In this episode of the podcast, we speak with Vaughn “Blud” Anderson, who has been a professional fighter in China for over a decade. In that time, Vaughn has competed with, judged and hosted professional fights all across China and elsewhere across Asia. We talk about mixed martial arts in China, the traditions of kung fu and how they fit into the the modern art of competitive fighting, and so much more.
Vaughn is not only an expert on competitive fighting but also very knowledgeable on China itself, having spent over a decade training here and working with a wide cast of collaborators. Most recently, Vaughn is working with the Singapore-based ONE Championship MMA promotion company, which has hosted over 20 professional fights across Asia since being founded in 2011.
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- 0:45 Who is One Championship and what is fight promotion
- 3:00 The market for MMA in China
- 5:10 Growth of fandom and practitioners of MMA in China
- 7:30 Vaughn’s fighting background and experience living in China
- 9:40 Taiwan BJJ
- 11:45 Transitioning from contact sport to fighting
- 14:45 Vaughn’s first paid fight
- 18:45 Fighting as a form of self-expression
- 22:00 Vaughn’s decision to retire
- 24:10 Vaughn’s first loss
- 28:00 Vaughn’s first glimpse into the life of the Mainland Chinese athlete
- 30:30 Playing hockey as a child
- 34:00 China’s talent development program for MMA and free market vs. socialist sports training schemes
- 35:30 A change in outlook and training regimen after his first loss
- 39:45 K1 comes to Taiwan (Find Jun Ito fight)
- 45:00 Vaughn approaches Art of War
- 50:00 The conditions of living as a professional MMA fighter
- 53:00 The government-provided perks of being an Olympic wrestler in China
- 54:00 The trainers provided by Art of War
- 56:30 The pressure of being the only foreigner in an all Chinese camp
- 62:00 The parallels between learning martial arts and learning another culture
- 66:00 Strengths and weaknesses of China’s construction of an MMA scene
- 68:15 The challenges for MMA promotions trying to popularize MMA in China
- 72:40 How easily public opinion of fighters can change
- 74:45 The state of modern Kung Fu and the Shaolin Temple
- 79:45 Does Kung Fu have a place in modern MMA?
- 87:20 Upcoming One Championship matches
- 89:00 Ken Shamrock vs. Kimbo Slice
- 90:30 Vaughn Anderson’s keys to victory
Songs Featured in This Episode
- NBA on NBC Theme
- Joomanji – Toasted
- Ness – Magnolia
- Juno Reactor – Navras
- Nujabes – Battlecry
- David Bowie & Queen – Under Pressure
Got an idea of what we should record our next podcast about? Let us know in the comments and if you like what you heard, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and stay tuned for the next one!