ByMatt Juul, writer at
MMA and Entertainment Writer
Matt Juul

Thirty-two years ago today, Mr. Miyagi and Daniel-san introduced the world to the jaw-breaking crane kick when the first Karate Kid flick hit theaters on June 22, 1984.

While hardcore fight fans and martial artists used to chide those who lauded the technique, the dawn of karate-inspired MMA fighters like Lyoto Machida and Stephen Thompson have legitimized the use of these funky moves.

In honor of Karate Kid’s 32nd anniversary, here are five times that crane kick-like techniques have actually worked in real life.

UFC 129: Lyoto Machida vs. Randy Couture

Former UFC champion and karate black belt Lyoto Machida proved that the technique is legit when he nearly knocked fellow former champ Randy Couture into another galaxy with his picture perfect crane kick.

UFC Fight Night 87: Andrei Arlovski vs. Alistair Overeem

Alistair Overeem earned himself a shot at the heavyweight title when he pulled off arguably the second best crane kick over former UFC champ Andrei Arlovski.

UFC 126: Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort

As one of the greatest fighters of all time, it’s no surprise that former champion Anderson Silva was able to bash Vitor Belfort in the face with a karate-style front kick.

XFCi 3: Luis Santos vs. Alfredo Morales

Brazilian powerhouse Luis “Sapo” Santos didn’t even need to leave the ground in order to land a brutal foot to the face of Alfredo Morales.

SFC 17: José Valle VS Jesus Peralta

It only took Jose Valle 12 seconds to floor Jesus Peralta with a kick to the dome. One word: brutal.

Have you seen any other movie-inspired techniques in the cage? Let us know in the comment section!


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