The 23-year-old Kim was scheduled to take on Shooto veteran Yoshitaro Niimi this past Sunday in Nagoya, Japan, for the welterweight title of local promotion Heat. However, fellow Korean A Sol Kwon ended up replacing him on the day of the event. Yoichi Suzuki, head trainer of Nagoya gym Alive, alleged on his Web site blog that Kim had suffered a mild heart attack while cutting weight.
However, Sherdog.com has been informed that the circumstances of Kim pulling out of the bout have been exaggerated, as he simply passed out from exhaustion and did not have a heart attack.
Jin Chul Kim, the head of Team Blue Dragon and Kim's chief trainer, confirmed to Sherdog.com that the Sengoku veteran was cutting weight Friday in Busan, South Korea, before leaving for Nagoya. Kim was 300 grams -- just over half a pound -- over the 170-pound weight limit, and while trying to pare down, he passed out in the sauna. He was then pulled from the bout in favor of Kwon, who fought to a split decision loss with Niimi on Sunday.
His trainer assured that Kim is now at home in Busan, and in good health after recovering from his weight-cutting debacle. However, there is some doubt as to whether or not he will continue to campaign as a welterweight; despite not being particularly slight of build, Kim stands 6-foot-4 and has had trouble making the welterweight limit in the past.
The colorful Kim gained some measure of cult status last November, when he fought veteran Akihiro Gono to a unanimous decision loss in Sengoku. The boisterous Korean assumed the gimmick of "Shin Ramen," throwing out ramen to fans, and waxing poetic in interviews about noodles.