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Cobra Kai Fights We Want To See Happen

"Cobra Kai" is a series propelled by relatively simple ideas. It's a story about the need for balance in life, about the dangers of bullying, and about the value of personal growth. Aesthetically, it's a well-produced dramedy loaded with 1980s cultural references. And while all that certainly holds appeal for many of the show's viewers, the thing that truly sets "Cobra Kai" apart from the competition is the karate –- the fights. And man, there are a lot of them.

This is still the "Karate Kid" universe, after all, and as such, it's bound to have its fair share of martial arts smackdowns. In its first four seasons, "Cobra Kai" has delivered rematches between Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso, a number of tense All-Valley Tournament duels, street fights, school brawls, scuffles in juvie, home-wrecking free-for-alls and a whole lot more. The frequent fights keep "Cobra Kai" fresh and exciting, and a big part of the show's appeal is in seeing which characters will be pitted against each other next. With alliances constantly shifting, it's hard to tell which allies might suddenly become enemies.

For all the action-packed fights that have already taken place in "Cobra Kai," there are many more potential matchups and long-awaited rematches yet to take place. That leaves a lot of exciting opportunities on the table for future seasons, of which there may be quite a few. Here are some "Cobra Kai" fights fans want to see happen, how they could come about, and who would win.

Hawk vs. Miguel: Rematch

Miguel Diaz (Xolo Mariduena) and Eli "Hawk" Moskowitz (Jacob Bertrand) are two of the strongest young fighters in "Cobra Kai," and while they've occasionally been adversaries, Season 4 brings them back together in friendship. They meet in the semi-finals of the All-Valley Tournament, and at first it looks like an incredible fight — two evenly-matched competitors with nothing but shared respect for one another. With no dirty moves and no bad blood — common traits in most fights in "Cobra Kai" — the stage is set for an actual, clean, incredible match.

But then, tragedy strikes.

Miguel severely aggravates his back, and while the injury ultimately isn't as bad as it initially appears, he doesn't return to the field of play. Hawk advances to the finals by default, where he edges out a victory against Cobra Kai's Robby Keene (Tanner Buchanan) in perhaps the show's best fight yet. It's a great climactic moment for Hawk, who has triumphed over much adversity (and returned from a dark path) since the start of the show. But the fact that the audience never got to see the full fight between him and Miguel still hurts.

Hopefully, the two friends will find their way back to the mat in Season 5 for a proper rematch — one that either fully validates Hawk's championship win, or reestablishes Miguel as the best fighter in the Valley. The appeal here is in seeing two characters who genuinely love each other go head-to-head; there isn't enough of that in "Cobra Kai," and it would be nice to see it play out.

Anthony LaRusso vs. Kenny Payne

On top of all of the pre-existing rivalries continued in "Cobra Kai" Season 4, a whole new plotline was introduced revolving around Kenny Payne. The younger brother of Shawn Payne, who Robby meets in juvie in Season 3, Kenny (Dallas Young) gets ruthlessly bullied from the start of 8th grade year. In an interesting twist, his main bully is none other than Anthony LaRusso (Griffin Santopietro), Sam's brother and Daniel's son. In reaction, Kenny joins the Cobra Kai dojo and eventually grows into a formidable fighter.

He confronts Anthony during season 4's All-Valley Tournament, making it clear that he now holds the power, even threatening his former bully and saying that he'll suffer when they both start high school the following year. The reasonable assumption is that Kenny's aggression will prompt Anthony to take his father's karate training seriously, creating yet another set of Miyagi-Do and Cobra Kai rivals.

It's likely that Kenny and Anthony's storyline was written at least in part to ensure more longevity for "Cobra Kai." Most of the teenage characters who've carried the story so far are nearing graduation, so it makes sense to introduce a new generation to carry things forward. At this point, it's unclear whether Anthony or Kenny will end up being the hero. Hopefully, both will find balance in the end, but likely not before a proper fight takes place.

Demetri vs. Kyler

Saying that Demetri (Gianni DiCenzo) has come a long way in "Cobra Kai" would be a dramatic understatement. In Season 1, he's little more than a cardboard stereotype of a cowardly nerd. By the time the All-Valley Tournament rolls around in Season 4, however, he's a competent fighter with a genuine desire to compete. He's still a dork and a half, and his continued relationship with the gorgeous Yasmine (Annalisa Cochrane) is suspicious in how little sense it makes, but the fear that once defined him has gone away. Demetri may not win the title, but he scores some impressive victories before he gets knocked out.

That's why "Cobra Kai" needs to give Demetri a proper fight against Kyler (Joe Seo), the bully who has tormented him for years. Hawk takes Kyler down with impressive skill in Season 4, and it would be symbolically satisfying if Demetri got the same shot. "Cobra Kai" is largely a show about conquering your own demons, and Demetri deserves a chance to conquer his.

Also, please give us some actual justification for the Yasmine thing. It's just getting weird.

Daniel LaRusso vs. Terry Silver

The return of Terry Silver in "Cobra Kai" Season 4 may have been the season's most inspired driving force. Thomas Ian Griffith's original performance as the character in "The Karate Kid Part III" was a campy, unhinged spectacle of ludicrous proportions — something "Cobra Kai" none-too-subtly attributes to the character's excessive use of cocaine. 

The Terry Silver who returns in Season 4 of the Netflix series is far more grounded. He's more careful, more calculated, and somehow just as good at karate despite being decades out of practice (we'll let this one go, Netflix). Make no mistake, however: the Terry Silver of "Cobra Kai" is still a villain, and there are flashes of his former self sprinkled throughout Season 4.

One thing we don't get in Season 4, however, is a proper showdown between Terry and Daniel. Because of the torment Silver visited upon Daniel in "The Karate Kid Part III," the younger man is understandably upset to see him again. Silver briefly and brutally fights Johnny Lawrence in Season 4, but he and Daniel only circle each other from a distance. Given how easily he defeats Johnny, it seems that Silver would still be more than a match for Daniel, but that is yet to be proven. Hopefully, "Cobra Kai" will deliver a proper duel between the two men, as Silver seems on a trajectory to possibly become the main series antagonist.

Chozen Toguchi vs. Terry Silver

Because of the danger posed by Terry Silver, Daniel calls in a little backup in the final scene of "Cobra Kai" Season 4 — his old rival and Miyagi-Do compatriot, Chozen Toguchi (Yuji Okumoto). As a lifetime practitioner of Miyagi-Do and a true master of his craft, Chozen is about the closest thing "Cobra Kai" has to a resurrected Mr. Miyagi. And, given how easily Mr. Miyagi was able to dispatch with both Terry Silver and John Kreese in the "Karate Kid" films, Chozen could be the perfect man to take them down in "Cobra Kai."

Of course, there's no guarantee that it'll be so easy this time. Terry is more balanced than he was before, and Chozen, for all his skill, has yet to prove that he's truly on the level of Mr. Miyagi. That's why a battle between the two men would be so exciting to watch. Silver's wild, erratic fighting style is the most extreme form of Cobra Kai's aggressive doctrine, and Chozen represents the purest and highest form of Miyagi-Do. Seeing the two styles clash in a full-on battle would be sure to entertain, and it seems bound to happen eventually.

Tory Nichols vs. Hawk

Even before Season 4's All-Valley Tournament, Tory (Peyton List) and Hawk were two of the best fighters in all of "Cobra Kai." But now that they're both reigning champions, a proper fight between them seems due. In Season 3, they led Cobra Kai together, but that partnership ended when Hawk recognized the evil in Kreese's teachings and defected to Miyagi-Do. Tory has expressed some anger at that betrayal, which could be fuel for a fantastic match if the two were to ever meet on the mat.

At this point in the story, however, a fight between Hawk and Tory might not be a fight between enemies. Tory struggles throughout Season 4 with who she is and how she moves through the world, and in her championship match against Sam LaRusso (Mary Mouser), it seems that she feels some remorse for her old violent habits. She also discovers that her victory was rigged, as Terry Silver had paid off the referee before the match to ignore any unsavory moves. Hawk has had a similar arc of doubt and eventual repentance, which means that if the two were to test their mettle against one another, there could actually be more respect present than anger.

