Someone emailed me a response to this old post that I wrote on Ultimate Fighting.
Sorry but I just had to respond to your ridiculous comment about Bruce Lee being taken out in seconds by UFC champs if he was to fight these days!
If you know anything about Bruce Lee, you'll realise that he was SUPER-HUMAN, yes in the leagues of Freud and Einstein. His speed would out fox ANY human on the planet, Ive seen plenty of fighters knock a jiu jitsu fighter completely senseless in UFC anyway. Saying martial arts is nothing like the Bruce Lee films is probably correct, although nothing faster will ever be seen on film again (that hasnt been speeded up). Ive seen footage of Bruce in real action and one virtually unseeable blow to a guys stomach rendered him sick for days.
Bruce would kill ANYONE head to head....if he were alive of course, and had he chose a different path in life be it nuclear science or ten pin bowling he would have been the best at it!
If Bruce Lee were truly superhuman he wouldn't have died at 32. This person aptly demonstrates the need that humans have for mythology and supernatural worship, turning merely human things into the superhuman.
If Bruce Lee in his prime were to fight, no-holds-barred, Randy Couture or Chuck Liddell, I'd bet my home mortgage, not only that Couture and Liddell would win, but do so within less than 5 minutes (probably less than one minute).
First off all, strength is more important than speed. It's important to have both; but if you have more than an average level of both, an abundance of size and mass is a superior tool. This is why we segregate fighters into weight classes. If you've ever seen the lean muscle on a 140-150 lb boxer, you'd know that they are stronger than normal folks. And if you've seen the likes of Muhammad Ali move in the ring, you'd know that he and heavyweights like him are not short on speed. Both types of boxers are stronger and faster than normal people. But heavyweights have an abundance of mass and strength, lighter boxers, speed. So why do we need weight classes then? Is it to protect the "stronger" heavier boxers from the "faster" lightweights? I don't think so.
So Bruce Lee's "speed" is not the be-all and end-all of fighting. Arguably the fact that he was lighter and weaker than the heavyweights (technically they are light-heavyweights), like Liddell and Couture is a big factor against Lee right there.
I don't doubt he had power with his hands. You can watch TV shows today and see black-belt strikers break wood and brick with their bare hands. But when they get in the MMA ring, in the absence of serious cross-training in grappling, they get taken to the ground and beaten within minutes if not seconds. And that's because when a striker breaks wood or brick he always has a clear, unmoving target. This is not the same as facing a weaving and bobbing fighter, especially a lighting fast 200 plus pound Olympic Champion wrestler shooting at you.
As far as the claim: "Ive seen plenty of fighters knock a jiu jitsu fighter completely senseless in UFC anyway." I've seen just about all of the early UFCs and many of the later ones and rarely if ever did a striker beat a jujitsu expert or a champion wrestler until *the event* which I will explain below. If a striker -- especially one not trained on the ground -- could take out a champion grappler before things got to the ground, this was the rare, lucky exception to the observable pattern of the grappler taking the striker to the ground and beating him quickly.
The turning event in the UFC was when kick-boxer Maurice Smith beat Champion Wrestler Mark Coleman (both heavyweights, but Coleman was larger and stronger, Smith was quicker). And he did so by learning Jujitsu and learning how to survive on the ground. Coleman's major weakness was stamina. He was used to grounding and pounding his opponents into a very quick victory. Coleman, predictably got Smith to the ground right away. Smith held him off on the ground, using the defensive jujitsu guard (literally defending yourself while lying on your back) until Coleman ran out of steam, and then Smith beat him with strikes. Shortly thereafter, everyone cross-trained. And no matter what a UFC member's background -- boxing, karate -- they all learned serious ground skills (jujitsu and wrestling) if they wanted to compete. The wrestlers also learn how to defend against jujitsu and vice-versa.
I don't doubt that Bruce Lee had the talent to become a serious light-weight champion of the UFC, but that would be only if he were to, like everyone else, cross train and seriously learn the ground. He'd have to study for a few years (at least a year) with the Gracies and the NCAA College Wrestling coaches first, though.
Perhaps Lee did know the ground quite well; I haven't seen all of his movies but I have seen him perform a few submission holds. But one thing is for sure, if he were to fight with what he knew in his prime, Randy Couture would have him on the ground within seconds. And then all of Lee's stand-up striking wouldn't mean jack.