At UFC on FUEL TV 6 in Macau, China, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is aiming to showcase a lot of high level Asian fighters including Cung Le and Dong Hyun Kim, among others. One fighter that hasn't quite made a name for himself yet is Hyun Gyu Lim, a talented product of Korean Top Team (KTT) who is currently 10-3-1 in his professional career.
Going by the nickname "The Ace," Lim has shown to be no ordinary welterweight.
He is a gigantic man for 170 pounds, standing at 6'2" and with a freakish 82-inch reach (only two inches short of the longest reach in the UFC, possessed by 205-pound champion, Jon Jones), but he gives up no bulk to make his preferred weight class. The fact that he is so long and so powerful creates a difficult challenge, being that his punches and kicks can come from so far out and do serious damage.
Lim boasts some brutal combinations standing, utilizing knees and uppercuts with fearsome regularity. His straight punches are buckling, and his kicks are nothing to look past either. He understands distancing very well, as he uses his long frame to make easy opportunities for himself and few for his opponent. His footwork is good, not great, as he does cross his feet often and back straight up instead of circling, but it doesn't take away too much from his overall striking ability.
Despite being a fairly strong stand-up fighter, Lim has shown to slow significantly as a fight progresses, as was evident in his most recent loss to Dmitri Somoilov. In that same fight, other deficiencies showed themselves, as Lim was unable to find an answer to Somoilov's quicker striking or to check the leg kicks that were thrown at him. Though this loss was followed by his current five-fight win streak, we have yet to see whether he has gotten rid of these weaknesses, as all of those wins were first round finishes.
In addition to a fairly strong striking approach, Lim possesses a pretty threatening ground attack. His ground strikes are very strong, and usually well placed, as he batters opponents down with his fists. Though he seems to prefer the stand up, he recognizes opportunities to pass guard and to find opportunities for harsh ground and pound. He can also be very dangerous with strikes even as he stands away from a grounded opponent, as his long arms allow him to rain heavy shots even if his opponent's legs may block him.
Besides his strong ground striking abilities, Lim also has significant skill at jiu-jitsu. He threatens often with submissions when opponents are in his guard, though he currently only has two submission wins. His most notable submission was in his most recent victory, a first round guillotine finish over one of Guam's top welterweights in Ryan Bigler, winning the PXC welterweight championship in the process.
Lim also claims to have tapped out jiu-jitsu black belt and UFC commentator Joe Rogan, but that doesn't give much insight, as this apparently happened in a training exercise.
Like his stand-up game, Lim's ground game is very threatening, but with noticeable flaws which he may or may not have fixed. His takedown defense shows a certain lack of coordination that can be noted for most tall athletes, but he can make up for it with his ability to get up or reverse positions. He has also shown to be susceptible to submission attacks, as they account for his first two career losses.
As Lim comes into the UFC, it will be important to see how he has progressed. Though originally scheduled to face Marcelo Guimaraes, he has now been slated to fight David Mitchell, for a fight that should serve as a showcase more than anything. Maybe we won't see Mitchell take him into deep waters, where Lim has to be put again if anyone is to fairly say he is a prospect, but it will likely be a good introduction for this big talent.
When Hyun Gyu Lim stands across from his opponent in Macao, it is likely that he will become a welcome addition to the welterweight division, which is why he's my fighter to watch. Of course, he is by no means unbeatable, but he'll have to be tested progressively as he moves on in the division.
Regardless, I strongly suggest you watch his fight on the undercard on Saturday morning.