Friday, October 11, 2013

Rising Korean stars in MMA

I'm not a huge MMA junkie, but as a sports fan in general, I try to keep up with the latest goings on. I sort of know who the likes of Anderson Silva and Jon Jones are, for example, but I couldn't tell you about the finer points of grappling vs. striking. I've also never been in a fight in my life, unless you count a shoving match with a fat guy in a bar as a fight.

But still, it's always exciting to see Korean athletes do well in a sport, and right now, there are 3 notable Korean rising stars in the UFC. What's all the more amazing is that these fighters are all native Koreans, which just adds to all the obstacles that your typical UFC fighter has to overcome.

Remember that Simpsons episode in which Homer becomes a boxer, and his first fights are with homeless guys who are fighting for their dinners? That doesn't seem too far off from your average UFC fighter's situation as they have to pay for their own training, coaches, housing, flight, etc. And even the pay for fighting is paltry, though fighters will still jump at the chance in the hopes of winning and securing a shot at a title and greater rewards.

"Your boy looks a little soft, Moe." - Lucius Sweet

Because of this, Asian fighters from overseas are at a big disadvantage because of all the added costs (travel, lodging, translators, etc.):

So it's quite remarkable to see them succeed despite all these added burdens.

Chan Sung Jung, aka the Korean Zombie

Age: 26
Height: 5'7"
Weight: 145 lbs.
Record: 13-4
Most Recent Result: Loss to Jose Aldo (Featherweight title fight)
Most Famous For: Being able to take punches like no other (hence his nickname), seemingly reckless brawling style, submissions

Korean Zombie KO's Mark Hominick in 7 seconds, tying the UFC record for fastest
knockout ever

Korean Zombie wins via a "Twister" submission, the first in UFC history

Kim Dong Hyun, aka Stun Gun

Age: 31
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 175 lbs.
Record: 18-2-1 (1)
Most Recent Result: Win over Erick Silva
Most Famous For: Tenacious grappling style

Stun Gun knocks out Erick Silva in the 2nd round with a brutal shot

Lim Hyun Gyu

Age: 28
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 170 lbs.
Record: 12-3-1
Most Recent Result: Win over Pascal Krauss
Most Famous For: Knock-out power

Lim Gyu Hyun knocks out Pascal Krauss with an inhumane knee to the face

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