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