Lim Retains Middleweight Title at Spirit MC 17

By John Evans and Greg Samborski Jun 30, 2008
SEOUL, South Korea -- It was a night of great fights, upsets and unwelcome theatrics Sunday at Spirit MC 17, as Jae Suk Lim (Pictures) successfully defended his middleweight belt and A Sol Kwon traded power shots and crotch kicks with Do Hyung Kim in a highly publicized grudge match.

Both Jae Suk Lim (Pictures) and Jung Hwan Cha made their entrances to live and prolonged musical accompaniment. Round one began with some very effective striking from Lim, who countered low kicks from Cha over the top and quickly landed a hook-cross combination.

Cha responded with urges for Lim to engage. Lim complied, only to see the action stopped a minute later when the referee issued Cha a black card for inactivity. Following the restart, Cha was looking for a takedown, but a nice foot sweep from Lim took the fight to the canvas, where Lim moved to mount.

After a sweep attempt from Cha failed, Lim took his back and secured a body triangle. A terminal game of rear-naked choke defense ensued, with "The Korean Icepick" securing the tap with just 36 seconds to go in the first round.

With the loss, Cha fell to 5-5-1, while Lim added a second win to his record following a disappointing Strikeforce effort against Drew Fickett (Pictures) in March.

Though the editors at the Korean version of Maxim found the animosity between A Sol Kwan and Do Hyung Kim worthy of modeling shots and a four-page interview, Spirit MC fans were rewarded with little from the fight, save entrances that would embarrass Akihiro Gono (Pictures), poor sportsmanship and low-kick histrionics.

Round one highlights included a takedown by Kim and some nice up-kicks from Kwan that helped him transition into a double-leg takedown. Kwan also executed two slams to free himself from an armbar attempt, and later he connected with some straight rights and uppercuts. Kim, for his part, landed two low blows, had a tantrum and used a shoulder throw on the referee.

The second round opened with a high kick from Kwan, followed by a big right hand that sent Kim to the canvas. Kwan elected not to take the fight to the ground, however, and scored another big right kick to the body following the stand-up. After a break for Kim's retaliatory low blow -- the third of the fight -- Kwan continued to get the better of the stand-up exchanges and brought home a unanimous decision.

The win would, seemingly, put A Sol Kwan in position to challenge Kwang Hee Lee (Pictures) for the welterweight title. But since Kwan has already suffered two knockout losses to the welterweight champion, and since Lee has stated publically that he is "tired of fighting A Sol Kwan," the matchup is unlikely.

In fact, it looks as if Spirit MC will have to look to other Pro Elite partner organizations to find a challenger for Lee. Kwan is out. Kim is out. And in the other welterweight matchup of relevance at Spirit MC 17, Kyeong Ho Kang (Pictures), who lost to Lee in his last outing via repeated soccer kicks to the head, scored a first-round TKO of Lee's other potential challenger, Nam Sum Kim, via a doctor's stoppage for a badly broken nose.

Though it ended in the first round, the bout was an impressive showing for both Kang and Kim. They exhibited a near indifference to facial damage as they endured slams and savage stand-up exchanges.

On the heavyweight front, it took Jae Young Kim only 33 seconds to dispatch of Deep veteran and Spirit MC heavyweight grand prix champion Ryuichi Murata (Pictures). Right off the bell, Kim sat Murata down with a tight right hook to the jaw. A flurry of hammer fists, soccer kicks and knees to the head followed, quickly ending the night for Murata and leaving the Spirit MC heavyweight division in chaos.

Denis Kang (Pictures) is the Spirit MC heavyweight champion on paper, though he has not defended his title since March 2007. Murata was guaranteed a title shot as champion of the heavyweight grand prix, but he was knocked out Sunday by Kim, who, despite a six-fight win streak, shows two losses to Kang on his record.

Who Spirit MC will tap to face Kang, and when Kang will eventually fight, is anybody's guess.

Other Results

Yoon Young Kim (Pictures) def. Landon Showalter (Pictures) via triangle choke 4:13 R2
Ho Jin Kim (Pictures) def. Dong Hyun (B) Kim via majority decision
Ok Myoung Kim def. Hyeung Seok Lee via guillotine choke 1:16 R1
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