Having single-handedly slain four warriors from the coalition – Zu Mao (祖茂), Pan Feng (潘鳳), Bao Zhong (鮑忠), and Yu She (俞涉) – Hua Xiong seems invincible. Despite mistrust from many Warlords of the coalition, most notably their leader Yuan Shao, Guan Yu volunteers to fight Hua Xiong. To convince them to give him the opportunity, he tells them that if he fails to defeat Hua Xiong, the coalition can take his head as punishment. When Cao Cao pours Guan Yu a cup of warm wine, Guan Yu puts it on hold and says he will return very soon. As promised, Guan Yu returns quickly with Hua Xiong's head and gulps down the wine while it is still warm.
Hua Xiong plays a more significant role in the 14th-century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. He is described as a "stalwart man of fierce mien, lithe and supple as a beast. He had a round head like a leopard and shoulders like an ape's."