Riki Fukuda (file photo) got his career back on track after his UFC release in the Road FC ring. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Riki Fukuda's life outside the Octagon got off to a perfect start, as the Japanese middleweight veteran stopped South Korea's Hee Seung Kim in the second round of their main event headliner at Road FC's “Korea 1” Saturday at the Grand Hilton Seoul Convention Center in Seoul, South Korea.
After posting a 2-3 mark in the UFC, Fukuda was released in March following a unanimous decision loss to Brad Tavares and subsequently testing positive for banned stimultants phenylpropanolamine, norpseudoephedrine and ephedrine. Fukuda's Road FC debut began with minutes of back control against Kim, before putting the pedal to the floor in the second round. In the second stanza, Fukuda was able to trap Kim against the cage and toss him to the ground where he unleashed a brutal barrage which left the Korean face down on the floor. He thought about a rear-naked choke but instead continued to throw more punches to the head of his stricken opponent which forced the stoppage at 2:09 of round two.
The win was Fukuda’s first since outpointing Tom DeBlass at UFC on Fuel TV 6 in November, 2012, moving him to 20-7 as a pro. He will be a future contender for Eun Soo Lee's Road FC middleweight title but any title aspirations Kim might have had will have to go on hold as he drops to 6-2 after suffering only the second defeat of his career.
A Sol Kwon’s recent return to the cage after two years of military service did not go to plan as he was stopped by Andrews Nakahara at Road FC 13 last October and the 29-year-old gave himself a mountain to climb on this evening, weighing in at 158.5 pounds for his lightweight fight with Mostafa Abdollahi and incurring a two-point-per-round deduction.
With the penalty making a decision win all but impossible Kwon knew he needed a finish and was able to capitalize on some good fortune when the Iranian debutant, who comes from a muay Thai background, slipped early on in the fight and ended up on his back. The Korean moved from side control to mount before taking Abdollahi’s back and alternating between rear naked choke attempts and flurries of punches to the side of the head.
The end was quick inevitable and Kwon succeeded in slipping his forearm under the newcomer’s chin, locking his hands together and and forcing the tap just 3:31 into the contest for a first win since June, 2011. The victory snapped a two fight losing streak and takes his record to 17-8.
Yoon Jun Lee was, formerly of Korean Top Team, rated as one of the top prospects in the country. He now trains at Team One and was looking to build on Road FC wins against two Japanese veterans when he took on Won Gi Kim in a featherweight fight. Lee went a long way towards justifying the growing hype as he dispatched an overmatched opponent in emphatic style, landing a teep to the face followed up with a flying knee, a left hook to the body and a knee to the midsection which finally finished Kim in 57 seconds.
Making light of his underdog status, Doo Jae Jeong was able to score a surprise stoppage win over Yong Jae Lee, as “Dragonball” landed a burst of punches followed by a right uppercut to earn the first-round knockout.
Korean middleweight Sang Il Ahn, who was fighting for the first time since 2011, rode the vocal crowd support to a third-round knockout of Uh Jin Jeon, brutalizing him in the Thai clinch with knees and elbows.
Bantamweight Min Woo Kim got an impressive first-round head-kick KO over Dong Jin Lee, while fellow 135-pound upstart Gwang Soo Park earned a two-round unanimous verdict over Kyu Hwa Kim.
In other undercard action, flyweight Hyo Ryong Kim pounded out In Hang Jo in the first round, Dae Song Park earned a two-round unanimous decision over Ho Tak Oh and in the card's opener, Kyung Gwan Ryu prevailed via 3-0 judges' decision over Myung Goo Yeo after 10 minutes.