Please Help Identify this Martial Arts Flick

It’s from the tournament genre. i.e. the hero is somehow tricked or forced into competing in some shadowy no holds barred fighting tournament.

There must be a million movies like this.

In the one I am thinking of, the “bad guy,” so to speak is an Asian guy who stands there at the beginning of each fight holding his sword as if he is giving it as a gift. Also, I remember that the hero has a buddy who is in the tournament; the buddy is a good old boy who eventually gets killed by the bad guy. The last thing I remember is that the hero’s girlfriend is being held prisoner by someone, probably the tournament organizers. She is guarded by another girl who speaks to her in French.

thanks in advance

Ring of Steel?

I’m thinking Blood Sport.

Can’t provide details or confirmation. Just wanted to be the first to ring in.

I watch a fair amount of those. Trying to think of which one from your train of thought.
Asian guy holding a sword as a gift sounds a lot like Blood Sport with Jean Claude van Damme. Buddy gets injured but not killed, and no girl held hostage.

In Kickboxer (van Damme), it’s his brother who gets crippled (not killed) and there is a girl held hostage so he’s supposed to throw the fight. But I don’t recall a French-speaking girl guarding her. Maybe, though.

There was a murdered buddy/girl hostage, I think, in Don (the Dragon) Wilson’s Ring of Fire 2.

And it’s been so long since I’ve watched the Best of the Best series with Eric Roberts (yes, Julia’s brother) and Philip Rhee, so I don’t know if one of them had a girl hostage.

Yes, there’s a million of these.

What fighting styles were used?

Kill or Be Killed?