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Revisiting old sporting events and movies is an act that’s quickly become popular given the current COVID-19 climate of self-imposed quarantine.

So, whether you’re bored while stuck at home or just a super nerd like myself and can’t help but further dissect things, I thought it would be fun to rank some of our favorite characters (both fictional and non) on how well they’d do competing in modern mixed martial arts.

For the first installment, we’ll cover “Bloodsport,” which is currently streaming on Netflix.

Regardless of what your level of skepticism is when it comes to both Frank Dux and Hollywood’s telling of this story, it’s hard to deny the influence that the film carries over 30 years later, as you’ll be hard-pressed to find fighters who have never seen or don’t own a copy of this cult classic (for those unaware, this movie, to martial artists, is arguably the equivalent to what “Scarface” is to rappers).

The Kumite in “Bloodsport” features a plethora of fighting styles that give off strong UFC 1 vibes, so it feels like it’s both cheating and inviting to compare this childhood favorite to my current passion.

Nevertheless, as much as I encourage you to engage your nostalgic nerve-endings for this one, I warn anyone who applies “MMA math” to this article, as the rankings here won’t necessarily reflect the outcome of the tournament that took place in the film. Again, this is about how these characters would do in today’s MMA – not against each other.

So, without further ado …

****

No. 15: Sadiq Hossein

(YouTube)

Discipline: Bullying?
Strengths: Making bad bets, being a jerk
Analysis: Don’ be surprised to see a question mark attached to many of the martial arts discipline sections in this article, as neither the movie nor the glimpses of most of the action offer much in regards to fighting style or concrete credentials.

Hossein, however, does seem to fit the classic bully archetype, for whatever that’s worth, as he earns this bottom-of-the-barrel ranking for his two meager appearances.

First, we see Hossein attempt to use his “fighting abilities” to strike leading lady Leah Ayres, which was thankfully thwarted by the fast hands of Frank Dux. As if treating women poorly (in a movie that doesn’t exactly do the ladies any justice in the first place) isn’t bad enough, Hossein then falls for a bad bet/borderline grift that shows both how slow and stupid he is.

Next we see Hossein draw Dux first in the Kumite, which pretty much ends up looking like an even shorter version of Anderson Silva’s debut in regards to accuracy. Unfortunately for Hossien, he showed zero ability to defend a basic punch or round kick before getting leveled (apparently in real life) by a Dux spinning elbow en route to trying to deliver a cheap shot.

I’m not even sure this guy picks up a win on the amateur MMA circuit, much less makes it to fight night without getting into a scuffle at the weigh-ins.

No. 14: Gustafson

(YouTube)

Discipline: Board breaking?
Strengths: Stylin’ and profilin’
Analysis: I don’t think “board breaking” is even a style, but wood is pretty much the only thing we see Gustafson hit this whole movie.

Sure, he gets taken out by none other than Chong Li, but how on earth did Gustafson even make it to the third day of the Kumite in the first place?

I mean, the dude is basically fighting with pants on that even MC Hammer would think are too big, and that’s not even mentioning the fact that he can be seen shadow boxing (poorly) in the background of the “Dim Mak” scene wearing a sweater tied around his neck like a 90s preppie.

Regardless of what iteration of our sport you insert Gustafson into, it’s hard to see him being anything more than a sub .500 regional fighter who is used to putting over up-and-coming prospects.

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