hell outta me when I was a kid. He’s 90% neck and 10% crazy, skull fuck you eyes.
If you guys haven’t seen No Retreat, No Surrender, you should check it out.It features things like:
1. Van Damme’s first performance playing as a mob martial arts fighter…..who wears more makeup than a clown.
2. The whitest of the white guy karate ever to hit the big screen
3. The worst Bruce Lee lookalike in history.
4. A 25 year old playing a teen who has to watch his dad get the shit kicked out of him because his dad owns a dojo and the mob is taking over the dojo business…….seriously
Here’s the trailer if anyone is curious. If you liked Kung Fury, you’ll probably love this. Did I forget to mention there’s a Michael Jackson type best friend starring in an exercise scene that make the Top Gun volleyball sequence look butch by comparison? Cause yeah, they have that as well.
No Retreat, No Surrender is hilarious. There’s also a scene from the film where the friend is eating ice cream while on top of the main guy. Very homoerotically cheesy. Haha.
Holy shit. That trailer was amazing. I must watch this movie.
Great list Dave, I’m really liking these random rankings, seem to come without reason but welcome all the same!
I always thought Ray Jackson could have won if it didn’t show boat…
…see Dave, I’m debating an obscure cult film form the 80s in 2015!
Amazing list! Did you ever notice that The Quest and Lionheart starring Van-Damme were spiritually the same movie? It would be interesting to see some lists of those as well. I know they aren’t as iconic as good ‘ol Bloodsport. Some of the fights are longer, though!
Heh, awesome list. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen Bloodsport, but even I can’t forget Paco and his neon pink shorts. This almost makes me wonder if some sort of Laser Time Movie Night should be arranged… which is probably hard to set up due to copyrights and all that, but it’s a thought.
One day, I’ll fight in the Kumite.
Yo, terrific list. Best thing I have ever read. You should tell Chris that you need to dedicate an episode of Laser Time to talk about bloodsport.
I’m weeping from joy right now, Dave.
Dude, loved this. As soon as I saw the headline, I thought of Pumola (without knowing his name). If you have to resort to punching a man savagely in the balls in order to win – it shouldn’t really count as a victory.
I will take a list ranking the All Valley tournament fighters from Karate Kid next.
See, even though Jackson had terrible technique, and it made no sense for him to be there, he would have easily beaten Chong Li had he not showboated… but then he would have had to face off against his best friend Frank Dux. Awkward.
Otherwise, great list for a great movie.
Well, he would have had to beat Chuan Ip Mung first, in a match where I’d root for the Kumite arena to implode rather than have either guy in the finals.
Kudos to you Dave, for writing the funniest article on Lasertime that I’ve read so far. I was trying not to laugh too hard while reading this at work. Bloodsport is one of my favorite movies growing up. I can’t even remember how many times I’ve watched it on syndicated television as a kid.
Chong Li should also get credit for being the most insanely yoked 50 year old in the history of film villains. Yes. He was 50 when the movie came out. (Granted, he was probably 49 when the movie was filmed, but still.)
Nope. He was only 42. Still, he had an amazing physique for a 42 year old. Yang Sze, aka Bolo Yeung, was born in 1946.
Good list, but brick not hit back!
Probably the most watchable movie of all time, definitely JCVD’s best!
Also, I always felt Bloodsport inspired Street Fighter, like Ricardo = Blanka, Sumola = E.Honda, Paco = Adon.
I fight to surviiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive!
This is such an awesome movie. It has to have the coolest and most diverse lineup of competitors of any martial arts tournament style movie. Does anyone remember a single fighter from JCVD’s “The Quest”? From the non-game characters in Mortal Kombat? From “Enter the Dragon” besides Bruce Lee and cool-cat afro guy? Nope. Bloodsport managed to even differentiate between a slew of generic gi wearers. And Paco…..Paco is such a good side villain. If anyone embodies the pure ‘scumbag’ look, it’s Paco. But you still want to root for him with that badass fighting stance.
Great work Dave!
Don’t forget that Book Yueng the actor who plays Chin Li is also in Enter the Dragon. And the “cool cat Afro guy”is Jim Kelly who In 1971 won four prestigious championships that same year, including the World Middleweight Karate title at the 1971 Long Beach International Karate Championships.
Nice list . Hey hey about the referee? The one who gets shocked to hell when Chong Li makes his initial kill.. See if you can include him in the list.
Black formal gi guy is too on wing sum
Black formal GI guy is also the same guy who broke Bruce Lee’s back in Dragon. He gained a lot of weight though and his long hair is way too greasy in that movie.
PACO is a straight up Muay Thai fighter. Love me some PACO
I have to say, this was one of the best write ups on ANYTHINF I’ve read on the internet. Funny, valid points, and this could be a legit source for a thesis on Far East History. I have tears in my eyes from reading about #22, No Takedown Defense Dude. Thanks for the laughs,. Brilliant.
Fantastic list, but I must point out that your memory was better than your research; Tiny Tattoo Guy makes it to the second day. Part of what makes his fight epic is the incredible second day music.
Love your ranking. It’s spot on. Paco’s Thai boxing is one of the best things in the film. Bolo Yeung is a presence in any film, what a dude. Glad I stumbled across this page, put a huge smile on my mug, Thank you!
You missed the fighter who Chong Li sidekicks at the end of the fight to survive Kumite song (grayish outfit with golden sash). Not to down play such an epic list, but this might help Chuan. Ip Mung move out of dead last.
“You think you’re better than me cuz you got both yer nuts?”
Paco’s fight style is Muay Thai. Those are Thai shorts he is wearing.
I always assumed Pumola was a disgraced sumo wrestler… hence his unkempt appearance, facial hair, and yeah his taunting persona. Like he got expelled from the sport for match-fixing and now has to go to a clandestine all-discipline thing in the heart of Hong Kong to get his action.
This guy doesn’t know crap about martial arts. Paco is a muay Thai fighter not a traditional kickboxer.
Why all the hate for Chuan Ip Mung? The gold pants stood out and I thought he was a good fighter. He was one of my favorites from the Kumite. Don’t see how he was bland at all.