Chuck Norris: I Was a Fighter-Bruce Lee WASN’T!

Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris
Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris

Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris: who would win? On November 19th, 1986, Chuck Norris discussed this issue on a television program called Nightlife. Nightlife was an American syndicated late-night talk show hosted by comedian David Brenner. The program aired from September 8, 1986, to June 19, 1987.

Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris
Nightlife Logo (Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris)

Chuck Norris Discusses Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris on Nightlife

During the interview, host David Brenner eventually asked the question that fans of Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris have always wondered: what would happen in a Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris fight?

Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris
Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris

Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris in the Way of the Dragon

Years before the Nightlife interview, Lee and Norris had famously battled onscreen in the Way of the Dragon. The Way of the Dragon, originally released in the United States as Return of the Dragon, is a 1972 martial arts film written, co-produced, and directed by Bruce Lee. The Way of the Dragon is Bruce Lee’s only complete directorial film.

The Way of the Dragon
The Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris in the Way of the Dragon

In addition to Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris, the film co-stars Nora Miao, Robert Wall, and Wei Ping-ou. Although the Way of the Dragon allowed Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris to showcase their skills in a choreographed fight, it failed to answer the question of what would happen in a real Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris fight.

Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris in the Way of the Dragon

Chuck Norris On Whether He Could Beat Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris
Norris discusses Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris on Nightlife

During his Nightlife interview, Chuck Norris had this to say about a hypothetical Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris matchup:

“Well you know that’s that’s an unanswerable question, because the thing is, you don’t know until you do it. The thing is, I was a fighter. I fought for years. Bruce never competed. He never fought professionally. But he was one of the best technicians and one of the best conditioned guys I had ever fun into. He would have been a phenomenal fighter. It just wasn’t the route he took. You know, he went into films early. Well, into that TV series The Green Hornet. And so he didn’t have to go the fighting route like I had to go.”

Norris discusses Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris on Nightlife

Chuck Norris on What It Takes to Be a Great Fighter

In addition to discussing what would happen in a Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris matchup, Norris had this to say about what it takes to be a great fighter:

“Well, you know it’s a hard thing to answer. But I think the main thing is, you have to be ready. You must be physically, mentally and psychologically prepared. A lot of fighters would be physically prepared, but not mentally or psychologically or vice-versa. And what that means is physically be in the very, very best shape you can possibly be in. Mentally means that you have the intellect to know what the weaknesses of your opponent is. What is his weakness, how can you penetrate his weaknesses, or what are his strengths that you have to watch out for. And then psychological, it means believing in yourself that you can win.

The Way of the Dragon
Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris in the Way of the Dragon

Norris continued:

“A lot of fighters, it’s amazing, would go into the ring, and you could see it in their eyes that they weren’t going to win. And so you’ve got to have that belief in yourself that there’s no one that can beat you. You must go in there believing that you can win.”

Chuck Norris discusses Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris on Nightlife

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