The Only Wing Chun Master Ever to Fight in The UFC

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Yeah, you would probably want to check a ‘Wing Chun master’s’ credentials before letting him loose in the UFC Octagon…

Many modern fans of MMA might not know about the early years or subsequent dark ages of the UFC. For hardcore fans, this may be a cliched subject, but those wild west years in the UFC were no doubt unregulated and crazy to look back on.

Originally based on the idea of the Gracie challenge, the UFC would pit styles against one another to find out who was best. The tournament format would see combatants fight up to three times in one evening, with the winner of the final being crowned champion of that event.

Qualifying for a shot in the UFC at that time was not difficult, in fact, it was quite the opposite. Anyone with a Gi or well-presented mullet/scar combo could jump in on the fun. This wasn’t always a good thing,

“No Holds Barred”

Presenting themselves as an ‘anything goes’ event, the UFC allowed groin shots, head stomps, and many other now-banned techniques. As a result of their lack of regulations and loose ruleset, fans regularly saw the most brutal and one-sided beatings.

One such beating occurred when a self-professed Wing Chun master took on a Judo specialist at UFC 5. Claiming he was a sifu in the Chinese martial art described as Ving Tsun, Asbel Cancio faced Dave Benetau in an ill-fated contest.

Hosted by the Independence Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, UFC 5 saw Dan Severn with the tournament. The Cancio vs. Beneteau bout was literally a 10-second pummeling.

Watch the video of the only wing Chun master ever to fight in the UFC below:

Little was ever known about Cancio, truth be told, he could have claimed to be the founder of Wing Chun and the promotion probably would have run with it. Needless to say, Cancio never fought in MMA again.

Beneteau would go on to compete for a total of five times for the UFC, as well as fighting in the Universal Vale Tudo shows in Brazil. Eventually retiring in 2001, Beneteau went on to be added to the bar and become a criminal defense lawyer in his native Canada.

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