Recent brushes with adversity have slowed Dae Hwan Kim’s ascent in One Championship, and he would like nothing more than to reverse the trend as quickly as possible.
The 34-year-old South Korean will seek his first win in more than two years when he confronts the surging Wei Xie in a flyweight showcase at One Championship “Battleground 3” on Friday at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore. Kim enters the cage on a career-worst three-fight losing streak. He last appeared at One Championship “Collision Course 2” on Dec. 18, when he wound up on the wrong side of a unanimous decision against former flyweight titleholder Kairat Akhmetov.
As Kim makes final preparations for his crucial encounter with Xie, here are five things you might not know about him:
1. His credentials speak to his lethality.
Kim holds the rank of fourth-degree black belt in taekwondo and won a national championship in the discipline inside his native South Korea. Interestingly enough, he has not delivered a single stoppage via kick in 23 appearances as a mixed martial artist.
2. A fast start opened some eyes.
The Kukje Gym representative hit the ground running in MMA. Kim made his professional debut at the age of 21 under the Spirit Martial Challenge banner on Nov. 9, 2008. He touched off his career by compiling a 10-0-1 record through his first 11 outings, a two-round draw with Koji Yoshida the only blemish.
3. He has struck gold before.
Though he has yet to reach the top of the mountain in One Championship, Kim laid claim to the Korean All MMA Association bantamweight crown in 2011.
4. Durability factors into his success.
Kim has been stopped only once in his 13-year career, having submitted to a Bibiano Fernandes rear-naked choke in the second round of their One Championship “Warrior’s Way” main event on Dec. 5, 2015. “Ottogi” conceded defeat 1:16 into Round 2, failing in his bid to capture the Singapore-based organization’s bantamweight title.
5. He carries quick-strike potential.
Nearly half of Kim’s career wins have resulted in first-round finishes, highlighted by a 23-second technical knockout of Woo Gyu Kang at an All Fighting Championship event on May 13, 2017. Others he has victimized inside one round: In Suk Oh, Jae Kyum Kim, Kyung Ho Kim, Yusuke Gondai, Kevin Belingon and Jumayi Ayideng.