Could The New Predator Win A Fight Against The Original?

Details in this article are based only on the "Predator" movies and none of the franchise's noncanonical expanded lore.

In the long and storied annals of geek discourse, there is but one question, and that is "Who would win in a fight?" This utterly frivolous question has long been the primary method to activate the pop culture centers of one's brain, allowing amateur pundits, theorists, and storytellers to pit James Bond against Indiana Jones in some bizarre grudge match to the death. Would a Terminator best RoboCop? Could Batman defeat Darth Vader? If they were all in the same room, which of the "Doctor Who" Doctors would be left standing? Could the Enterprise-D take out a Star Destroyer? Would Cathy murder Ziggy? In such conversations, the reasons for fighting are irrelevant. A fistfight, it seems, is to break out whenever pop culture characters meet. 

The "Who would win in a fight?" question is also one of the central driving forces behind the MCU. 

The titular alien from John McTiernan's 1987 sci-fi actioner "Predator" is an extraterrestrial hunter who might have read Richard Connell's 1924 story "The Most Dangerous Game" one too many times. Despite having the simplest backstory — it merely likes to hunt — the Predator has already experienced a textured history of meeting other pop culture figures in a long series of fight-based comic books published by Dark Horse Comics. In said books, the Predator has fought Xenomorphs, Judge Dredd, Batman, Superman, the Terminator, Tarzan, and Archie. 

There is no one the Predator won't hunt. Especially today, as the time has come to pit Predator against Predator. Who would win in a fight: the original Predator from 1987's "Predator," or the Predator from 2022's "Prey?" Pop culture brain centers, activate! The grudge match shall now commence. 

The lifespan of a Predator

As mentioned, the actual scenario for such grudge matches is largely irrelevant — who cares why Iron Man and Captain America are fighting? Make them fight for any reason — setting the stage can still be a fun part of the exercise. 

"Predator" is set in 1987, and "Prey" is set in 1719, so one must imagine that the species either has access to time travel devices — a little too far-fetched for our purposes today — or that Predators are incredibly long-lived. Little is known about the Predators, including their lifespan and even their name (only expanded universe lore has determined them to be called Yautja). There is no reason to believe that Predators don't live for hundreds and hundreds of years. Indeed, they would need that longevity to account for all the space travel they do. As a species seemingly devoted only to hunting, it is difficult to picture a Predator engineer inventing faster-than-light travel or repairing a warp engine. It's likely that Predators merely drift through the cosmos for millennia at a stretch, perhaps in stasis. There is every reason to believe that Predator '87 and Predator '22 could have met sometime prior to 1719.

If one is to take Paul W.S. Anderson's 2004 film "Alien vs. Predator" into account, the Predators have been visiting Earth every 100 years for millennia in order to hunt us and also help us build pyramids. Predator '87 and Predator '22 could both easily have visited Earth during one of these periods and hunted one another in the ancient world. One would hope the thought of a Predator helping to build a pyramid immediately evoked images of a Predator fighting a mummy.

The tech

Because so little is known about the Predators, one must manufacture any possible reason to have two of them hunting each other. Perhaps Predators hunt one another on the regular as practice? Perhaps they are involved in an oblique ritual? Whatever the reason, they are hunting each other.

Despite taking place 268 years apart, both Predators seem to have access to the same technology. Both are armed with retractable wrist blades, and they both have shoulder-mounted laser sights. Both are adept at removing the heads and spines from their prey. Both wear masks, presumably to enhance their vision while hunting, and both seem to have identical abilities to turn almost entirely invisible. In "Prey," the invisibility suit is only effective if the wearer stays completely still. 268 years later, the suit functions exactly the same. The two even dress similarly. In terms of technology, the Predators are almost equally matched. 

Predator '22, however, has a few small advantages in terms of technology. It seems to have an ability to manipulate high-tech arrows like Yondu in "Guardians of the Galaxy," sending homing spikes soaring through the air toward a victim. It also has a foldable shield, allowing it to block projectiles. In 1719, Predators landed on Earth better equipped. Perhaps it was mere hubris that led the Predator to land on Earth in 1987 sporting less equipment while facing off against much more sophisticated human weapons and technology. 

If the two Predators were skulking through a forest area replete with places to hide, then Predator '22 would have the day.


In a fistfight, Predator '87 has a distinct physical advantage over Predator '22 in one simple regard: It's just larger. The creature in "Prey" was played by Dane DiLiegro, a 6'9" basketball player who has played monsters and demons in the past. The creature in "Predator" was played by Kevin Peter Hall, who stood at 7'2". He, too, spent a good deal of his career playing monsters, creatures, and aliens. Whether or not their size denotes their age has to remain in the realm of speculation. 

If the two Predators were to find themselves equally exposed in a broad meadow, only armed with shoulder projectiles and wrist claws, then clearly Predator '87 would have the advantage. Equally strong and quick, the 1987 monster would have a longer reach and bigger hands. Both creatures seem to be equally stoic and aggressive, and both would fight with equal ferocity. 

It's important to note, however, that both Predators come with the same weakness: their tendency to underestimate their prey. Both Predator '22 and Predator '87 assumed their human quarry would not have the ability or the wherewithal to fight back. The machismo of the military man in "Predator" led to their demise, but when Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) became resourceful, he was able to defeat his hunter. Naru's skill and tracking savvy (Amber Midthunder) in "Prey" was often overlooked by the Predator, allowing her to land a few choice blows with a tomahawk before it could defend itself. 

With two Predators underestimating each other, and both are equally matched, one could only picture a scenario wherein the two would mortally wound each other at about the same time. These creatures do not quit, and a dying breath from one would be devoted to killing the other. 

In this scenario, both Predators lose.