Doo Ho Choi made the most of his post-fight microphone time on Saturday morning.
Moments after Choi handed Sam Sicilia the second knockout defeat of his professional career at UFC Fight Night in Seoul, South Korea, “The Korean Superboy” set his sights on Pride, Dream and Shooto veteran Tatsuya Kawajiri.
“It’s been a while since I signed a contract with the UFC,” Choi said through a translator during a post-fight interview. “I’ve fought two times. “I want to fight a little bit more. I want to fight Kawajiri and get into the top 10.”
Kawajiri was scheduled to face American Top Team standout Mirsad Bektic at “The Ultimate Fighter 22” finale on Dec. 11, but an injury has reportedly forced Bektic to withdraw from the 145-pound duel. While the promotion has yet to make an announcement regarding Bektic’s status, the bout has been removed from the event page at UFC.com.
After making short work of Sicilia, Choi would appear to be in relatively good shape to face Kawajiri on short notice if the bout was offered. The South Korean had his foe on wobbly legs from the outset as he effectively countered Sicilia’s wide power punches. A right hook to the chin followed by a left to the temple put the American on the mat for good, and Choi needed just a few follow-up blows before the contest was halted 1:33 into round one. While Sicilia put everything he had behind his punches, he didn’t land enough to seriously threaten Choi, who was buoyed by the support of his home country.
“There was really no dangerous moment, there may have been some possibly, but thanks to the cheers of the crowd it went away just like that,” he said.
Regardless of what the immediate future may hold, the Gumi MMA product has established himself as one of the UFC featherweight division’s top rising stars. A big part of Choi’s appeal is his finishing prowess: the South Korean prospect has ended his last seven bouts via knockout or technical knockout.
“I believe that I’m the world’s No. 1 [fighter], and I believe that my punches and my striking are No. 1,” Choi said.