Vaughn Anderson: Leading Chinese MMA To The International Level

4th September 2013

Anderson coaching his morning class in Xian

Renowned Canadian MMA veteran, Legend commentator, and Bellator welterweight Vaughn Anderson came to China with a single purpose: to help advance Chinese MMA to the next level. He is now the coach of at the largest MMA training camp in China.

Vaughn “Blud” Anderson was born in Manila and lived in the Philippines until he was 6 years-old before moving to Canada in 1984. Like many Canadians, during his school years Anderson’s favorite sport was ice hockey. It was also during those years that he started watching Kung Fu movies, developed a passion for Chinese culture, and took up martial arts.

His interest in China continued to grow during his high school and college years, and upon graduating from university he moved to Taiwan, where he began training in Brazilian Jiujitsu, ultimately leading to his first MMA fight. From that moment Anderson was hooked on the idea of pursuing a professional fighting career, and he spent the remainder of his time in Taiwan training and competing in boxing, judo and Muay Thai.

Known both for his skills and his work ethic, Anderson quickly made a name for himself as a welterweight, a weight class in which he remains undefeated. He also occasionally competes above his weight class, with a handful of middleweight and open-weight wins under his wing. Eventually Anderson made the move from Taiwan to Thailand to focus on Muay Thai, leading to his first K-1 fight.

Anderson’s only MMA loss came against China’s undefeated Ao Hailin in Beijing in 2007. Following the loss Anderson tracked down Ao’s coaches and training partners, ultimately moving to Beijing to train with them full-time. In addition to improving his MMA skills, training and living with the team enabled Anderson to reach fluency in Mandarin Chinese.

Anderson made a second move to Thailand in 2010, but never strayed far from the Chinese MMA community. He continued to fight professionally in China and began serving as a color commentator for Legend FC, the Asia-Pacific Championship of MMA.

Most recently, Anderson has been running the MMA camp established by Legend at Xian Physical Education University – China’s largest MMA training camp – alongside Coach Zhao Xuejun, nicknamed “The Godfather of Chinese MMA.” Under Anderson’s tutelage the Xian team has dominated the Chinese MMA landscape over the past year. Anderson has played a major role in Chinese MMA since his arrival, dedicating all his effort and time into the development of the sport. His friends call him the “Norman Bethune of Chinese MMA”.

In August 2013 Anderson signed a contract with Bellator to compete in their upcoming Welterweight Tournament. His first fight will be against the notorious War Machine, and it will be aired LIVE on Spike TV on September 20.

You can follow Vaughn on Twitter and Facebook.

Anderson is not only an accomplished fighter but also the English-language color commentator at Legend FC and has been since Legend 2 in 2010

Anderson’s favorite tattoo is one he recently completed in Xian, featuring a Chinese dragon

Anderson mugs for the camera with Legend play-by-play commentator Mike Rehu

From left to right: Australian featherweight Rob Lisita, Anderson, and Legend Bantamweight Champion Ji Xian at Legend 9 in Macau

Nicknamed the “Norman Bethune of Chinese MMA,” Anderson takes a picture with Bethune’s statue in Montreal