Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight fighters Doo Ho Choi and Sam Sicilia battled yesterday (Sat., Nov. 28, 2015) at UFC Fight Night 79 inside Olympic Gymnastics Arena in Seoul, South Korea.
Choi entered this bout with a fair bit of momentum considering his inactivity. Having finished the majority of his fights via knockout, Choi was looking to earn the biggest win of his young career in similarly devastating fashion.
Meanwhile, Sicilia entered this bout as the battle-tested veteran. He'd already proven his worth inside the Octagon and served as a perfect test for the South Korean combatant.
"Korean Superboy" passed that test in spectacular fashion.
Early on, Sicilia wasted little time in trying to swing for his opponent's jaw. However, Choi was the longer and sharper fighter, slipping his head and looking to counter with the same massive right hand that won his debut.
It didn't take long for Choi to connect, and he connected hard. Sicilia went down, but he returned to his feet quickly. Despite being well-aware of Choi's power, Sicilia continued to chase his opponent down with big punches and takedown attempts.
Sicilia's aggression proved to be his undoing, as Choi continued to connect on counter punches. Eventually, another right hand put Sicilia down for good, as Choi followed up with some brutal ground strikes and forced a stoppage.
UFC couldn't have asked for a better performance from Choi, who blasted a game opponent in about two minutes. It didn't reveal anything new about his game, but it did prove the South Korean's potential once more.
At this point, we don't know much from Choi's UFC fights. Basically, he's very large for the division -- a trait that seems to be common among South Korean fighters -- and can counter punch extremely well. Whether there are holes in his game or he's a true contender is yet to be discovered, but finding out is sure to be fun.
After this win, a scrap with someone like Maximo Blanco would make sense. There's no reason to throw him to the wolves just yet, but a step up in competition is definitely deserved.
While Sicilia likely didn't have the skill set to be able to find success anyway, this wasn't the greatest strategy for him. Against a dangerous counter striker and knockout threat, he repeatedly leaped in with little setups or feints.
I admire the heart, but that was never going to work out well.
Instead, Sicilia needed to rely on feints more, and wait for his opportunities to explode into his power shots. Plus, patience would've helped him draw out the fight. Choi is a very large fighter with a habit of finishing quickly -- there's a decent chance he'd be far less dangerous as the fight wore on.
Regardless, Sicilia did his job, which was to test the up-and-comer. Unfortunately for him, he was destroyed with relative ease, but it doesn't change his position in the division. In all likelihood, Sicilia will find himself in the cage with another hungry prospect before long.
Yesterday, Doo Ho Choi backed up his hype by knocking out Sam Sicilia. How high can the South Korean climb in the coming years?
For complete UFC Fight Night 79: "Henderson vs Masvidal" results and play-by-play, click HERE!