Four straight wins. Two in spectacular fashion. Yes, I am talking about Dong Hyun Kim.
The Korean 'Stun Gun' has been with the Ultimate Fighting Championship since 2008 now and yet the 32-year-old welterweight has never even had a number one contender fight; but he deserves one.
Now that George St. Pierre has vacated his title the division has been thrown wide open, and for the first time since the French Canadian began his streak of domination, there is a feeling that anyone of the UFC's top contenders could win the belt.
At UFC 171 Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler will face each other for the undisputed championship of the world at 170 pounds. Lawler only just re-joined the UFC in 2013 and is now on a three fight win streak. He also won his last fight in a razor thin split decision over Rory MacDonald.
Kim on the other hand knocked out Erick Silva cold before putting John Hathaway to sleep with a nasty spinning elbow and a knock out of the year candidate. Despite all this Kim is ranked only 11th on the UFC Welterweight Contenders list.
Carlos Condit, Jake Ellenberger, Demian Maia, Jake Shields, Matt Brown, Tarec Saffiedine and Tyron Woodley are all ranked ahead of him. Condit has only won one of his last three fights while Jake Ellenberger lost two of his last four fights. With the exception of Matt Brown nobody has been on a more impressive streak than Kim.
Brown has won his last six fights in a row. Therefore, in my mind, it only makes sense for the UFC to set up a number one contender fight for Kim and Brown. Not only have the two of them been on impressive tears lately but neither of them has ever been given the opportunity for such a fight. Condit, Hendricks, Maia and Shields have all already had title shots and squandered them. Kim’s record of 17-2 is outstanding and it is high time the UFC gave him an opportunity to show he deserves to fight for the title.
It simply is not fair that men like Lawler can come in to the UFC after being absent for years, win three fights and then fight for the title when people like Brown and Kim have been winning fight after fight in the organization for years.
What makes Brown an unlikely contender for the belt is that he lacks that X-factor. He does not have the outstanding athletic ability of Jon Jones nor the charisma of a Chael Sonnen.
The harsh reality is that he would probably not be a very “profitable” champion for the UFC. And although it is the fight business, it is still a business. But Kim is athletic and exciting to watch.
Thus, whoever wins the bout between Hendricks and Lawler should be watching footage of Kim and possibly Brown. The two of them have definitely proven that they deserve at least an opportunity to fight for the number one contender’s spot.
It is high time the UFC stopped recycling the same guys and continuously giving them title shots and allowed some new faces who have been successfully climbing the hill for years to earn their shot at the title.
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