Dong Hyun Kim has his eyes set on a UFC title. | James Goyder/Sherdog.com
There is a plan behind the new, aggressive style of Dong Hyun Kim.
The welterweight “Stun Gun” admitted shortly after his violent knockout of John Hathaway at UFC Fight Night 37 that his new approach in the cage came about after some self-reflection.
“I’ve continued to stack up the wins, but I wasn’t given the title shot,” said Kim at Saturday’s post-fight press conference at Cotai Arena in Macau. “In order to get the title shot, I knew I would have to change the way that I fight. I got much more aggressive, and hopefully I’ll [now] get noticed and will get a shot at the title.”
Kim’s sublime finish of Hathaway marks the second consecutive knockout win for the South Korean, who won his first six Octagon outings via decision. The 32-year-old also starched Brazilian prospect Erick Silva last October, turning out the Brazilian’s lights with a wicked right hand at UFC Fight Night 29.
On Saturday night, Kim used a much less conventional weapon to take out Hathaway, relieving the Brit of his consciousness with a gorgeous, spinning elbow strike 62 seconds the third round of their competitive welterweight duel.
“I really thought I had him finished early, but he stood tough. He kind of surprised me with his wrestling skill,” said Kim. “I think he is a good opponent, but he’s had a lot of time off. That might have been the reason why he wasn’t as sharp. Going in, I had a game plan that I was going to concentrate more on striking.”
With four straight wins now under his belt, Kim has his sights squarely set on a title opportunity in 2014.
“It doesn’t matter who my opponent is going to be. There is no changing now. I’m going to continue to press on no matter what, and I’m not going to be afraid of losses,” said Kim. “I don’t care who the opponent is. When it comes to grappling, I think I’m one of the best. I have no problem going up against Johny Hendricks. I don’t think anyone will be able to take me down. If it’s striking, then whoever gets knocked out will get knocked out, but I will make sure that when I hit somebody, I will knock [him] out.”