Who would win in a fight? Bruce Lee or Muhammed Ali

What do you guys think?

IMHO, considering that Bruce Lee is dead and Ali only has Parkinson’s, Ali would win.

I think it would still go 8 rounds.

It depends on who they are fighting.

(they couldn’t fight each other; they were trained by the same master :slight_smile: )

Bruce Lee said a few times that he thought Muhammed Ali was the greatest fighter he had ever seen, and he was one of Lee’s personal heroes.

That said, I think Bruce could have beaten him, but I’m not completely sure about that. Ali had a lot of power, and he was really quick. Lee was lightning fast, and also had immense power (especially for his size), in addition to a wider variety of attacks. So it’s a really hard call.

Add 40 pounds to Bruce Lee, all other things being the same, and I think he’d win decisively.

Spritle: They both trained with Jhoon Rhee, but I wouldn’t say that he was either of their ‘master’. Lee trained with and learned from a lot of people, but I only ever heard of one person that he considered the master that he trained under: Yip Man.

Moderator’s Notes: I think the real question here is which of the GQ mods would move this first. But, we have a dark horse entry for this little derby. UncleBeer comes up on the outside and wins by a length.

Off to IMHO. Please pay attention to the forum descriptions, Miguelon. GQ is for questions of a factual nature. IMHO is the forum in which to seek opinions.

I would go with Ali in his prime. It’s hard to tell how much of Bruce Lee was just showbiz. I think he would have tried one of those high kicks on Ali would have given him a right hook in the groin and would have killed him on the spot, assuming the rules were allowing kicks and hooks in the groin.

No question, Bruce Lee all the way.

Bruce once kicked four football players, all lined up to support a pad, backwards a good 10 feet. I don’t think Ali would stand in his way. Bruce is faster, Bruce is nimbler. Bruce knows weak points throughout the body. That Ali is bigger only means the ground shakes a bit more when his body hits it.

I think the Imperial Star Destroyer would win.

People keep stating that “Bruce Lee” was faster than Ali, I have no ide where they are getting this other than completely pilling it out of their heinies.

Lee and Ali were comperably fast, both had a hand eye ability that was tested at UCLA using the light/tap test (you see a light and you hit a sensor) and they were both about the same, the figure I got was 1.7 (what 1.7 refers to I have no idea, but it was in one of the Bruce Lee bios on the History channel or the HBO special about atheletes who changed the worls a few years back, I watch all that crap and it gets confused).

Anyhow even w/o that (admittedly dubious data unless you say the same program), if you have ever seen Lee and Ali doing real stuff and not movie work I defy you to see either of their hands. There was no “phantom punch” thrown by Ali, it was just a case of a man hitting with a jab that was too fast to see and that carried as much force as most people’s hook or upper-cut. As for Lee, you can’t judge speed by his movies as they use a lot of filming tricks to enhance action in films, either speeding up to 40 FPS during filming (slow-motion) or slowing down to 16 (makes things faster wehn you play it back). You can get a good idea from documentary film but a lot of that is grainy, plus you see a lot more kicking which is not going to give a fair comparison because the leg looks slower (longer moment-arm, all the energy is in the foot at the end of the motion but the leg is not moving all at one speed. Like the blades on a helicopter). Still you can see some good footage of Lee doing his “one inch” pinch which looks faked unless you slow it down, it’s just that fast.

I’d say they both had similar speed, but Lee had a greater arsenal, while Ali had much greater power as well as superior stamina. Lee had much more training in avoiding impacts than Ali, but if you saw the Rope-A-Dope move you know Ali could sure as hell take anything he couldn’t block.

I’d say this one is too close to call. Unless you gave Lee some chucks, then Ali would be toast.

Ali has Allah on his side. He’d win. Praise Allah!

Um, you mean like something that would rupture his internal organs? I seriously doubt that Ali had stronger punches than Bruce Lee( or honestly any really good martial artist). As far as who would win in a fight? Bruce Lee, undoubtedly.

Having seen both in action, I gotta go with Lee. Nothing against Ali.

If we’re to assume both of these guys are in their primes. Lee wrote the book on martial arts (“The Art of Jeet Kune Do”); Ali simply crushed most in his way. Lee’s style, however, would most likely render Ali useless, as he’d be able to flow with Ali’s punches, thus using his (Ali’s) momentum to his (Ali’s) disadvantage.

No contest if Lee had the hand darts he used in “Return of the Dragon”. Hell, give Ali brass knuckles and Lee his nunchucks and hand darts and Lee wins without even throwing a punch.

