Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson To Be Honored By City of Cocoa Beach Saturday
By Space Coast Daily // October 24, 2015
sign at State Road 520 will honor wilson
ABOVE VIDEO: Don “The Dragon” Wilson is one of the most highly respected members ever of the kickboxing community and was inducted into the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame last May.
BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA BEACH, FLORIDA – The City of Cocoa Beach will recognize Don “The Dragon” Wilson by unveiling a sign at State Road 520 and Banana River Boulevard on Saturday that honors one of the city’s favorite sons.
Last year, Wilson filmed The Martial Arts Kid movie in Cocoa Beach and the public is invited to the ceremony, which includes an opportunity to meet Wilson at 2 p.m.
“The Dragon” was a World Kickboxing Champion and was inducted into the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame last May.
CLICK HERE to see a movie review and trailer – see if you can identify all the Cocoa Beach locations!
DON ‘THE DRAGON’ WILSON – 2015 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
• Full-Contact World Champion
• Kickboxing Hall of Fame
• Won 11 World Titles
DAD TOOK JOB AT SPACE CENTER
If you spent any time at Cocoa Beach’s Brassy’s Nightclub in the 1980s, you surely remember the nights the dance floor was converted to a kickboxing ring and the bouncers didn’t stop the fighting.
And surely, you remember Don “The Dragon” Wilson. He fought there 11 times in a seven-year span.
Though he was born in Illinois, like many other Brevardians, Wilson became a local when his dad took an engineering job at Kennedy Space Center.
After high school in Boca Raton, he attended the Coast Guard Academy, where he began studying karate. He returned to Brevard in 1973 and earned an A.A. in electrical engineering at Brevard Community College.
He initially planned to continue his education at Florida Institute of Technology, but as often happens, the plans changed.
Wilson decided to follow a dream and – while being trained by his brother in kung fu – began pursuit of a fighting career.
All of his first 39 fights in the 1970s and 1980s took place in Florida – most in the central part of the state. In that span, he amassed a record of 32-3-1.
He won state, U.S. and world titles in the full-contact middleweight division. He also won the full-contact light-heavyweight world title.
All in all, according to his biography, Wilson won 11 world titles with a variety of kickboxing sanctioning groups with an overall record of 72-5-2.
In one of his more publicized bouts, Wilson fought professional Dick Kimber for the cruiserweight world title in May of 1999.
According to reports at the time, “At the end of the third round, Wilson came alive and exploded with a flurry that eventually knocked Kimber to the floor motionless.”
He was named to the Word Kickboxing League Hall of Fame in 2010.
Since retiring from the ring, Wilson has worked as a commentator in Ultimate Fighting Championship matches. It was rumored that Wilson was considering a return to the ring in the UFC, but that never materialized.
Wilson made headlines after his fighting career as well. Reports said that while attending a martial arts tournament in Reno, NV, he witnessed a purse-snatching.
Wilson reportedly chased down a thief who had taken an elderly woman’s bag. He held the perpetrator in submission until the police arrived.
The Dragon has also had roles – both acting and producing – in over 50 films, documentaries, videos, and television shows since the 1980s – including the cult classic – Bloodfist.
In that film, Wilson played a dojo sensei in California who travels to the Philippines to avenge his professional kickboxer brother, who was murdered after a fight.
Don “The Dragon” Wilson was certainly the “real deal,” and one of the most highly respected members of the kickboxing community in his heyday.
THE 2016 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Banquet and Induction Ceremony will take place at the Cocoa Beach Country Club on Friday, May 6.
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT the 2016 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Induction Dinner or to make a nomination, call 321-615-8111 or e-mail MaverickMultimedia@gmail.com
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME