ROAD FC 25 Under Card Preview: International Flavor

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ROAD FC 25
ROAD FC 25

ROAD FC 25 will be taking place in Wonju, South Korea at Chiak Gymnasium on August 22nd, 2015. The undercard will feature fighters from five different countries spanning three continents.

This mixture of culture will definitely bring a diverse range of martial arts and styles.

This card from top to bottom has some interesting match-ups and some puzzling ones. Anyhow, let’s take a look at the bouts that make up the under card at the fifth event of the year for the Korean promotion.

The preview for the main event, a super fight between ROAD FC Bantamweight Champion Lee Yun-Jun and ROAD FC Featherweight Champion Choi Mu-Gyeom, will come later.

Kim Soo-Chul (11-5) vs Marlon Sandro (25-6-1)

Kim Soo-Chul vs Marlon Sandro
Kim Soo-Chul vs Marlon Sandro

In the co-main event two former champions, “The Korean Dexter” Kim Soo-Chul and Marlon “The Gladiator” Sandro, will be battling it out. At one time, Kim became the first ever bantamweight champion of ONE FC and Sandro was the Sengoku featherweight champion. Now, both combatants are working to get back to the days where they were called champ.

The South Korean will be making a quick turn-around since he just competed in Japan at ROAD FC 24 less than a month ago. At that show, Kim did not waste much time picking apart Taiyo Nakahara inevitably choking him out with just thirty seconds left in the first frame. That win made it four in a row (2 TKOs, 2 Submissions) all within the first round since losing the bantamweight strap to Bibiano Fernandes at ONE FC 11.

Sandro, however, has been inconsistent the last few years while fighting for some elite promotions such as Pancrase and Bellator. In his last outing at Pancrase 266 in April of this year, he dropped a split decision to up-and-coming Japanese featherweight Isao Kobayashi. Prior to that loss, he engaged in a little fisticuffs with tough Canadian Chris Horodecki at Bellator 119 coming out on top with a unanimous decision.

Back in 2013, the 38 year-old was involved in the Bellator featherweight tournament making it all the way to the semifinals but losing to eventual tournament champion Frodo Khasbulaev at Bellator 92.

This clash is the definition of old-school versus new school. When the Nova Uniao product made his professional debut Kim was still in elementary school. This exemplifies the amount of experience the Brazilian has accumulated over the years against world-class competition such as Nick Denis, Masanori Kanehara, Daniel Straus and Hatsu Hioki all at featherweight.

Kim has been very impressive as of late but none of those fighters are at the level of his latest foe. He is coming into this fight as a big underdog because he is moving up in weight at the same time fighting someone that can finish on the feet and on the ground. Other than Bibiano Fernandes, this is the biggest test of his young career. If he can get over this mountain then he will possibly be ready for his shot in the UFC, maybe this coming November in Seoul.

Xin Dong (1-0) vs Kim Nae-Chul (4-3)

Dong Xin vs Kim Nae-Chul
Dong Xin vs Kim Nae-Chul

Chinese Santa fighter Dong Xin will be taking on Korean kickboxer Kim Nae-Chul in a middleweight affair.

Xin, the 23 year-old, was involved in the only season of TUF:China back in 2013 as part of the welterweight tournament. Although he was able to pick up a win in the quarterfinals by destroying Albert Cheng with strikes in the second round, he broke his hand in the process and was unable to continue.

Kim, the Team Posse representative, has had a unique career in that he is undefeated fighting for ROAD FC but whenever he goes outside the promotion to fight he has never won. He is riding a two-fight winning streak, although he has not competed since last August at ROAD FC 17.

The South Korean comes in as the much bigger fighter considering that he has participated at LHW his whole career. Nonetheless, Xin will be moving up in weight to meet in the middle. Both of these warriors have power in their hands and expect them to bang it out from the start. Though Xin will be much speedier than Kim, this fight will likely end with someone knocked unconscious.

Kim Seok-Mo (6-9) vs Onur Teker (0-1)

Kim Seok-Mo vs Onur Teker
Kim Seok-Mo vs Onur Teker

This welterweight showdown between Korean Kim Seok-Mo and Turkey native Onur Teker will be a kicking affair. Both have a kickboxing background and will be ready to put on a show for the viewing audience.

Kim last made an appearance at ROAD FC 23 and got a knockout victory over Yutari Kawaguchi in the first round. Before that finish, he had a stretch of bad luck with four losses in a row. He is currently 4-4 for the promotion and fighting in the same town where he trains will absolutely give him added motivation.

On the other side of the cage will be standing the 23 year-old Teker who is making his promotional debut. Without much experience under his belt and having to fly half way across the world to engage in combat this will not be an easy task.

Despite being an relatively unknown fighter in these parts, this might be Teker’s only advantage against the much more seasoned Kim. Whatever the case, look for them to stand and trade shots.

Yuta Nezu (18-7-1) vs Park Hyung-Geun (2-0)

Yuta
Yuta Nezu vs Park Hyung-Geun

In possibly the fight of the night, highly-touted Japanese bantamweight Yuta Nezu will face former Crying Fist cast memeber Park Hyung-Geun.

