Denis Kang (right) earned a hard-fought win at Road FC 2. |
Photo: Greg Samborski
SEOUL -- “He is a tough kid who came to fight,” Denis Kang
after his victory. “Everyone was telling me how quickly they
expected me to win, but everyone is tough now days.”
Friday night at the Grand Hilton Hotel Convention Centre, Kang
earned a unanimous decision over fellow
Pride Fighting Championships veteran Eun Soo Lee
in the headliner of Road FC 2
The bout saw virtually no clinch work but plenty of indecisive
referee intervention. Three rounds and three yellow cards later,
Kang eked out the decision win.
During the first round, Kang and his corner repeatedly complained
of punches to the back of the head from Lee. Almost as if in
response to a command, the referee stopped the fight, issued the
first yellow card to Lee and then inexplicably resumed the fight
Kang (top) vs. Lee.
The second frame saw Kang score a low single-leg
midway through the round, transitioning from side control to Lee’s
back. However, Kang lost the dominant position trying to secure the
hooks. On the feet, it was a back-and forth contest of uppercuts
and knees, but Kang’s better conditioning was beginning to
“By the end of the first, I knew he wasn’t going to shoot, so I
wasn’t falling for his feints anymore,” said Kang post-fight. “I
was able to adjust my game plan accordingly.”
In the third, again there was a stoppage followed by dead time,
during which neither fighter was sure if he should re-engage. In
this instance, a bizarre double-yellow was issued: one to Lee for
more punches to the back of the head and one to Kang for more
complaining about punches to the back of the head.
In the end, Kang took home the unanimous decision, and Lee’s
request for an immediate rematch was accepted by Kang, provided
that the rematch is fought at his natural weight of 185 pounds.
Though Road FC does provide hope for much of Korea’s vast
sub-middleweight talent pool in the wake of
Spirit MC, the Achilles’ heel of Korean MMA remains: no big
fighters. When Kang was racking up a 6-1 record as a middleweight
in Pride, he was the heavyweight champion in Sprit MC. Road
Fighting Championship may have filled the Grand Hilton Convention
Center at $50 a ticket and secured a television contract with the
cable network XTM, but the promotion lacks top-tier talent above
“That was a tough fight at 205 pounds,” added Kang. “But now that I
made it though, 185 pounds is my best weight and that’s where I’m
going to stay.”
Seo (top) stopped Nishino.
The lightweight co-main event came to an abrupt
end, as Neo Fight champion Doo Won Seo
stopped Japan’s Satoshi
Seo dropped Nishino quickly with a debilitating middle kick.
Subsequent pounding quickly opened a cut over Nishino’s left eye
and the cageside doctor deemed him unable to continue just 53
seconds into the first round. With the victory, Seo expands his win
streak to four straight.
It was Korea-versus-Japan in a lightweight contest that played out
like a highlight reel of defensive skills, as Koji Ando
Team Posse’s Woo Sung
Early on, the most notable action in this fight was on the part of
referee, as he decided to re-stand the fighters midway through
round two, this while Koji had taken Yu’s back and was fighting for
the rear-naked choke with a solid body triangle in place. Justly,
it was a late third-round push on the part of Koji that brought
home the unanimous decision.
Kwon (left) tapped Kang.
In one of the most highly publicized bouts of the
event, featherweight Bae Young
Busan Team M.A.D.
standout and Korean reality show “Go! Super
Korean” Season 3 winner Kyung Ho
. Both connected with power shots in the opening minutes,
with Kang landing knees and straight rights to inflict the more
telling damage, but it was the Team Posse fighter Kwon who sealed
the fight at 4:05 of the first round with a textbook armbar to
Bantamweights Min Jung
Song and Jae Hoon
Moon were the stars of the undercard. In a back-and-fourth
contest in which both fighters were dropped numerous times, Song
the standup exchanges with late-round takedowns on the visibly
Though he got the worst of the standup action, Song’s ability to
achieve full mount late in two of the three rounds ultimately
earned him the unanimous nod.
In his first action since knocking out Ryo Chonan in
April 2010, welterweight Jung Hwan
Cha won a unanimous decision over Jeong Gyo
Chul Kim, 19, took a unanimous verdict over Sengoku Raiden
Championship veteran Jae Hyun So
in a bantamweight affair, while at featherweight, another SRC vet,
Sato, earned a decision of his own over Young Bok
Kim earned a three-round unanimous nod over Japanese veteran
Hamada in light heavyweight action.
In welterweight action, Seok Mo Kim
forced Hwi Kyu Kim
to tap to a kimura at 2:36 of the second round.
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