Dong Hyun Kim Emerges As Major Force After Devastating Performance At TUF: China Finale

By Rick LaFitte
Dong Hyun Kim
Jason Silva – USA TODAY Sports

Dong Hyun Kim is certainly doing his best to make a name for himself in the UFC’s welterweight division. The talented South Korean has established that he’s clearly more than a grinder as he has now produced back-to-back electrifying knockout victories inside the Octagon. “Stun Gun” should be welcomed into the promotion’s top-10 rankings after a sensational third round stoppage of John Hathaway in Macau in the main event of the TUF: China finale. It’s an early candidate for Knockout of the Year.

The contest was an entertaining affair between two competitors who were riding three-fight win streaks heading in. The end came in sudden fashion when Hathaway missed with a right-hand and was knocked cold by a devastating spinning back left elbow to the face. It marked the second straight highlight-reel finish for Kim, who had previously knocked talented prospect Erick Silva out cold in the second round at Fight Night 29 in Brazil.

With the victory, Kim is now 10-2-1 in his UFC career, with the only losses having come against former interim champion Carlos Condit and Demian Maia. He is no longer a fighter who relies on wearing down an opponent to earn a decision victory, as the finishing ability is obviously there. His striking game and techniques have been taken to a whole new level and with his tremendous strength in the grappling game, Kim is truly a handful for anyone in the 170-pound division. He’s now secured Knockout of the Night and Performance of the Night bonuses in his last two contests.

It will be interesting to see what will come next for the South Korean, who is on a quest for a future title shot. There’s no doubt with the buzz he has created that he should draw a high-profile opponent next. Kim has reeled off four straight victories and became the first fighter to stop Maguire via strikes in the Englishman’s 19 bout career.

One option that immediately comes to mind for Kim would be to have him face the winner of the upcoming matchup at UFC 171 between Hector Lombard and Jake Shields. A victory against either of those two talented competitors would certainly speed up Kim’s pursuit of a title opportunity.

“Stun Gun” has seen his stock rise immensely in the new welterweight landscape with a pair of stunning efforts in his last two UFC contests. There’s not doubt fans will be eagerly anticipating his next fight.

Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports.

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