Jean-Claude Van Damme to Return to Kickboxing… For Real


In a world where the new wave of action stars all seem to be wrestlers or UFC fighters, I suppose it isn’t such a crazy idea for someone to transition in the opposite direction: from movie star to professional sports. In the case of Jean-Claude Van Damme, he did start his career by studying karate in Belgium and briefly going pro back in 1980, but it has been nearly 30 years since he has been in competition. Now ESPN reports that Van Damme will make his triumphant return to the ring this October when he goes up against Thai boxer and former Olympic gold-medalist Somluck Kamsing. JCVD had this to say:

“It’s the first time in history a guy at 50 will go for a real fight in Macau [China]… It’s kind of dangerous, but life is short.”

The match will apparently be using the MuayThai format, although elbows will be disallowed. The real reason for his return, of course, is so that the training process can be documented for a reality show. Surely, you didn’t expect Van Damme to let Steven Seagal become a reality TV star without trying it himself? No word on where the reality show will air or what it will be called, but my guess is Spike TV. So what do you think, is this a dumb move by The Muscles from Brussels? Will he get his ass kicked, or could he come out triumphant?

  • Niklas

    Wow, I’d love to see a reality show about this! With that said.. Van Damme will probably get his ass kicked.. when you hit 50 your reflexes etc will be slower even if you’re in great shape.

  • alex

    Its nice to see, but I im sure he will get his ass kicked

  • Dale

    Van Damme has a dubious history as a competitive kickboxer. It was uncertain as to whether he had won any tournaments or who he had actually fought. But hey – good luck to him. A Thai Baoxing match isn’t for the squeamish.

  • Kasper

    Sounds awesome, can’t wait!

  • bullet3

    Ha! That’s Awesome. This is hilariously similar to his movie KickBoxer. And this sounds like a reality show I can get behind, although lets be honest, Van Damme is probably going to get his ass handed to him. Still rooting for him though.

  • He’ll get annihilated and I will watch it.

  • Michael P

    The guy he is fighting is a featherweight who has’nt fought in years and was beaten easily back then. Van Damme has never fought any real fighters or martial artists. VD is a good ballerina though and could use that to help him.

  • bullet3

    Now he just needs to find a reculsive old man train him by dropping coconuts on his stomach from a tall tree, and having him kick down a palm tree.

  • Sweet baby Jebus – didn’t see this one coming. In the words of Jay: Jean Claude will be Van Done when he steps into the squared-circle. Hope he’s got insurance.

  • jay

    van damme definitely competed and did well., He won by knockout a few times but competed under his real name van varenberg.
    many think he didnt compete because his fights arent listed under his stage name and so a record can’t be found, wrong!

  • i think that that’s a great idea, we will be able to see more of him.

  • was van dam kickboxer four

  • Mat P

    I think the documentary will be awesome. being a huge JCVD fan i would like to see him do well. People will say he is too old but he is quicker at 50 than most of us now. i say go for it… would you bet against bruce lee at 50 if he was still with us??

  • nick

    Van Damme’s actual fight record was 20-2. His 20 wins all came by knockout. His two losses came by decisions. He only ever hit the canvas once, then knocked that guy out within 20 seconds. It will be great. The guy is training hard and looks great. Wish him the best of luck. I’m a huge fan.