The Instigator
rubbersoul
Pro (for)
Losing
10 Points
The Contender
OMGJustinBieber
Con (against)
Winning
22 Points

in their prime.....Bruce Lee would have a better chance of beating Mohammad Ali in street fight

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/21/2011 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,024 times Debate No: 16626
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (7)

 

rubbersoul

Pro

Based on Lee's numerous weapons of fighting....I think he would have a better Chance of beating Ali who was limited to two hands....maybe Hochaca...
OMGJustinBieber

Con

The title (resolution) mentions nothing of weapons. When we judge fighters we don't generally judge how fighter A would do vs fighter B assuming fighter A had nunchaku. We should assume that both fighters are unarmed, but could potentially pick up something laying around the street. The fact is, there are rarely knives and guns laying around on the street and when we introduce weapons or guns into it, it becomes much more random.

So, this leaves us with two options:
a) We talk about how the fighters would compare using largely their own martial arts/boxing skills.
b) We allow for the use of weapons which would introduce a huge element of unpredictability in in the debate if for example Lee found a sword or Ali used a gun or vice versa.

I would suggest option A as it would greatly cut down on speculation, and could be argued with more precision.
Debate Round No. 1
rubbersoul

Pro

Let's quit the spinning OMGJustinBieber......

If you didn't think I was talking about both of them being unarmed, (and staying unarmed(for your benefit))...then you have just wasted mine and our audiences time.....cut to the chase and give me your best shot..
OMGJustinBieber

Con

Ok, a few reasons why Ali has the upper hand.

1. Ali was one of the best heavyweight boxers in history.

The man's professional record is ridiculous. He's knocked out men around 100 lbs. heavier than Bruce Lee, and is widely considered to be one of the best boxers in history.

2. Ali has an enormous size advantage on Lee.

Ali was 6'3, 230 lbs. while Lee's height and weight is a little less clear. We can place it in a range of 5'6-5'8 and weighing 130-140. You simply don't see fighters Bruce's size nowadays take down heavyweights, never mind championship winning heavyweights. Additionally Ali's reach was 80 inches which would dominate Lee and leave him constantly vulnerable to Ali's punches. Make no mistake, Ali was a knockout artist who finished 37 of his 61 fights in them, with KOs for men 100 lbs heavier than Lee. One wrong move and Lee is in a world of pain.

3. Lee has largely escaped professional evaluation

This has led to plenty of myth being attributed to Lee. We wouldn't think of any other fighters of Lee's size being able to beat one of the greatest heavyweight boxers ever, but Lee has this mystique around him. What Lee performs in movies are not his real abilities.

4. All else being equal, Muhammad Ali would destroy Lee.

Lee has essentially no way of knocking out Ali, while Lee is constantly in danger of being KO'd. Ali has advantages in size, reach, boxing technique, and probably speed and strength although I can't get definitive measurements. It's pretty uncertain as to where Lee has any advantage besides kicks, which even then still leave him in Ali's reach. Any statement claiming a 135 lb. fighter could defeat a 230 lb. legendary heavyweight is going to require an immense amount of proof.

Good luck trying to prove this. I'm going to be very critical of sources here because a lot of Bruce Lee/Chuck Norris fanboys tend to exaggerate the abilities of their idols immensely.
Debate Round No. 2
rubbersoul

Pro

Good try...but here's where you're wrong:

While Ali was very good with his hands...that was the only weapons that he had....2 hands.
Lee on the other side had his hands (which by the way has been documented that his punches were so strong and fast, that he DID hit like a heavyweight. (Case in point..Ed Parker's 1964 Karate tounrament)).

Lee also had his legs which he used for kicks and knee strikes..also..elbows, head butts, a budding ground game, and lets not forget, back when he lived in Hong Kong, he was a boxing champion which would have added to his experience.
Don't let someone's size fool you....example Royce Gracie v. Ken Shamrock or Dan Severn, and other larger fellows he had to contend with....

...back to you folks...
OMGJustinBieber

Con

Lee's strikes were certainly not as hard as Ali's. Force = Mass * Acceleration, and Lee's mass limited his output. Even in 135 lb. MMA matches, there are much less KOs than in heavyweight matches, and this is largely due to the size of the fighters. Lee would have little to no KO potential against Ali.

My opponent cites Royce Gracie, and while Royce Gracie is an incredible fighter he also had around 40 lbs. on Bruce Lee and was unrivaled at his ground game. Bruce Lee had no ground game, especially not against Ali who would have been very difficult to take down. Gracie's insane ability in BJJ gave him an edge against larger fighters who had no ground game, but Lee is not Gracie. Gracie would never have been able to take his 220-230 lb. opponent's to the mat (nevermind keep them there) with a weight of 135.

Additionally, yes, Bruce Lee had kicks and elbows. However, throwing an elbow requires being on the "inside" and these elbows could have only hit Ali's chest. Bruce Lee would have had to have got their in the first place through dodging or deflecting blows from Ali, which is easier said than done. Lastly, I don't think Bruce Lee's kicks even fall outside Ali's reach, and even if they did Ali would be able to close the gap relatively quickly if he could time it right.

The main factor here is that Ali has a tremendous amount of KO power vs. a much smaller opponent, and Bruce Lee has never seriously fought anyone approaching Ali's level. I would lastly like to add that Ali has more fighting experience with 100+ amateur fighters and 60+ professional bouts...all with men atleast 80 lbs. heavier than Lee.
Debate Round No. 3
rubbersoul

Pro

"Bruce Lee had no ground game"
Yes, Lee DID have a ground game.Gene Lebell helped Bruce develop a ground game so I think this helps my theory....
This is from Lebell himself...."Bruce called me for a few shows because he liked the way I took falls for him - being a judo man made me pretty good at breakfalls. We ended up becoming friends and would work out together and teach each other techniques. I liked working out with Bruce, but I kept getting sick from that stinky incense he burned in his gym. I told him I wouldn't go there because his dojo smelled worse than a Chinese laundry house. Of course, I was only kidding with him, and once Bruce learned that my teasing was all in good fun he started to joke around too. Bruce came to my dojo after that. He was a great guy, and I loved him.

"Bruce loved to learn grappling, he ate it up! He said that people would never go for it in movies or TV because the fights are over too fast and most of the good stuff was hidden from view. He said they wanted to see fancy kicking, acrobatics, and weapons -- he was a savvy showman who knew how to give 'em exactly what they wanted. I wish he could be around now to see how well grappling is doing these days. I remember one time he kicked me really hard. I remember thinking it was a good thing he only wore a size 6 shoe instead of a 14 like me, otherwise that kick would have sent me to China! He was strong for his size, lemme tell ya."

Lee was involved in competitive fights, some of which were arranged while others were not. Dan Inosanto stated, "There's no doubt in my mind that if Bruce Lee had gone into pro boxing, he could easily have ranked in the top three in the lightweight division or junior-welterweight division".[38]

Lee defeated three-time champion British boxer Gary Elms by way of knockout in the third round in the 1958 Hong Kong Inter-School amateur Boxing Championships by using Wing Chun traps and high/low-level straight punches.[39]

The following year, Lee became a member of the "Tigers of Junction Street," and was involved in numerous gang-related street fights. "In one of his last encounters, while removing his jacket the fellow he was squaring off against sucker punched him and blackened his eye. Bruce flew into a rage and went after him, knocking him out, breaking his opponent's arm. The police were called as a result".[40] The incident took place on a Hong Kong rooftop at 10 pm on Wednesday, 29 April 1959.[41]

In 1962, Lee knocked out Uechi, a Japanese black belt Karateka, in 11 seconds in a 1962 Full-Contact match in Seattle. It was refereed by Jesse Glover. The incident took place in Seattle at a YMCA handball court. Taki Kamura says the battle lasted 10 seconds in contrary to Hart's statement.[42] Ed Hart states "The karate man arrived in his gi (uniform), complete with black belt, while Bruce showed up in his street clothes and simply took off his shoes. The fight lasted exactly 11 seconds – I know because I was the time keeper – and Bruce had hit the guy something like 15 times and kicked him once. I thought he'd killed him".[43]

