Korean National Champion wrestler Kang DongGook makes his MMA debut in ROAD FC 10 on November 24th, and will face a major veteran of the sport, grappling superstar Jeff Monson.
When Jeff Monson was announced as signed to compete in ROAD FC 10, the question on everyones’ minds was who his opponent would be, and if he would be pulled from the domestic talent pool. The surprise answer come when Kang DongGook, a national wrestling champ, was announced to make his MMA debut against the 61-pro fight veteran, “The Snowman”. Other than that, not much is known about this man, except for the odd whispers about his street fighting days. So we searched him out and talked with him before his first ever MMA battle in the cage.
Hi Mr Kang, thanks for taking the time to talk to MMA-in-ASIA. What team are you representing?
I’m with Ilsan Team MAX.
How did you become interested in martial arts?
When I was in elementary school, I started taekwondo. I wanted to go to a sports school, but there wasn’t any available, so I started learning whatever martial arts I could, like judo. When I went to high school I started wrestling.
What were some of your most important accomplishments in your wrestling career?
When I was in university I won third in the World University Championships and I won the Folk Style wrestling championship in the US.
What would be your signature move?
What kinds of striking have you worked on?
When I’m facing Jeff Monson, I’m going to be confident with my striking.
Alright, so how have you been training for it?
In the street . [laughs]
How long have you been doing full contact fighting?
Ever since school. There were students in the boxing club that I did cross training with.
How long with MMA specifically?
Generally, I started training about ten years ago. I did full training starting about 6 weeks ago.
Why did you choose right now to become a professional?
I was cross training with a lot of MMA guys for a long time, and I’ve been watching them fight. I was at the last ROAD FC, and I wanted to fight. So I told Mr Jung and he made it happen.
How do you feel about your opponent, Jeff Monson, who has over 60 fights?
I don’t think the record matters, I’ll just go in the cage and show a good fight. And then go home.
What’s your game plan?
Maybe some striking, expecting some striking in the fight, and also wrestling. Everything can be expected in this fight, 100%. I’ll try to be adaptive in all situations.
How was your weight cut, or did you need to do one?
I’m 100 kgs. When I wrestled it was in 96 kgs, so it wasn’t so hard.
Have you ever been injured in a street fight?
Well, I broke his nose. [points to another man in the room and laughs]. He was number one in Busan, I’m number one in Seoul.
Are you still friends?!
Best friends! [laughs] That made us best friends.
I know most fighters don’t want to look past the fight in front of them, but is this the beginning of your MMA career?
I’ll try to make a plan for future fights.
Do you look up to any fighters?
Dan Henderson and Cain Valasquez
Thank you, and I’m looking forward to an exciting fight tomorrow.