I’m familliar with various “death touch” legends but aside from seeing diagrams of vital areas to hit someone in the Tao of Jeet Kune Do I have never seen or read any mention of Lee using or teaching any such thing. Certainly if you hit someone with a knife hand across the larynx and in the abdomen you might well kill them but the person getting hit has to leave himself open to this kind of hit. Since the “death touch” even if you believe in one as such, would rely on organ damage you still need to access the throad or torso to make it work. Ali’s “rope-a-dope” covered the entire front of his face down to just above his groin (Look at the Ali Foreman fight), and he not only took three rounds of blows from arguable the hardest hitting heavyweight of his era, he was not phased in the least. As for Alis hitting strenght, Ask Sonny Liston if Ali had power. Certainly Master Lee was a volcano of power for someone his size, but do you think that Ali had less strenght? Ali trained harder and used more scientific techniques than any boxer of his day, in fact as has been noted, both Ali and Lee rubbed elbows with some of the same sports trainers. One of the things that made them both so great was they woul;d not enslave themselves to tradition. Lee and Ali both would use whatever methods worked best, and to hell with what people had been doing for the past 100 or 1000 years.

Also it is important to note that Bruce Lee pretty much retired from competetive martial arts before Jeet Kune Do was solidly formed, and while he did continue to train, and teach anyone who fights (be it boxing, wrestling, or kicking arts) can tell you that you get into your best condition when you are getting ready for a bout or a tournament.

You could be right about Lee winning such a fight, but I don’t agree with your reasoning or the arbitrary way in which you come to it. I have seen Ali fight live and towards the end of his career and I can tell you the man had an aura of power that was tangible and if you had seen him in the ring, even a few years after his prime when the hits began to slow him down, you would not so easily dismiss the man.

Both Lee and Ali were superb fighters. In fact, I don’t like the term ‘fighter’ for either of them, because they both were more than that. I actually prefer to call them ‘Combat Scientists.’

Both men dedicated their lives to the science of fighting (though I tend to think, based on my reading, that Lee was more deeply involved) and to honing their bodies to perfection.

I still believe the advantage would go to Lee, because he was a more well-rounded fighter, but a skilled boxer is a formidable opponent for anybody. And in his prime, Ali was the best boxer in the world.

If there were a way that fight could happen, I’d go deeply into debt to be able to see and record it.

This would definitely be a hard one to call. I think there would be two deciding factors – where the fight would take place, as well as the type of training both had received.

In an enclosed area like a boxing ring, Ali would have a large advantage, as boxers are trained at cutting off their opponents and forcing them into corners and against ropes, where Lee’s advantage of footspeed and reaction time would be diminished.

However, Lee’s training is much more suited to a fight, as he is trained in using more than his fists and arms. Ali would be limited to punches, while Lee could attack the entire body. And contrary to popular belief, most kung fu stylists such as Lee do not kick above the belt (it’s a good way for the other guy to catch your foot and rain hellfire down upon you). If Lee were able to use his footspeed and low kicks, he would be able to stay away from a lot of power attacks and would probably have the advantage in the fight.

Bruce Lee. When Martial Artists and boxers meet, the boxer never wins. Watch a few of the older Ultimate Fighting Chamionships and you will see what I mean. The first few UFC’s were dominated by a little Brazillian named Royce Gracie. Gracie had matched up with some enourmous fellows with boxing backgrounds. Bruce Lee would deffiinately beat Ali in a knockdown, drag out street fight.

Got to go with Bruce Lee (though admittedly I don’t really follow boxing and all I know about Ali is that he was damn good, heh…). “Ready? Fight!” (krack) A quick snap with his front leg to Ali’s knee to break it, and Ali would be down…At least, this is what I remember seeing in some Lee self-defence books. Also there’s a story of Jackie Chan being challenged by some moron in a crowd who wanted to see how tough he was and as the guy started to move to attack, he just kicked the guy’s leg and dropped him and that was that, so I imagine Bruce would do something similar (especially against a boxer who’d probably be watching Bruce’s fists and be protecting his upper body).

Like I say, I don’t really follow boxing…What’s the “Rope-A-Dope” thing Ali did? Was it like a trademark move or something?

  • Tsugumo

If I recall, didn’t Ali once fight some karate expert once? In Japan I believe. Ali won, but the expert kicked the hell out of Ali’s legs. Does anyone else remember this & have any exact details.

Bingo. The smaller the space, the better Ali would do. Boxers generally tend to bob and weave almost in place, while martial artists often avoid by moving laterally. The less space to move, the more trouble Lee would have.