Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight WRASTLERS Dong Hyun Kim and Colby Covington dueled yesterday (June 17, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 111 inside Singapore Indoor Arena in Kellang, Singapore.
Kim entered this bout as the least respected No.8-ranked fighter in the world. Despite his success inside the Octagon, Kim has gained very little forward momentum towards the title, and this match up against an unranked prospect was the latest show of disinterest towards “Stun Gun.”
Unfortunately, the other problem for Kim is that Covington is a really damn good unranked prospect. The D1 All-American wrestler had won six of seven UFC bouts heading into this battle, but this was his chance to make a major leap in competition.
Covington passed this test with flying colors.
Despite an early slip, it was Covington who scored the first takedown, landing a single leg along the fence. Kim scrambled quickly to the fence and stood, but Covington was able to transition into the back clinch. It took a few moments, but Covington eventually transitioned back into the double leg and finished the shot.
With two minutes remaining, Kim finally escaped the endless takedown transition and get back up to his feet fully. However, he was unable to get his back of the fence, allowing Covington to keep his man pinned until the final 50 seconds. Immediately after breaking free, Kim went into “Korean Zombie” mode and lunged after Covington, but he wasn’t able to land anything major.
It was a very strong start for the American wrestler.
Covington opened the round with some decent kicks, but it didn’t take long for him to transition back to his chain wrestling attack. Kim’s defensive grappling was solid enough to stop Covington from really locking down a dominant position, and he eventually escaped the clinch.
Only to get cracked with a nasty overhand left! Covington chased down his wounded foe with kicks, flying knees, and more left hands, but he he eventually chose to simply take the fight back down to the mat. Kim tried to reverse and scramble, but even when he found good position Covington relentless fought to get on top.
Ten minutes deep into the round, “Chaos” was quite dominant.
Covington was more patient on his feet to start the third round, as his confidence was growing. Kim had slowed down, making it easier for Covington to slip around his punches and landed solid punches.
Two minutes into the round, Covington still decided to level change into a slick knee pick that sent Kim to the mat. Kim scrambled but was still stuck in Covington’s transitional wrestling, eventually escaping and scoring his first takedown of the fight with about a minute remaining.
Nevertheless, Covington reversed before the end of the fight and finished in top position.
Heading into this bout, it was common knowledge that Covington was a great technical wrestler and athlete, but we didn’t know just how well those skills would fare against top competition.
Spoiler alert: it was dominant.
Covington beat the crap out of Kim and wore him down badly. From start to finish, Covington landed a huge number of takedowns and grinded for shots along the fence, yet he never actually slowed down. His pace was pretty incredible, and that will be a huge advantage as he eventually finds himself in five round bouts.
While Covington’s kickboxing is still occasionally a bit awkward, he’s also talented on his feet. The Southpaw kicks hard and uses those kicks to set up his hands. Plus, he builds off the threat of his takedowns well, and natural athleticism goes a long way in exchanges.
As a likely new member of the top 10, there’s a number of options for Colby Covington. This was a major win, so a match up with another proven top athlete — someone like Neil Magny — would make plenty of sense.
Dong Hyun Kim wins fights in two ways: dominating via takedowns or athleticism. Against a more skilled wrestler with better conditioning, there was no real path to victory for Kim unless he really stuck to a game plan, which he’s never actually done. The way he fought in this match pretty much guaranteed the loss unless that perfect punch landed.
This is likely the end of Kim as a top 10 contender. 35 years old and without any wins over current top 10 athletes — and if Tarec Saffiedine is cut, without any ranked wins at all — it’s hard to see Kim bouncing back from this to climb the ranks.
Yesterday at UFC Fight Night 111, Colby Covington announced himself as a contender with a dominant win. What is next for “Chaos?”
For complete UFC Fight Night 111 “Holm vs. Correia” results and play-by-play, click HERE!