In Oakland, California in 1964 at Chinatown, Lee had a controversial private match with Wong Jack Man, a direct student of Ma Kin Fung known for his mastery of Xingyiquan, Northern Shaolin, and Tai chi chuan. According to Lee, the Chinese community issued an ultimatum to him to stop teaching non-Chinese; when he refused to comply he was challenged to a combat match with Wong, the arrangement being that if Lee lost he would have to shut down his school while if he won then Lee would be free to teach Caucasians or anyone else.[40] Wong denies this, stating that he requested to fight Lee after Lee issued an open challenge during one of Lee's demonstrations at a Chinatown theatre, and that Wong himself did not discriminate against Caucasians or other non-Chinese.[44] Lee commented, "That paper had all the names of the sifu from Chinatown, but they don't scare me".[45]

Individuals known to have witnessed the match included Cadwell, James Lee (Bruce Lee's associate, no relation) and William Chen, a teacher of Tai chi chuan. Wong and witness William Chen stated that the fight lasted an unusually long 20–25 minutes.[44] According to Bruce Lee, Linda Lee Cadwell, and James Yimm Lee, the fight lasted 3 minutes with a decisive victory for Bruce. "The fight ensued, it was a no holds barred fight, it took three minutes. Bruce got this guy down to the ground and said 'do you give up?' and the man said he gave up". — Linda Lee Cadwell[40]

Wong Jack Man published his own account of the battle in the Chinese Pacific Weekly, a Chinese-language newspaper in San Francisco, which contained another challenge to Lee for a public rematch.[44] Lee had no reciprocation to Wong's article nor were there any further public announcements by either, but Lee had continued to teach Caucasians.

Lee's eventual celebrity put him in the path of a number of men who sought to make a name for themselves by causing a confrontation with Lee. A challenger had invaded Lee's private home in Hong Kong by trespassing into the backyard to incite Lee in combat. Lee finished the challenger violently with a kick, infuriated over the home invasion. Describing the incident, Herb Jackson states,

One time one fellow got over that wall, got into his yard and challenged him and he says 'how good are you?' And Bruce was poppin mad. He [Bruce] says 'he gets the idea, this guy, to come and invade my home, my own private home, invade it and challenge me.' He said he got so mad that he gave the hardest kick he ever gave anyone in his life.[46]
Bob Wall, USPK karate champion and Lee's co-star in Enter the Dragon, recalled one encounter that transpired after a film extra kept taunting Lee. The extra yelled that Lee was "a movie star, not a martial artist," that he "wasn't much of a fighter". Lee answered his taunts by asking him to jump down from the wall he was sitting on. Wall described Lee's opponent as "a gang-banger type of guy from Hong Kong," a "damned good martial artist," and observed that he was fast, strong, and bigger than Bruce.[47]

This kid was good. He was strong and fast, and he was really trying to punch Bruce's brains in. But Bruce just methodically took him apart.[48] Bruce kept moving so well, this kid couldn't touch him...then all of a sudden, Bruce got him and rammed his body with the wall and swept him up, proceeding to drop him and plant his knee into his opponent's chest, locked his arm out straight, and nailed him in the face repeatedly".

To sum it up....saying Bruce had no ground game, and no boxing or fighting experience falls flat.
Being smaller isn't always a disadvantage..
OMGJustinBieber

Con

Cutting and pasting is not a legitimate form of argument. Besides, you cut and pasted internal citations without even providing the source. I told you I was going to be anal about sources, and sure enough I found a lot of these quotes on forums and Yahoo Answers.

Yeah, it's all from wikipedia. I can do this too.

