Since arriving to the UFC back in 2008, Dong Hyun Kim has silently been working his way through the welterweight division. One of the more underrated fighters in the UFC, Kim has beaten the likes of TJ Grant, Nate Diaz, Paulo Thiago and, most recently, Siyar Bahadurzada.
The only losses on his MMA record are to welterweight contender Carlos Condit and surging welterweight contender Demian Maia, due to a rib injury. Now, Kim finds himself in the co-main event on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 29.
Kim will be fighting Erick Silva, who was a budding prospect in the division before losing to Jon Fitch a little less than a year ago. The fight won’t be for much in terms of advancing up the proverbial ladder, but it can help the Korean-born fighter make a statement in the division.
If Stun Gun can pull off the victory on Saturday in spectacular fashion, he could receive bigger and better fights. Will he be considered a top-10 talent? No, but he may get a shot at some of the better talent in the division.
Holding a 8-2 record with one no contest inside what is considered the best MMA organization in the world has to hold some meaning. A future fight with the likes of former Strikeforce champion Tarec Saffiedine or former welterweight contender Martin Kampmann would be a good start.
It may be a little premature to say the UFC is overlooking Kim at this point. If he beats Silva convincingly and still doesn’t receive better competition for his efforts, then the UFC is completely comfortable with using Kim as a filler. Then it can be said that Kim is underrated.
Kim needs to win in a way that will tie the UFC matchmakers hands and force them to give him better competition.
Anthony Cloud is a MMA Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter: @ TheAceCloud