Yuta, the #8 bantamweight in Japan, has been on a tear for the past three years. He has won seven straight with three of them by the way of TKO/KO. During his streak, he captured the vacant Pacific Rim featherweight title for Shooto by punishing Kota Onojima and getting the unanimous nod at Shooto 2nd Round 2014. He then went on to defend the title at Shooto 7th Round 2014 against Keita Ishibashi winning by technical knockout at the end of the second frame. The 33 year-old is now looking to make it eight consecutive and maybe a shot at the bantamweight title.

The Japanese fighter’s adversary, Park Hyung-Geun, will be facing his biggest test of his budding career. The Ssabi MMA member became known to the Korean audience through his presence on the reality show The Crying Fist. Even though he was not very successful on the show, he made his professional debut at ROAD FC 16 and won a two round battle by unanimous decision. Later, at ROAD FC 20 he blasted through Han Yi-Moon early in the second round. As a professional he is unblemished and hoping to make a name by defeating Yuta.

At the end of the day, this contest is power puncher versus diverse striker. One thing Park has going for him is he is not afraid to sit in the pocket and trade haymakers with his opposition. He only has a puncher’s chance with the power edge unless he shows up with new tools in his arsenal. Yuta, however, likes to use kicks and has much more diverse striking. His speed will give Park some trouble because it will difficult to hit something that is always on the move.

Satomi Takano (6-6) vs Park Jung-Eun (0-1)

Satomi Takano vs Park
Satomi Takano vs Park Jeong-Eun

The only women’s match will contested in the atomweight division between Japanese grappler Satomi Takano and Korean prospect Park Jeong-Eun.

“Sarami” Takano will be looking to get back into the winning column when she steps into the cage at ROAD FC 25. She was on a roll with three wins starting back at ROAD FC 20 when she submitted Song Ga-Yeon in the first round. Then, she was thrown into the DEEP JEWEL featherweight tournament. She was victorious in the quarterfinals at DEEP JEWEL 7 against Masako Yoshida. A few months later, she had to fight two times in one night. In the semis, she got past Tomo Maesawa via unanimous decision but lost later that night in the finals to Mei Yamaguchi.

The 18 year-old Park is a fiery young talent coming out of Team Strong Wolf. She made her debut at ROAD FC 23 by facing women’s MMA pioneer Emi Fujino as a late replacement. Most people did not give her a chance but she stepped into the cage and went toe-to-toe with the heavy favorite. Despite the fact she lost by majority decision, she gained the respect of the MMA community in Korea and Japan.

This rumble is a clear grappler versus striker contest with a little twist. On the feet, Park should have the advantage from what she displayed against Fujino but she also practices Sambo so her ground game should not be slept on. Whereas, Takano is well-versed on the ground so it would be beneficial for her to take it there from the start of the fight. She should not waste anytime striking since Park has good movement and foot work that can give the Japanese fighter problems.

Wu Ze (3-1) vs Kwon Min-Seok (0-0)

Wu Ze
Wu Ze vs Kwon Min-Seok

Young Chinese prospect Wu Ze will go to war with former Korean kickboxing champion Kwon Min-Seok in a bantamweight scrap to open the main card portion of the night.

Wu Ze is just only 20 years old but has been a pro for over a year and has been fighting at a lower weight class as of late. In his debut, he lost at RUFF 13 to Jiabing Yang by submission in the second round. Learning from his mistakes, he went back to training and rolled off three in a row, two of which were in one night at ONE FC 28. In those wins he has shown to be well-rounded since he was victorious in every way possible.

Kwon is a former kickboxer turned MMA fighter that trains out of Team One with the likes of ROAD FC elite bantamweight champion Lee Yoon-Jun and lightweight champion Kwon A-Sol. He gained some popularity in Korea by being a cast member of The Crying Fist reality show. Even though he made it to the finals of the show, he was absolutely wrecked on the feet by a much bigger and more powerful opponent. To his credit, the 26 year-old stood in close and tried to go blow for blow. Now, he is going to finally make his pro debut and show the world he is not just a pretty face as advertised.

Kwon will come into the fight as the bigger, taller, longer fighter and that should give him some leverage on the feet. With that said, it seems Wu is more of a well-rounded fighter in addition to having more cage time will come in handy during their scuffle. Kwon will most likely try to maintain the fight upright,however Wu will mix it up more to keep the Korean on edge.

 

ROAD FC 25 Main Card
August 22nd, 2015
Chiak Gymnasium
Wonju, South Korea

-66kg Featherweight Match (Main Event)
Featherweight Champion Choi Mu-Gyeom (6-3) vs Bantamweight Champion Lee Yoon-Jun (9-2)

-66kg Featherweight Match (Co-Main Event)
Kim Soo-Chul (11-5) vs Marlon Sandro (25-6-1)

-84kg Middleweight Match
Xin Dong (1-0) vs Kim Nae-Chul (4-3)

-77kg Welterweight Match
Kim Seok-Mo (6-9) vs Onur Teker (0-1)

-61kg Bantamweight Match
Yuta Nezu (18-7-1) vs Park Hyung-Geun (2-0)

-48kg Atomweight Women’s Match
Satomi Takano (6-6) vs Park Jung-Eun (0-1)

-61kg Bantamweight Match
Wu Ze (3-1) vs Kwon Min-Seok (0-0)