ROAD FC 23 took place on May 2, 2015 in Seoul, South Korea. Bantamweight Champion Lee Yun-Jun retained the belt, but he was forced into a full non-stop three rounds by Mun Je-Hoon.
Lee knew he had better ground skills than Mun, but he didn’t push for the takedowns and got baited into a striking war. His face paid for it. Mun was strong in the clinch in the opening stanzas. He made Lee work hard to defend himself, which tired the champion out visibly. Lee, however, still landed those big bombs and as the rounds wore on, his knees came into play as well.
Mun was almost the kryptonite for Korea’s number one bantamweight. Whether or not Lee came in with a game plan to avoid the known striker’s worst weapon wasn’t clear because Mun defended most of his shoots and Lee made no attempt to finish it when he did get it to the ground. Still, Lee’s striking was the better, and it allowed him to hold on to the belt, though exhausted and visibly damaged. Mun is one tough dude.
Choi Mu-Bae set his 50 caliber on Lucas Tani. With terminator-like precision, he stalked Tani, rocked him, then followed him to the ground with punches. Tani attempted to use his grappling but Choi just stood right out of a leg take. Tani turtled and took a pounding; one of Choi’s uppercuts actually flopped him over to his back. It didn’t take many more for the ref to throw himself on Tani in defense.
Choi’s Saturday Night Fever special pose came out, and seeing Bob Sapp raise his hand in victory was like some weird but cool time warp.
Kim Ji-Yeon is the Korean who took two of Japan’s top fighters – Takayo Hashi and Shizuka Sugiyama – to draws to start her MMA career. Hatice Ozyurt is a Muay Thai proponent who’s been sharpening her ground skills with Tatsujin Dojo. Kim definitely knew when could muscle her smaller opponent around and she did, but rather than be boring she traded punches with Ozyurt, and then showed her nice ground game by transitioning for an arm bar finish.
In the second women’s match of the night, legendary Emi Fujino took on late stand in Park Jeong-Eun of the Sambo national team. It was Park’s professional debut, and she more than impressed. Her punches were hard enough to rock the much more experienced Fujino, and she deftly stuffed takedowns. When Fujino had her back standing, Park actually dove forward to slam Fujino on her back. It put her in a bad position, but she defended the chokes that came, one after another.
Fujino got the deserved nod from the judges, but it was Park who left her mark in the cage and in the minds of prospect hunters. This girl will be the next big thing from Korean MMA.
Kim Seung-Yeon got rocked by Mongolian fan favorite Oka, but it didn’t keep him from engaging the brawler. Oka kept his hands down, and Kim started landing shots that put him to his knees. Finally in a clinch against the fence, Kim blasted Oka’s head with a knee that crumpled him out cold.
Karim Bouraarassi knew Lee Chang-Seob would be much much heavier than him when they met after Lee failed to make weight. He didn’t care and he proved it. Bouraarassi punched Lee once and sent him face down, and followed up with punches as Lee tried to stand back up. It was a quick win for the newcomer, and a good one.
ROAD FC 23
May 2, 2015
Seoul, South Korea
6th Bantamweight Match – Title fight
Lee Yun-Jun defeats Mun Jea-Hoon by Unanimous Decision
5th Heavyweight Match
Choi Mu-Bae defeats Lucas Tani by TKO(Pounding) at 1:45 of 1R
4th -63kg Catchweight Match
Kim Ji-Yeon defeats Hatice Ozyurt by Submission(Arm Bar) at 1:14 of 2R
3rd Strawweight Match
Emi Fujino defeats Park Jeong-Eun by 2:0 decision of 3R
2nd Lightweight Match
Kim Seung-Yeon defeats Oka (Nandin Erdene) by TKO(KneeKick) at 3:00 of 1R
1st Middleweight Match
Karim Bouraarassi defeats Lee Chang-Seob by TKO(Pounding) at 00:18 of 1R