Three fights have been confirmed for Road FC 14, which is set for the Seoul Olympic Hall on Feb. 9 and will be headlined by the final of the promotion’s 145-pound Grand Prix. The card will be the Korean promotion’s second of the year and will also feature significant fights in the flyweight and lightweight divisions.
The finalists of the eight-man tournament held to crown the inaugural Road FC 145-pound champion are Bae Young Kwon (9-3) and Mu Gyeom Choi (3-3). The former has been in with the likes of Mark Striegl, Kyung Ho Kang, Eric Kelly, and Honorio Banario in his career, while the latter is less experienced but well travelled having competed in Japan, Taiwan, and Kazakhstan.
Kwon, who has notable wins over former ONE FC 145-pound champion Banario and former Road FC 135-pound champion Kang, but dropped decisions to both Striegl and Kelly, booked his spot by outpointing UFC veteran Michihiro Omigawa in a close quarterfinal and then knocking out Kosuke Umeda with a flying knee in the final four.
Choi has much more straightforward route into the final. He won a decision over Hubert Geven in the opening round, which snapped a three-fight losing streak, but was then awarded a bye after Young Bok Gill came in overweight for their semifinal bout, which was subsequently cancelled.
Takasake Kume is coming off back-to-back decision defeats in 155-pound title matches with Yui Chul Nam and, with the champion having vacated his belt to sign with the UFC, he will be looking to work his way towards a third shot at the belt when he takes on Brazilian Eduardo Simoes at Road FC 14.
For Kume (15-3-4) the pair of losses to Nam broke a nine fight streak of submission wins and he faces another tough test in the shape of Simoes (7-2-1), who made his professional debut over a decade ago and will be fighting outside of Brazil for the first time in his career.
Nam Jin Jo is only 22 years old, but is already a veteran of 13 fights with six years of professional experience under his belt. He is a veteran of the now-defunct Legend FC and will be making his Road FC debut against Japanese flyweight Mikihito Yamagami.
Jo (7-6) has notable wins over Michael Mortimer and Shinichi Kojima, although it should be noted he weighed in well over the flyweight limit for the latter fight, and has been beaten by the likes of Dae Hwan Kim, Kevin Belingon, Honggang Yao, and Kentaro Watanabe.
Having faced such high caliber opposition throughout his career, Jo will be a frontrunner for the Road FC 125-pound belt when it is introduced, but he faces a stiff examination of his title credentials against Yamagami (10-2) a Shooto veteran who has won his last seven fights.
Road FC has a hectic schedule lined up for 2014. The first event of the year took place last weekend with Riku Fukuda stopping Hee Seung Kim in the headlining bout and Road FC – Korea 2 is set for the Hilton Grand Convention Centre in Seoul on March 9, 2014.
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