Korean MMA Fans, what an exciting event ROAD FC 029 was! From big knockouts to toe-to-toe standup battles, the fighters put on a show in South Korea this past weekend. My favorite takeaway from this event: witnessing the successful progression of Korean mixed martial arts. Let’s take a look at each fight.
Tough Return for ‘Parky’
It has been over 2 years since ‘Parky’ Won Sik Park last competed inside the cage. The anticipated return bout with Japan’s Shinji Sasaki was short-lived as Park succumbed to punches just 40 seconds into the first round. Although ‘ring rust’ may have been a factor, the 29-year old Park looked relaxed and light on his feet. He was the first to engage as he landed an inside leg kick and even followed up with a quick overhand right that got a reaction from the crowd. But it was a perfectly placed left hook from Sasaki that spoiled the comeback. However, according to his recent Instagram post, it seems ‘Parky’ is staying positive and eyeing to get better.
Breakout Star of the Night: Ye Ji Lee
Among all the action at ROAD FC 029, the 16-year old ‘High School Girl Fighter’ Ye Ji Lee may have stolen the show. She picked up her first professional MMA win with her submission victory over Natsuki Shimomakise. But it wasn’t just the result that was shocking, it was how she did it that was amazing to watch.
Even at such a young age, Lee looked very comfortable and was composed wherever the fight went. She showed she can stand and trade as well as stuff takedown attempts. She even obtained full mount position and stayed busy with ground and pound. Then she went on to show how dangerous she can be off her back with an offensive guard that locked in the fight ending armbar submission. And she did all that inside of the first round.
The future is looking bright for the young female fighter. Ye Ji Lee will be a name to look out for. Check out the video below to watch the full fight!
Min Woo Kim Wins, But Late Replacement Jae Hoon Moon Makes it a Battle
This fight was a stand up war between these two warriors. Jae Hoon Moon stepped in on short notice to fight the younger Min Woo Kim in this back-and-forth bantamweight battle. It was Moon’s Tae Kwon Do versus Kim’s Muay Thai and when people say, styles make fights, they need to be talking about this one. Although in the end, Kim got his hand raised, this high pace, action-packed fight could not have happened without the always game, Moon. Be sure to watch the full fight video below!
Gun Oh Shim Falls Too Soon
The 26-year old South Korean heavyweight fighter, Gun Oh Shim, ran into a buzzsaw in the name of Carlos Toyota. This heavyweight clash lasted only 17 seconds as Toyota landed bombs from the start. Shim’s decision to walk straight into the red zone was a costly one. Hopefully, this will become a lesson learned, so fans can watch a much improved version of Gun Oh Shim in his next bout.
Soo Chul Kim vs Marcus Brimage: A Fight to the Finish and the Importance of a Skilled Cutman
This bantamweight fight between Soo Chul Kim and UFC veteran, Marcus Brimage, was action-packed from start to finish with plenty of jump-out-of-your-seat moments throughout. The first round started at a furious pace as both fighters agreed to engage. However, it was Kim that waved for more action as he used knees in the clinch and even dropped Brimage with a high kick.
In the beginning of the 2nd round, an accidental headbutting lead to a nasty gash on the eyebrow of Brimage that looked to have fight-ending potential. But thanks to a skilled ringside doctor with superb cutman abilities, the fight continued on and thank goodness it did. Brimage fired back with haymakers, but Kim stood his ground and also went on the offensive. Just before the end of the round, it was Kim that landed another big kick that staggered his opponent to finish out the second stanza.
The third round continued with more action from both fighters, but the fight was dictated by Kim’s wrestling as he scored multiple takedowns and punished with ground and pound. Soo Chul Kim went on to win the fight by unanimous decision and solidified himself as a world-class bantamweight fighter. Watch the full fight to catch all the best moments!
Choi Retains Featherweight Title
In the main event of the night at ROAD FC 029, Mu Gyeom Choi successfully defended his featherweight belt against Brazil’s Marlon Sandro. Choi started off slow, but as the fight progressed he began to settle in and found a home for his counter punches. Choi sealed the deal with a big takedown in the third round and finished strong. Maintaining his spot as the featherweight champion, Mu Gyeom Choi has now defended the title a second time and looks to stay on top. Check out the fight video for his performance!