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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
One of the most impressive performances on Saturday's UFC on Fuel 6 event in China came from Dong Hyun Kim. The longtime UFC welterweight completely dominated Paulo Thiago through three rounds, taking a very clear decision win to bounce back from a loss to Demian Maia earlier this year.
That loss is one that hasn't sat well with Kim, as it happened due to an injury suffered in the fight. During one of the early grappling exchanges, Kim injured a rib, and as he got taken down moments later, he yelled out in pain and the fight was brought to a halt. Because of how that fight ended, Kim wants another go at Maia, and called for that rematch after the event.
"So far in the UFC in my career, I have two career losses," Kim said in an interview with MMAJunkie.com after the event. "I lost to Carlos Condit, I absolutely recognize, but I feel like my loss to Demian Maia, it's embarrassing to me and it's hard for me to really recognize that, myself, as a loss. So I'd really like to have a chance to get a rematch with Demian Maia."
Kim would like to have that fight take place on another Asian UFC event, as he felt his performance benefited greatly from much less travel than he's used to.
"Just the fan reaction, the crowd reaction, as well as not having to deal with the time difference – the travel and all that's involved with that – felt really, really great," Kim said of fighting closer to his home country. "I think a fight in Asia vs. fighting in the U.S. was, to me, night and day as far as my physical and mental condition."
"Absolutely, without a doubt, I would love to have a fight [with Maia] in Japan, and I would also definitely want the UFC to put on an event in Korea. I would really love to continue fighting in Asia in the future. I'd like to be a representative for Asian MMA and the UFC in Asia."
Penick's Analysis: Kim looked fantastic against Thiago, and he clearly benefited from not having to deal with the jet lag issue that he's had to struggle with in every other UFC fight he's had. A rematch with Maia would definitely be welcome, but Maia's moved himself up the ladder quickly at welterweight, and is lining up for some bigger fights than Kim right now. Kim can move himself back up as well with a few more performances like Saturday, but for now he's a rung below Maia in the welterweight pecking order.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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