On May 23, 2013 MMA-in-ASIA learned firsthand from management at ROAD Fighting Championship that Kim SooChul‘s scheduled match against Japanese gladiator Takafumi Otsuka on June 22 in ROAD FC 12 will not take place. Instead, Kim will train for an upcoming opportunity to defend his Bantamweight Championship belt in ONE FC. The agreement was apparently made personally by the CEOs of the organizations, Jung MoonHong and Victor Cui, in a friendly manner. Otsuka is not off the card but they did not disclose a replacement.
Originally, Kim was supposed to have surgery for a shoulder injury, but he did a significant amount of physiotherapy and recovered without it. Because of Kim’s expected pause in action for a period of time, ONE FC went ahead and scheduled an interim title match between DREAM Champion Bibiano Fernandes and Shooto Champion Koetsu Okazaki. Since Kim recovered early but didn’t have a title defence set, ROAD FC made a bout for him in his hometown. They expected him to be 100% for the 12th card, so they matched him against Otsuka in their ongoing “Korea takes on the world” challenge. ROAD FC should be making the official announcement later today.