That will depend on a number of other narrative factors, of course. For now, any reason would be enough just to see these two spirited characters go at it.

Julie Pierce vs. Daniel LaRusso

Julie Pierce (played by two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank in 1994's "The Next Karate Kid") has not yet appeared in "Cobra Kai." Julie Pierce may never appear in "Cobra Kai." But if Julie Pierce were to appear in "Cobra Kai," she should absolutely have to have a match against Daniel LaRusso.

Because Julie is the only other "Karate Kid" protagonist besides LaRusso to be trained directly by Mr. Miyagi, she would add an exciting layer to the world of the show. "Cobra Kai" creators Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg have confirmed that they consider "The Next Karate Kid" canon with "Cobra Kai," and they've teased a possible return for Julie. Seeing Mr. Miyagi's two best students face off as adults would be a lot of fun, and it might teach Daniel some much-needed humility as well. Hopefully, "Cobra Kai" will eventually deliver that battle, be it in Season 5 or some other, farther-off point for the franchise.

John Kreese vs. Terry Silver

Since Terry Silver was first introduced in "The Karate Kid Part III," he's mostly played second fiddle to John Kreese (Martin Kove). He may have shown greater aggression and wilder behavior overall, but he was never truly the one calling the shots — that is, until the end of "Cobra Kai" Season 4. In a startling twist, Silver beats adult Cobra Kai student Stingray (Paul Walter Hauser) to within an inch of his life, then manipulates him into blaming Kreese for the attack. As a result, Kreese is arrested, and Silver is left as the sole ruler of the Cobra Kai empire.

Suffice it to say, Kreese is unlikely to let that betrayal go unpunished. As soon as he gets free, it's safe to assume he'll be coming straight for Silver with fists clenched. What could follow is the most brutal and ridiculous "Cobra Kai" fight yet, pitting the franchise's two arch villains against one another in a no-holds-barred battle to the finish. It would be so nutty, and so over the top, and fans would absolutely love it.

Chozen Toguchi vs. John Kreese

Speaking of characters who could pose a threat to Kreese, the reintroduction of Chozen at the end of "Cobra Kai" Season 4 paves the way for another exciting potential showdown. Mr. Miyagi put Kreese in his place more than once in the "Karate Kid" films, and after all the villain has done in "Cobra Kai," Chozen might have a bone or two to pick with him as well as Silver. Obviously, Miyagi-Do focuses on nonaggression, but if Kreese were to make himself a threat once again — which feels highly likely — Chozen would be free to step in to stop him.

Would Kreese fare any better against Chozen than he did against Miyagi back in the day? Only a proper duel can determine the answer. Kreese held his own against both Johnny and Daniel at the end of "Cobra Kai" Season 3, but Chozen is on a whole different level of proficiency. He has also been something of a villain himself in the past, which could indicate that he'd be willing to meet Kreese's aggressive style a bit more readily than Daniel. It's a treat whenever "Cobra Kai" lets the senseis fight, and there's no way a battle between Kreese and Chozen would disappoint.

Kenny Payne vs. Shawn Payne

Now that Kenny Payne has become a relatively central "Cobra Kai" character, it's time for the show to reintroduce his older brother Shawn (Okea Eme-Akwari). Kenny explains in Season 4 that Shawn was always the one who protected him before, but now that he can defend himself, their dynamic may be a bit different. A friendly rivalry between two brothers is always a fun basis for a storyline, but the Payne brothers' story could go a little bit darker.

Even though his reasons for embracing Cobra Kai's aggressive philosophy are entirely understandable, it looks like Kenny might descend to the dark side in Season 5. As his older brother and a friend of Robby, Shawn would likely want to keep his brother from getting mixed up with bad people like Kreese and Silver. It's easy to see how a well-intentioned bit of older brother advice could spark a frustrated response from Kenny, possibly even leading to a fight between the two boys.

Hopefully, Shawn can help save Kenny from Cobra Kai without any violence taking place. Either way, the Payne brothers have quickly become two of the most interesting characters on "Cobra Kai," and it should be interesting to see how the show continues their story.

Robby vs. Miguel: Rematch

Robby and Miguel need a proper rematch. It's just that simple.

Since Miguel beat his rival in Season 1's All-Valley final and Robby nearly paralyzed Miguel during Season 2's school brawl, the two characters haven't met on the mat again. In that interim time, they've each done a lot of soul-searching, and their journeys are far from over. Season 5 will likely focus on Miguel's quest to find his father and the aftermath of Robby's departure from Cobra Kai — a move that may be accompanied by immense regret and guilt. But when all that is done, they need to have another fight: a proper and fair one, not out of animosity, but in the true spirit of healthy competition.

The two characters have been paralleled since the start of the show, and they've now both trained in Miyagi-Do and Cobra Kai styles of karate. Hopefully, the show's future seasons will see them reconcile and continue forward as friendly rivals — out to prove once and for all who's the best.

And let's be honest here: it's probably Miguel.

Johnny Lawrence vs. Chozen Toguchi

This wouldn't be so much a climactic battle as a sparring match, but it would still be interesting to see Johnny and Chozen face off. The main appeal would be Johnny witnessing the true strength of Miyagi-Do from someone who isn't Daniel, and Chozen is the perfect person for that. He's a true master who has his own history hating and battling Daniel, so there's bound to be some common ground between the two men. Maybe with that foundation, Johnny can finally open his mind to a defensive style of karate — and grow as a result.

To be honest, he's going to need the extra push. Johnny was eviscerated by Terry Silver in "Cobra Kai" Season 4, and while it's far from a fair fight, he'll need to level up if he wants to stand a chance against the new Cobra Kai going forward. Obviously, Johnny will be spending a good part of Season 5 following Miguel to Mexico, so a duel with Chozen may not be right around the corner. Still, it would be a lot of fun if it ever were to go down.

Mike Barnes vs. Daniel LaRusso: Rematch

Like Julie Pierce, Mike Barnes (played by Sean Kanan in 1989's "The Karate Kid Part III") has yet to appear in "Cobra Kai"; it feels increasingly likely that he'll show up soon. 

Kana has made it very clear that he would like to join "Cobra Kai," and now that Silver will be running multiple Cobra Kai dojos without Kreese's help, he may need to call in a favor from an old business associate.

Seeing Barnes return in "Cobra Kai" would set up a potential rematch between him and Daniel, which could be an exciting proposition for longtime fans of the franchise. Their climactic duel at the end of "The Karate Kid Part III" may be the most brutal across all of the films, which would put a lot of fire behind an adult rematch. Daniel now has Chozen by his side to help Miyagi-Do fight back against Cobra Kai, but fighting Barnes one-on-one might be a matter of honor for him if his old foe were to return.

There's even a fan theory that Mike Barnes is Miguel's father, which sounds completely ridiculous. Knowing this show, however, anything is possible.

Miguel Diaz vs. Johnny Lawrence

"Cobra Kai" doesn't do a lot of adult vs. teenager fights. There's a good reason for that — it's very hard to write and choreograph (never mind justify) a 50-year-old man fighting a 17-year-old-boy in a way that doesn't feel either entirely unbelievable or uncomfortably abusive. Remember when Johnny beat up the kids outside the liquor store in Season 1?

If the boy were to become a man, then somehow come to face the sensei who taught him everything he knows, that could provide an Anakin-vs.-Obi-Wan element that would make such a Miguel and Johnny confrontation more meaningful (and plausible). At this point, Miguel is nearly a legal adult in the show, and Maridueña is already 20. That means that in the near future, a fight between Johnny and Miguel — whatever the narrative reasons for it — could avoid the more problematic aspects of the karate age gap.

At this point, it seems unlikely that Miguel could be brought so far to the dark side that he'd fight Johnny in anger, but depending on who his father actually turns out to be, it could happen. That wouldn't be much of a match, however, as Johnny surely wouldn't want to actually fight his fullest against Miguel if he were there to help. A better option could be to contrive a reason for the two to have a master-apprentice match as a simple sign of respect — a symbol of Miguel's coming-of-age, showing that Johnny has nothing left to teach him. That's the kind of heartwarming arc that's defined the best moments of "Cobra Kai," and it would be so rewarding to see Miguel and Johnny push each other to their limits on the mat.