Two vastly different fighters waged war last night (March 2, 2013) as elite welterweight grappler Dong Hyun Kim took on knockout artist Siyar Bahadurzada in the opening bout of the UFC on FUEL TV 8 main card in Saitama, Japan.
Both men were looking to take the next step in the 170 pound division, but with such contrasting styles, something had to give.
Unfortunately for Bahadurzada, as is usually the case when a grinding grappler takes on a striking specialist, he was completely exposed.
Kim gave the Aghani fighter an opportunity in the opening round, fighting on the feet for over two minutes and throwing occasional kicks while shooting in some telegraphed takedown attempts which were easily denied, but Bahadurzada seemed too focused on loading up with his right hand to capitalize on the opportunity and he was never able to land that crushing blow.
By the midway point of the first round, Kim closed the distance, dragged Bahadurzada to the canvas and passed immediately to mount. This would be the repeating feature for the remainder of the fight as the former Golden Glory fighter offered next to nothing off his back.
Kim would transition from mount to back mount, occasionally dropping some pitter patter punches until the round concluded.
Bahadurzada would get another opportunity in the second as Kim didn't take him down until a minute had gone by, but once again he couldn't find a home for that huge right hand of his and it was more of the same on the canvas as he was completely smothered and shut down.
The Imperial Athletics fighter came out with a sense of urgency in the third, winging heavy hooks, but it was too little too late and he was far too tired to fend off one of Kim's takedowns in the cage center. Once there, he was stuck on the canvas like a turtle that had been flipped over until the fight concluded.