UFC FN 79: Dong Hyun Kim Says he Was Fighting For “Survival” of MMA in South Korea, After Joining UFC
By FCF Staff
The UFC is set to host its first event ever in in South Korea tomorrow, but the nation’s Dong Hyun Kim says it wasn’t long ago when the sport was fighting for its survival.
The welterweight made his way to the UFC back in 2008, and since then, Kim has established himself as one of the top 170’ers by going 11-3, with 1 no contest. Several other South Korean fighters have made their way to the UFC as well, and UFC Fight Night 79 will feature the country’s s Doo Ho Choi, Yui Chul Nam, Tae Hyun Bang, and Seo Hee Ham, among others.
While the UFC has headed to the nation due to the growth of the sport there, Kim recently relayed to UFC.com that it wasn’t long ago when MMA was in trouble.
While discussing the pressure he felt when he was first signed by the UFC, in terms of representing the sport and his countrymen, Kim stated:
“Survival,” Kim said. “If I fail, the UFC will never have an interest in Korea and Korean fighters.”
“The Korean MMA market was in a recession around 2008 to 2012,” Kim added, while discussing the state of MMA. “There were so many talented fighters, but no opportunity for them. I wanted to make those opportunities for them. So when I fought Erick Silva, I felt like I was being sacrificed for a Brazilian fighter in front of his fans. Yushin Okami and I had a similar fighting style and he didn’t get to renew his contract, and I felt pressured and felt like I was on the edge. I didn’t focus on winning against Erick Silva; I just wanted to fight like used to fight. I thought it was going to be my last fight in the UFC and that’s when I knocked Erick out.”
Kim is scheduled to fight Dominic Waters at UFC FN 79, who is coming off a decision loss to George Sullivan. Kim submitted Josh Burkman in his last outing.