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At the end of Captain Marvel (2019), Yon-Rogg challenges Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel/Vers to hand-to-hand combat without the use of her powers. Other than serving as a bit of comedic relief, why would he have done that? Basically, what did he hope to gain if he was able to beat her without her powers?

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    Start of the movie, Yon-Rogg is a mentor to Vers. And he regularly defeats her in sparring matches. Vers only beats him with the use of her powers. My guess is that he wanted to prove both to her and to himself that he is still stronger than her. Carol just told him "No, you are not and I am not playing your rigged game any more."
    – jo1storm
    Mar 22 at 13:25
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    Why did Indy not want to fight with a sword? It provides an opportunity for him to win, which he would not otherwise have had.
    – Jontia
    Mar 22 at 13:44
  • @Jontia - The other guy didn't offer him a sword, though
    – Valorum
    Mar 22 at 14:56
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    @Jontia and of course that he had diarrhea ;)
    – Brondahl
    Mar 23 at 11:02
  • @Brondahl: well, not exactly Indy, but "the man who pretends to be Indy"
    – WoJ
    Mar 24 at 14:49

2 Answers 2

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This calls back to an early scene in the movie where they spar.

In that early scene, Yon-Rogg asserts his dominance over Carol both as her mentor and as a superior hand-to-hand combatant.

He knows now his only hope of subduing Carol is to get her back into that Master/Student role and mindset.

Neither fight, the early one or the last one, is about physical prowess; they're about keeping Carol off balance and "in her place".

Carol reacts perfectly; she no longer has to fight by his rules, or measure up to any standard not of her choosing.

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He's basically trying to turn it into a fair fight, or at least a fight that he can win. While both he and she have superpowered strength and toughness, she also has the ability to project energy beams, which means that she would get a chance to hit him a few times before he could close the distance. Moreover, since he's trained to fight entirely in meléê range, while she's trained to fight at both close and long ranges, he might have an advantage of experience at close range, something which is borne out by him beating her in the early sparring match until she starts throwing blasts around.

Basically, he's the equivalent of an unarmed fighter suggesting that their opponent put down their gun and they "fight like gentlemen".

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