ROAD FC has announced that their first event of 2015 will be on February 1, 2014. Two Championship bouts will headline the card as Featherweight Champ Choi Mu-Gyeom takes on Seo Doo-Won and Flyweight Champ Nam Jin-Jo rematches Song Min-Jong.
The event will take place at Seoul’s newly renovated Jangchung Gymnasium with a capacity of 7,000. The 50-year old iconic domed arena has been closed for two years with a grand reopening set for January.
Choi Mu-Gyeom was a relative unknown when he landed a spot in the Featherweight Tournament last year. He faced and defeated 19-year old Tatsujin Dojo prospect Hubert Geven, then got a buy because his next opponent, Kil Young-Bok, missed weight. No one had him as the winner when he faced stand out Kwon Bae-Yong in the finals.
Kwon, who’d already owned wins over Kang Kyung-Ho and Honorio Banario, faced and defeated Japanese workhorse Michihiro Omigawa and Kosuke Umeda to earn his spot in the finals. Against dark horse Choi, Kwon started strong with his judo getting the job done. But then Choi came alive. His striking was amazing, and his grappling from the bottom position proved he knew what he was doing in all aspects of the game. Although it was a Split Decision for Choi, he definitely deserved the belt.
Now Choi will make his first title defense against one of Korea’s currently most well-known fighters, Seo Doo-Won. Seo is a pedigreed wrestler who has been tested by fire in international competition throughout his 8-year career. In ROAD FC, he’s 5-1, with a recent stunning KO of Joachim Hansen in just 15 seconds that avenged a submission loss to him the previous year.
The second title on the line will be a rematch from the inaugural bout as Champ Jo Nam-Jin meets Song Min-Jong anew. Jo has become a rockstar in the last couple of years. He beat BJ Kojima in a huge upset and outworked Mikihito Yamagami. The decisions he’s lost as just a young 23-year old have included the likes of Taiyo Nakahara and Kevin Belingon. Their are detractors of Jo’s Team MAD grinding style of winning fights, but he gets the job done and he’s entertaining.
Song gave Jo a cracking match in their original bout for the inaugural belt. Previously, he’d competed in the Bantamweight Tournament, only losing out to former Champ Lee Kil-Woo in a scrap that went 4 rounds. It’s been tough for the up and comer to lose back to back championships, but he can claim solid wins against Issei Tamura and new Bantamweight Champ Lee Yoon-Jun, whom he defeated in the tournament.
Song’s first drop to flyweight against Jo might have resulted in a less than accurate review of what he’s capable of, so a second fight might prove to be just as, if not more so, competitive between two of Korea’s fastest rising flyweights.