Dong Hyun Kim looks to continue his explosive ways this weekend in Macau when he battles fellow top-10 UFC welterweight Tyron Woodley at Fight Night 48. The powerful South Korean competitor has had a remarkable transformation from grinder to knockout artist thanks to back-to-back highlight-reel stoppages. Woodley is looking to rebound after an underwhelming effort in a unanimous decision loss against Rory MacDonald at UFC 174.
“Stun Gun” is coming off a Knockout of the Year candidate against John Hathaway at the TUF China Finale in March. Kim finished his opponent in stunning fashion in their main event clash by landing a devastating spinning back elbow to the jaw. That exciting victory followed an impressive one-punch knockout of Erick Silva at Fight Night 29. Both of those efforts produced Fight Night bonuses. It’s been quite a change in style for Kim who was previously more well-known for wearing down his opponents to earn decision victories.
The No. 10 ranked Kim is an impressive 10-2 with one no-contest inside the Octagon. He is one of the division’s most physically imposing competitors and possesses outstanding judo skills. Kim’s newfound aggression and immense confidence has taken his game to new heights. He owns notable career wins over Matt Brown, T.J. Grant and Nate Diaz.
Woodley has been a hit-or-miss performer during his UFC tenure. He’s delivered brutal knockout victories over Jay Hieron and Josh Koscheck and looked outstanding against former interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit before an injury gave Woodley an unsatisfying TKO win at UFC 171. He has nine finishes by knockout or submission in his 13 career wins and has a strong wrestling pedigree.
“The Chosen One” thought the matchup against MacDonald would allow him to punch his ticket to a future title shot, but it wasn’t meant to be. MacDonald utilized his length and striking skills to completely negate Woodley’s attack in posting a dominant win in Vancouver. Woodley also looked lethargic in a split-decision loss to Jake Shields. The No. 4 ranked Woodley will need to be at the top of his game to have any chance of derailing Kim’s winning ways.
This shapes up as a very meaningful matchup within the welterweight division. Kim is on a tremendous roll and can inch closer to the title conversation if he can produce a fifth straight victory. Woodley will be looking for redemption to prove he still remains one of the promotion’s most dangerous 170-pound competitors. It’s a contest that has Fight of the Night potential.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports