by Brandon Corley for MMAWeekly.com (Photos courtesy of Spirit MC)
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – Fight fans of Korean MMA on Sunday had an opportunity to say hello to some new faces and good-bye to a familiar one. No one left disappointed though. Fans were treated to some spectacular knockouts, plenty of stomps, soccer kicks, and the always entertaining flashy fighter entrances that fans here in Asia just can’t seem to get enough of.

The new guys laid it all on the line to get a slot in August’s Heavyweight Grand Prix and some much deserved “cheddah”. The winner of tonight’s tournament, Chul-hyeon Jung, stopped two out of three before the final bell. His dreams almost didn’t come true in the first match of the night when the robust warrior suffered a momentary separation of mind and body from a stiff right straight. He recovered, got the split decision, and went on to claim the big trophy.

Unfortunately, fans had to say good-bye to a fan favorite when “Mr. Armbar” Chang-hyeon Kim (7-3-0) gave his last great performance before going off to boot camp and his mandatory 2 years of military service. As if he knew what everyone wanted to see, the well-rounded Judo player did not fail to satisfy. Chang-hyeon and Nam-sun Kim (6-4-0), no relation, circled cautiously for about 45 seconds. Chang-hyeon was trying to force the clinch so he could toss his opponent Karo Parisyan style and of course, he did. He executed a nice trip straight to side mount and immediately began to isolate the far arm. Proving he deserved the name, Mr. Armbar quickly spun to the far side and then back again to where he was. He laid back and forced his opponent to tap at the 1:30 mark of round one. Chang-hyeon will surely be missed as he fulfills his mandated military service.

The first non-Korean to compete this night was Ross Ebanez (15-5-0) of BJ Penn MMA. He took on a Spirit MC veteran Jong-kwon Baek (5-4-0). Baek started the first round by working kicks of the low to middle flavor. After the fight, Ebanez informed me of what Baek did wrong about halfway in that opening round. The usually easy going, nice-guy Hawaiian said Baek hit him in the nose and it made him “mad”. Ebanez let the leather fly and I swear I saw vapor trails. Ebanez worked some kicks of his own and Baek caught one, putting Ebanez on his back. Ebanez quickly stood back up and controlled the clinch with his hands locked around the Korean’s back, tripping Baek and landing in his guard. Ebanez then executed some of the nastiest pounding I’ve ever seen. He faked a reach back to open the guard, instead bringing down the power of the thunder god by way of his left fist on Baek’s undefended cranium. He landed five or six shots before the official could get to him and Baek had to leave on a stretcher.

The fight of the night goes to “Krazy” Kwang-hee Lee (3-0-0) and another fighter from the House of Penn, Dave Moreno (2-2-0). Anyone who has seen Lee fight knows if you want to beat him, you better be ready to put the pedal to the medal for the duration. The first round was fought at a blistering pace with Lee pushing the action seemingly unconcerned with losing position to the American. Out of the thirty or so stomps and soccer kicks of the entire night, Lee landed about twenty. Every time Lee could stand over a downed Moreno, he went “Shogun” and showed why he is known as “Krazy Kwang”. In the second round Lee caught Moreno’s back and forced him to tap due to strikes. Next for Lee, the organization’s interim welterweight champion, is a bout with the winner of the number one contender’s match, Ah-sol Kwon (9-3-0).

Sunday, June 17th
Jangchung Gymnasium
Seoul, South Korea.


Interleague Heavyweight Preliminary Match #1
Chul-hyeon Jung def. Hyeon-dong Woo
Rd. 2 split decision

Interleague Heavyweight Preliminary Match #2
Dool-hee Lee def. Min-kwon Oh
3:34 Rd. 2 KO – Pounding

Interleague Heavyweight Preliminary Match #3
Eun-jae Jung def. Hak-yoon Choi
Rd. 2 unanimous decision

Interleague Heavyweight Preliminary Match #4
Gyeon-ho Shin def. Min-gun Park
2:04 Rd. 1 KO – Right Hook

Welterweight Challenge Match
Jae-hyeon Soh def. Seung-hwan Kim
1:13 Rd. 1 Submission – Rear Naked Choke

Middleweight Challenge Match
Yoon-young Kim def. Dong-hyeon Kim (b)
2:21 Rd. 1 Submission – Rolling Armbar

Welterweight Challenge Match
Hang-ki Kim and Gi-young Nam fought to a draw

Interleague Heavyweight Semi-final Match
Chul-hyeon Jung def.. Dool-hee Lee
3:45 Rd. 1 Doctor Stoppage ( Broken Nose )

Interleague Heavyweight Semi-final Match
Eun-jae Jung def. Gyeong-ho Shin
3:52 Rd. 1 TKO – Pounding

Middleweight Challenge Match
Jeong-hwan Cha def. Dae-gun Kim
3:18 Rd. 2 Submission – Rear Naked Choke

Welterweight Challenge Match
Chang-hyeon Kim def. Nam-sun Kim
1:30 Rd. 1 Submission – Armbar

Middleweight Challenge Match
Ross Ebanez def. Jong-kwon Baek
3:35 Rd. 2 KO – Pounding

Welterweight Challenge Match
Kwang-hee Lee ( Champion ) def. Dave Moreno
2:30 Rd. 2 Submission – Strikes

Interleague Heavyweight Final Match
Chul-hyeon Jung def. Eun-jae Jung
1:34 Rd. 1 KO – Knee

Welterweight #1 Contender Match
Ah-sol Kwon def. Duk-young Jung
3:30 Rd. 1 TKO – Pounding