UFC senior fighter ‘Maestro’ Ma Dong-hyeon (35) sent a heartfelt message of support to Kim Sang-wook (29), who will face Longju (23, China) in the ROAD TO UFC Season 2 semifinals.
Kim Sang-wook will fight former UFC fighter Longzhu for a ticket to the final in the ROAD TO UFC Season 2 Lightweight (70.3kg) semi-final held at Singapore Indoor Stadium on the 27th (Korean time).
ROAD TO UFC is a quarter-final tournament where Asia’s top prospects compete for UFC contracts. This semi-final will decorate the finale of ‘UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs Korean Zombie’ Fight Week, which will be held at the same place on August 26th.
Kim Sang-wook defeated Kazuma Maruyama (31, Japan) in the opening round of ROAD TO UFC Season 2 held at the UFC Performance Institute Shanghai, China on May 28 with a Das Choke submission in the first round and advanced to the semifinals.
This time, Longzhu is already a powerful striker with UFC experience (1 win, 2 losses). He trains with Song Yadong (25, China), Asia’s strongest ban gap (61.2kg) fighter. In the last opening round, Hong Seong-chan (33) of Korea finished with a right hook followed by a ground-and-pound 2 minutes and 17 seconds into the match. He is considered a strong contender for the championship this season.
UFC lightweight veteran Ma Dong-hyun, who previewed the semifinals, praised Kim Sang-wook, saying, “Kim Sang-wook is a player who develops every game, and his grappling and cage control are his strengths. I think it would be good to aim for it,” he advised.
Regarding his opponent, Longzhu, “His batting ability is amazing. He highly praised him, saying, “I think his impact and timing are the best among tournament participants.”
He continued, “(The prospect of advancing to the finals) Shin Haraguchi (24, Japan)’s physique is so small that the appropriate weight class seems to be peterweight or bantamweight, so if Longju goes to the finals, he will finish Haraguchi with a blow in the third round and win.” I predicted.
Last season’s lightweight tournament winner Anshul Jubli (28, India) also agreed that Longju would defeat Haraguchi in the final and win.
Former UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos (38, Brazil) believed that Sang-wook Kim should be careful of the early pressure from Longju. He said, “Longju is an experienced fighter with many finishes and will start the match strongly. In order to win, Kim Sang-wook must prepare well to withstand the pressure.”스포츠토토
Ma Dong-hyun is concentrating on rehabilitation after undergoing surgery for a cervical disc (herniated disc) in March and becoming paralyzed from the waist down. Recently, he showed miracles to the fans who supported him, such as starting to walk on his own two legs.
Ma Dong-hyun made his UFC debut in 2015 as a substitute for Lim Hyun-kyu (38), who was injured due to an injury at the UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. Masvidal, held in Seoul. He has been active for four years with a UFC career record of 3 wins and 5 losses. He also won a referee stop TKO victory over Takanori Gomi (44, Japan), a legend from Pride FC.
As a UFC direct, he said ROAD TO UFC, a kind of UFC Asian qualifier, is a good opportunity for Asian mixed martial arts (MMA) prospects.
He said, “Rather than going straight to the UFC, going through ROAD TO UFC is a good opportunity to be verified by UFC officials and Asian fans, and to make a mark. You can have high expectations,” he said.