For the past four years, Dong Hyun Kim has been an important part of the UFC’s welterweight division as both a competitor and one of the few legitimate Asian stars on the organization’s roster. Kim’s fights, regardless of opponent or placement on the card, are considered major events in South Korea given his heritage and a 6-2 record in the Octagon certainly hasn’t hurt his stock either.
However, the UFC has only recently started venturing back into Asia, meaning Kim has yet to fight without the added stress of a long flight or significant shift in time zone. That will change this weekend when Kim faces Paulo Thiago this Saturday at UFC on Fuel 6 in Macau, China. As such, for once, Kim is excited about his foe dealing with the extra adversity of traveling overseas.
“I don’t have to really adjust to the time difference like I do when I go to Las Vegas, so I’m sleeping well. For me, personally, I think he is going to have a really uphill battle. I think for him fighting in Asia for the first time, he has to overcome the jet lag and the time differences,” said the 15-2-1 Kim through a translator to MMAJunkie.
Regardless of the trip’s effect on Thiago, the “Stun Gun” will be approaching him accordingly considering the Brazilian’s reputation for heavy-hands, an aggressive style, and solid BJJ to boot. After all, the stakes are high in that Kim may never get another chance to compete as a member of the UFC in Asia.
“This is the first time (in my UFC career) for me to ever fight in Asia, so that really means a lot to me. I think going into this match, if I do well, I’m hoping that will go right into potentially doing a UFC match in Korea next year,” offered Kim.
Kim is coming off an injury-oriented TKO to Demian Maia in his most recent outing. Prior to the loss he’d racked up wins over names like Matt Brown, Amir Sadollah, and Nate Diaz under the UFC banner with his only other stumble coming to top contender Carlos Condit.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC