ROAD FC 21 recap, photos: Choi Mu-Gyeom remains FW Champ, Song Min-Jong finally gets gold

ROAD FC Featherweight Champion Choi Mu-Gyeom
ROAD FC Featherweight Champion Choi Mu-Gyeom

 

ROAD FC 21 took place on February 1, 2015 in a return to the iconic Jangchung Gymnasium at near capacity of 6,000 people. Choi Mu-Gyeom impressed with strategy to keep his Featherweight title, and Song Min-Jong was impressive in all areas to capture the interim Flyweight title.


1choi mu-gyeom def seo doo-won_9Featherweight Champ Choi Mu-Gyeom defeated Seo Doo-Won with a smart game plan

Choi Mu-Gyeom breezed through the ROAD FC Featherweight Tournament to face stand out Kwon Bae-Young for the title. It was a match not many expected him to win, but Choi came in with an “I’m better than you at everything” game plan as he one-upped Kwon in all areas to get the decision win. Kwon did not look his best in that fight, so Choi’s first defense was to be his chance to prove his performance wasn’t gifted to him.

Seo Doo-Won is a wrestler-turned-KO artist and he came out with one weapon to try to take the belt: his overhand right. Choi couldn’t completely escape Seo’s powerful punches and ended up with a bloody nose, but his plan to stay at kicking range and kill Seo’s legs was the perfect thing to do. Seo’s thigh and calf were turned to hamburger, and Choi timed good head punches as well. He was active, had better footwork, and destructive kicks.

Choi has definitely learned the art of planning from his coach Cha Jung-Hwan. Unfortunately, the judges didn’t understand that and asked for an overtime round after all three judges scored differently. So Choi came back out and did the same thing, and finally the judges got it. Well, two of them did.

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_song min-jong def takeshi kasugai_15Song Min-Jong claims the interim Flyweight title in an epic battle with Takeshi Kasugai

Song Min-Jong was expected to rematch Jo Nam-Jin for the Flyweight title the latter won in their first encounter. When Jo got injured, Takeshi Kasugai was called up on short notice and Song was still given a title shot for the interim belt. Both flyweight prospects did not disappoint.

Through the first two rounds, they engaged in striking until they went in for the clinch. From there, they jockeyed for underhooks while throwing elbows and knees. The referee thought it was a K-1 match and repeatedly broke them up, possibly damaging Kasugai’s preferred take downs from clinch which he was looking to get. Once takedowns were landed by each fighter, they worked for the back and choke, which both defended as well.

Song was game to everything. He landed hard shots and big takedowns in the third round, but Kasugai defended and reversed. In the second title fight of the night, all three judges scored it completely differently and asked for the overtime round. Song came out like a man possessed and slammed Kasugai to the canvas. Kasugai got up and Song fed him knees. Kasugai ended securing an arm bar that Song had to be creative to defend.

Although Song should have had the fight after three rounds, he definitely had it after four. Kasugai was an incredible opponent, and hopefully these two flyweights will be getting more credit on the Asian scene.

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_kim soo-chul def wagner campos_12Kim Soo-Chul earns a questionable early stoppage over Wagner Campos

Hot commodity Kim Soo-Chul came out looking to bring the fight to Wagner Campos, and the Brazilian obliged. Campos, equally determined to prove his worth early, went for a takedown. Kim defended it but Campos jumped on him and looked for hooks standing as Kim leaned back against the fence. He wasn’t able to secure the choke before Kim got out.

More beautiful striking ensued from both, and Kim went for a flying knee that landed firmly on Campo’s ribs. Campos immediately dropped and went for the takedown then ended up pulling butterfly guard. Kim followed him down, grabbed his neck with one hand, and punched with the other. Then the ref stepped in and both fighters protested. Kim’s hand was raised, but he had no celebratory gesture given the dubious stoppage. It will be interesting to see if Campos will call in a protest, his right under new ROAD FC rules.

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_shinji sasaki def kim chang-hyun_37Shinji Sasaki bloodies Kim Chang-Hyun in a surprising striking war

Shinji Sasaki and Kim Chang-Hyun, two veteran MMA grapplers of almost a decade each, decided that the best way two finally meet each other in the cage would be to duke it out. With Megumi Fujii machine-gunning calls in Sasaki’s corner, and Ham Seo-Hee doing her best to match in Kim’s, the display got bloodier as the rounds went by.

Kim pressed the action in the first and showed a capable display of tools in his striking arsenal. Sasaki kept his eyes wide and glued on him, content with trying to slip what was thrown. Kim got a knock down and then Sasaki went to town on his face.

Sasaki’s volume increased as the fight continued, in proportion, Kim’s face gushed blood. Though Kim’s hands dropped, he knocked down Sasaki again and did a high flying body stomp that ended him with definitely top control but Sasaki didn’t let him keep it. Back they went to flying leather, and at the end of three rounds the tally of takedowns was just 1-1. Sasaki earned the decision.

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_park ji-hye def irumi miyu_5Park Ji-Hye dominates Irie Miyu on the ground for the win

It was a dual pro debut for the two ladies and it felt like it. Park Ji-Hye’s strong points were her ability to reverse positions on the ground and take advantage of the mount. Her lack of power in her punches made Irie Miyu’s defense while back mounted a little easier, and the young Japanese girl’s grit showed.

Park got the referee’s waive off after numerous punches from back mount. Let’s hope both team promptly get these women back in the gym for added skills and strength.

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_tyrone henderson def hong young-gi 1_7Tyrone Henderson defeats Hong Young-Gi with a kimura while mounted

Tyrone Henderson versus Hong Young-Gi was an event that put many of the fans on Henderson’s side from a back story of Hong mouthing off, defending a teammate. Hong surprisingly went for a takedown and Henderson showed an amazing gravity-defying scramble and caught a standing guillotine.

Hong got a lucky break when he landed in mount during a takedown attempt by Henderson, and he started to dominate him on the ground. And it worked, at first. Hong even got back mount. But Henderson calmly fought off punches and got wrist control, turned into the mount, and without bothering to escape the position, he wrenched Hong’s arm into a kimura and earned the tap. Watch this guy.

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ROAD FC 21
February 1, 2015
Jangchung Gymnasium
Seoul, South Korea

OFFICIAL RESULTS

6th Featherweight Championship 5M 3R (Extra 1Round)
Choi Mu-Gyeom defeats Seo Doo-Won by 2:1 Decision at Extra 1Round

5th Interim Flyweight Championship 5M 3R (Extra 1Round)
Song Min-Jong defeats Takeshi Kasugai by Unanimous Decision at Extra 1Round

4th Bantamweight Match 5M 3R
Kim Soo-Chul defeats Wagner Campos by TKO(Pounding) at 2:18 of 1R

3rd Lightweight Match 5M 3R
Sasaki Shinji defeats Kim Chang-Hyun by Unanimous Decision

2nd Female Atomweight Match 5M 2R
Park Ji-Hye defeats Irie Miyu by TKO(Pounding) at 3:31 of 2R

1st Featherweight Match 5M 2R
Tyrone Henderson defeats Hong Young-Gi by Submission(Kimura) at 4:25 of 1R

Young Guns 20

8th Featherweight Bout
Kim Won-Gi defeats Jung Suk-Chan by Submission(Arm Bar) at 4:25 of 1R

7th Lightweight Bout
Kim Kyeong-Pyo defeats Jung Je-Il by TKO (Punch) at 1:39 of 2R

6th Featherweight Bout
Jang Dea-Young defeats Kim Min-Ho by TKO (Punch) at 2:32 of 1R

5th Welterweight Bout
Oh Jae-Sung defeats Fujii Shota by Unanimous Decision

4th Flyweight Bout
Chae Jong-Heon defeats Kim Woo-Jae by Submission(Rear Naked Choke) at 4:16 of 1R

3rd Lightweight Bout
Yang Jae-Ung defeats Kim I-Sak by Unanimous Decision

2nd Bantamweight Bout
Jang Ik-Hwan defeats Park Jae-Seong by Unanimous Decision

1st Flyweight Bout
Yun Ho-Young defeats Kim Jae- Kyung by Unanimous Decision