"Nicknamed "The Greatest", Ali was involved in several historic boxing matches. Notable among these are three with rival Joe Frazier and one with George Foreman, whom he beat by knockout to win the world heavyweight title for the second time. He suffered only five losses (four decisions and one TKO by retirement from the bout) with no draws in his career, while amassing 56 wins (37 knockouts and 19 decisions).[2] Ali was well known for his unorthodox fighting style, which he described as "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee", and employing techniques such as the rope-a-dope.[3] He was also known for his pre-match hype, where he would "trash talk" opponents on television and in person some time before the match, often with rhymes. These personality quips and idioms, along with an unorthodox fighting technique, made him a cultural icon. In later life, Ali developed Parkinson's disease. In 1999, Ali was crowned "Sportsman of the Century" by Sports Illustrated and "Sports Personality of the Century" by the BBC.[4]"
Debate Round No. 4
rubbersoul

Pro

What does that have to do with anything?
I used direct quotes as my sources....and nowhere at all did you dispute my claim..
OMGJustinBieber

Con

You literally copied and pasted wikipedia. I did a little bit of background research, and I can't find "Gary Elms" under any list of British boxing champions. I'm not going to look through all of your sources, because this response should be brief as yours was.

Regardless of whether or not Lee had a budding ground game, using a ground game requires closing the gap with a professional heavyweight. I'm sorry I didn't ask this earlier, but what takedown would Lee use on Ali? You don't just do a takedown, you need to prepare for it and it often comes through close contact (or clinch) with your opponent.

Anyway, I'm not writing much more. Nothing in your cut and paste article suggested that he could beat Ali. Lee never fought anybody near Ali, and his professional record is dubious and much is based on hearsay. If I wanted, I could have posted sources saying that Ali backed away from professional fights and at times failed to defeat similar-sized opponents, but I did not because I did not have the extreme degree of reliability that I demand from sources. Even the statement from Dan Inosanto, as bold as it is claiming Lee could have been a top ranked lightweight fighter (lightweight is 135 in boxing) still doesn't make the cut because lightweights (135) never beat legendary heavyweights. They simply lack the power, it's a mismatch.

I feel my opponent has not satisfied the burden of proof. The burden of proof was that he would have to provide solid evidence that a 135 lb. actor/fitness-guru could defeat one of the best heavyweight fighters in history. It was an incredibly difficult task, given there is no historical precedent in terms of fights that my opponent could cite, and Lee's dubious history as a fighter. I encourage a vote for Con.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by laciatez2 5 years ago
laciatez2
lee had his kicks slowed down in movies because they were too fast in real life. and let's not forget that bruce lee is a street fighter where as ali is only a sportsman. chuck norris and gene labell, both renowned martial artists have greatly praised lee as being a formidable opponent.

the stance that boxers seem to adopt is very vulnerable to groin and inner thigh kicks. boxers are also not good at defending lower attacks as they never worry about them. with lees fast and strong kicks, a nut shot is all it takes to drop ali. then lee can choke ali to death or break his arms after kicking his head in several times on the ground of course :)
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by thett3 5 years ago
thett3
rubbersoulOMGJustinBieberTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Counter mass debator
Vote Placed by MassDebator255 5 years ago
MassDebator255
rubbersoulOMGJustinBieberTied
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Reasons for voting decision: OMG...bruce lee would so kick mohammed s ass
Vote Placed by brokenboy 5 years ago
brokenboy
rubbersoulOMGJustinBieberTied
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Reasons for voting decision: while Bruce lee's mass limited his power,his speed was much greater than muhammad's. When Bruce would kick he would be using the mass of his entire body as suposed to muhammad's mass of his arm, As well Bruce lee is known for his seemingly "dirty fighting" Bruce lee would aim for the balls,kees, and any other vital points killing muhammad The father of his teacher ip man was lighter than bruce and beat the heavy weight champion of the world in his prime and this was before safe boxing gloves.
Vote Placed by feverish 6 years ago
feverish
rubbersoulOMGJustinBieberTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con won the debate but Lee would win the fight. Ali faster? naah
Vote Placed by detachment345 6 years ago
detachment345
rubbersoulOMGJustinBieberTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con put more effort into it while many of pro's arguments were nearly all copy and pasted,
Vote Placed by Heathen 6 years ago
Heathen
rubbersoulOMGJustinBieberTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Although I still agree with Pro, Con simply argued better.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
rubbersoulOMGJustinBieberTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: "Nothing in your cut and paste article suggested that he could beat Ali. " - yep, and sources would be nice for a detailed copy and paste. 3:1 Con