KIM SOO-CHUL on ROAD FC, ONE FC, and what he needs to become the face of Korean MMA

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Kim Soo-Chul fights in his hometown of Wonju, Korea at ROAD FC 15 on May 31, 2014. He faces his second UFC vet in a row, Issei Tamura.

MMA-in-ASIA caught up with the young prospect before his bout with Tamura. Kim spoke on what his future holds, how he has been training, and what he thinks of his opponent.

MMA-in-ASIA: You are gaining a lot of popularity with your recent performances. Do you see yourself as becoming the face of Korean fighters?

Kim: No, I don’t think so yet. There are many other fighters who are older and more experienced than me. Compared to them, I’m still young, and I have a lot of time to follow them.

MMA-in-ASIA: What do you think will get you to that level?

Kim: Maybe I’ll have to fight ten or twenty more times to get up to that level.

MMA-in-ASIA: Do you have a plan, or who you’d like to line up to fight?

Kim: Not yet, I don’t know yet. I have a contract with ONE FC but I don’t know who’s going to be my upcoming opponent.

MMA-in-ASIA: Do you think you’ll get a shot at the title again?

Kim: After fighting three more times and winning, I’ll probably get another shot.

MMA-in-ASIA: Your last opponent, Motonobu Tezuka, was a very strong opponent. Do you see any similarities to your next opponent Issei Tamura?

Kim: He’s good, so was the previous fighter I faced, they were all good at wrestling – and punching – so I’m getting ready for that.

MMA-in-ASIA: Issei was known for being a very good striker, but recently started trying to rely on his jiu jitsu. Do you expect he will use jiu jitsu, or back to striking?

Kim: I’m prepared for anything.

MMA-in-ASIA: When you say you need to fight twenty more times to become a higher level fighter, don’t you see yourself as already being a top prospect in Asia?

Kim: I still need more and more fights for experience.

MMA-in-ASIA: What’s the strongest point of your style now?

Kim: My heart!

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MMA-in-ASIA: Your boxing improved so much in your last fight. How did you get to that level?

Kim: In this city, Wonju, there are a lot of pro boxers. I learned from them, I saw them fight. I got the skills from them.

MMA-in-ASIA: How have you been preparing for this fight?

Kim: For all my fights, my point is to not allow my opponent to use his strongest skills. SO I’m truing to block what he’s most powerful at.

MMA-in-ASIA: Any fighters that have left an impression on you recently?

Kim: Takeya Mizugaki. He’s Asian, and he must have his own weapons as do his opponents, but how he wins all the time is really great.

MMA-in-ASIA: The lower divisions are getting stronger in the UFC. Do you think there will be many more Asia fighters?

Kim: I think it’s really possible for more Koreans to fight there.

MMA-in-ASIA: What do you think about ROAD FC’s international popularity now?

Kim: They have a good marketing system. The advertise a lot online, they have live streaming and a good Facebook page. And there are a lot of high level international fighters on the roster.

MMA-in-ASIA: What are your feelings about the fight with Tamura?

Kim: This might sound a little weird, but as the fight starts, whoever the opponent is, will be my enemy. That opponent could make me lose everything, and bring shame to my entire team. It’s all for my team.

MMA-in-ASIA: Would you like to thank anyone for helping you?

Kim: Jake Kwon, and Yoo Jae-Nam, the single man club!

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