The Villain 1 Ip Man That Would Have Been Perfect For Donnie Yen

Donnie Yen has fight scenes with many martial artists in the Ip Man movies, a martial artist from The Grandmaster could have been a perfect villain.

Donnie Yen has faced many great martial artists in the Ip-Man movies, but a kung fu battle with an MMA fighter was an opportunity the show missed. The anchored Donnie Yen Ip-Man the films tell the story of Bruce Lee’s legendary mentor in Wing Chun kung fu, though admittedly they convey a very fictionalized version of Ip Man’s life story. Donnie Yen arguably put the definitive stamp on cinematic portrayals of Ip Man with his performance, but the Ip-Man the films also ensured that he wasn’t the only outstanding martial artist in the film.


Throughout the Ip-Man franchise, the list of martial artists portraying opponents of Ip Man is extensive. Hiroyuki Ikeuchi, Fan Siu-wong, Darren Shahlavi, Max Zhang, and Scott Adkins each gave Ip Man tough fights, with Zhang even continuing to anchor the spinoff. Master Z: The Legacy of Ip Man. Yet, despite all the deserved popularity of Yen’s Ip-Man A guest in films with Bruce Lee (played as an adult by Danny Chan), Ip Man has been the subject of a significant number of martial arts films in the 21st century, including in 2013 the grand master who used an actor who would have been perfect against Yen.

RELATED: Ip Man: The Secret Meanings of Donnie Yen’s Martial Arts Scenes

As a competitive kung fu sanda, kickboxing and MMA champion, Cung Le has also brought his skills to martial arts films, with Le playing the central opponent of Ip Man (Tony Leung) in the grand masterthe opening fight scene. What would have made Le such a great martial artist to bring to Yen Ip-Man films was partly Max Zhang having also been in the grand master before boarding IP Man 3 (following Donnie Yen’s initial reluctance towards IP Man 3). Also, Yen and Le’s first fight scene in the 2010 Hong Kong film Bodyguards and Assassins shows an overview of what a Ip-Man movie duel between them might have looked like.

A Donnie Yen-Cung Le Rematch Could Have Been One of Ip Man’s Best Battles

The fight with Yen in Bodyguards and Assassins is the high point of the action of the film, and would have allowed a Ip-Man film with Le’s involvement to market from a particular angle that martial arts fans love to see: cinematic rematches between martial arts stars. After their first fight on the big screen in 2005 Sha Po Lang (a.k.a Killing area), Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung’s tabletop kung fu match in IP Man 2 paid tribute to Jet Li Without fear and was heavily pushed for the rematch it was. Le’s background in the MMA world could also have given an Ip Man fight streak with him and Yen another beneficial element.

In addition to his contributions to the popularity of Wing Chun across the Ip-Man movies, Donnie Yen is a well-known MMA enthusiast and has helped bring MMA-based fight choreography into Hong Kong action movies with Sha Po Lang and Breaking point. A true MMA fighter like Cung Le in a fight with Ip Man could have given Yen a chance to bring the skills of the Wing Chun master to an MMA-style fight decades in advance. Even better, the young Bruce Lee witnessing the fight might even have planted fictional seeds for Bruce Lee’s creation of Jeet Kune Do, often seen as similar in principle to MMA.

The Ip-Man the movies remain martial arts classics on every level. Still, Donnie Yen and Cung Le not only delivered great action scenes in their individual Ip Man films, but quite an exhilarating scene together in Bodyguards and Assassins. The fact that Donnie Yen Ip-Man the movies have never managed to work in a rematch between him and Cung Le is one of their rare losses in their martial arts streaks.

Kimberly B. Nguyen