Courtesy DAUM

Recently, South Korea’s largest MMA promotion ROAD FC announced the signing of Jeff “The Snowman” Monson to their tenth card, to be held November 24th in Busan, South Korea.  Apparently there was heated discussion within the promotion about finding domestic heavyweight talent to match Monson, and it seems the search has come to fruition. Freestyle wrestler Kang Dongguk came to the front of the pack as the choice, given Monson’s grappling prowess.

Kang was a Division 1 wrestler, won third in the World University Wrestling Championships 2001, was on the National Team from 1999 to 2002 and has won the National Tournament 9 times. He has grappled domestically in ADCC. His wrestling career spans 20 years and at one time he was even in discussions with Antonio Inoki.  Kang Dongguk doesn’t have MMA experience, however says he’s been interested in it and trained some for almost a decade, which was what spurred his decision to train in grappling. He will be fighting out of Team MAX.

While this looks like a foregone conclusion, there is much to be said about the level of South Korea’s physical talent rising to the front of competition.  Dark horse domestic product Kim JaeYoung absorbed all of Melvin Manhoef‘s punches through an entire three-round war while continuously rebounding and countering in ROAD FC 9.  Two Koreans (Kang KyungHo and Lim HyunGyu) were recently snapped up by the UFC.  Kim SooChul upset the favorite Leandro Issa for the inaugural bantamweight belt at ONE FC.

November 24, 2012
Busan, South Korea

[Heavyweight bout]
Jeff Monson vs Kang Dongguk

[Middleweight title match] Oyama Shungo vs Lee EunSu

Lightweight tournament semifinals
Nam Yuichul vs Vuyisile Colossa

Lightweight Tournament semifinals
Lee YongJae vs Kume Takasuke