Monday, August 20, 2012

@UFC signs Korean MMA fighter Hyun Gyu Lim (interview translated)

Hyun Gyu Lim has had 5 straight 1rst round finishes
7 KOs out of 10 wins
the guy everyone at KTT hypes up

Lets meet the 6'2, 79 inch reach WW Beast...

You made it to the UFC. How do you feel?

- I’m overjoyed that I can finally be where I wanted to be. I have been an athlete for 7 years, I was hoping I’d get here before I was 30, so I’m very happy with these results.

You just became the PXC Welterweight Champion, how did you get a UFC contract so soon after?

- I heard from the UFC when I was preparing for that title fight. The basic scenario was that if I won the title I would be in the UFC. Hence, why I trained even harder for that fight and was so happy to win that fight.

Did you have to return the belt?

- Yup. It was really disappointing. It was a precious symbol/milestone for my career. But I took a lot of pictures. Now the UFC belt is my goal.

Where you would prefer your first UFC event/opponent be?

- Macau would be good. The distance is short and I would not have jetlag. That is a big plus. I have no idea who my first opponent will be. I don’t care.

The UFC is the major league and you will have to learn to adjust to the time difference, stage and American culture, are you a bit nervous?

- Well of course, the bigger the stage the bigger the expectations. But in a way I may be more comfortable. Lately, I have been most nervous about losing in the smaller shows because of the fear those losses may hinder me from making it to the UFC. I prefer this kind of nervousness over that.

The WW division is notoriously a tough division. Do you think you can handle the level of competition?

- I will work even harder. If I don’t work harder than I am now I wont survive. But of course I am willing to work that hard.

Who do you want to fight in the WW division?

- Jake Shields. Style wise he matches up very well with me. He smothers more than tackle (takedowns), and once he gets a hold of you he just stretches that position out. I like that kind of opponent. But I heard he is MW. I would than like to fight Carlos Condit. I match up very well with him also. But I would need to stack some more wins first, but I would love that opportunity,

Any specific reason for Condit?

- Not really. He is the highest ranked WW fighter other than GSP. I would like to spar with him on a purely personal level. Not considering winning or losing, I would just like to test myself with one of the best in the world.

Is your fighting style more like Chan Sung Jung(dynamic and aggressive) or like Dong Hyun Kim(methodical and safely)?

- I am not exactly the same but I would say my style is definitely more like Chan Sung. I am not the type of fighter to pre plan too much strategy. I look at the opponent and get basic things down, but after that I like to adjust in the fight. I fight with my instinct but at the same time target the opponent’s weakness.

Chan Sung Jung gets a lot of bonuses. You must be a bit jealous?

- I am. But being greedy won’t get you that. If you work hard I think these things naturally play out. I don’t really know, but my KO percentage has been very high lately so I am pretty sure I will nab one.

What do you think your level in the UFC will be?

- I am not sure. I will see after the first fight. I have done very well in sparring (with UFC fighters) but sparring is not fighting.

You are the representative of Korea and your team, it seems you will have a lot of responsibilities.

- Even without all that the Korean MMA market is struggling, so of course I have to do good so Koreans can get interested in MMA. And my shoulders are heavy because I am trying to pave a path for my “younger brothers .

Who do you think can be the next Korean fighter in the UFC?

- Doo Ho Choi won again by Knockout in Japan. I think it will be him. He is so amazing. To get that many KOs in the FW division is incredible. I really think he is an amazing fighter.

Last words?

- TO my fans, I have now made it to the big stage, I will fight with my heart and try my best not to disappoint my self. Please cheer me on.

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