** Watch the first 30 seconds of this fight here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGtOM0U3CKs It’s funny how you grow a relationship with the person you hang out with in your room for two hours. Even better, though, when those same two things happen in two different places. That’s what happened when I played one-on-one with Choi Soo-Buk in Seoul, South Korea. It was my first Korean fight, I got in just about the last round. I knew she would be my toughest opponent. I would never be fooled into thinking she was going to let me pull off no show. She surprised me and knocked me down. I was like “What the hell!?!?” Anyway, when I got back on my feet I found out from Choi that she was fighting her boyfriend at the time, Jung Joon-sung. That’s his girlfriend. If you’ve seen any of his movies, you’ll recall that this guy’s a big deal in Korea. You might remember this kid from his big fight with Kizar. What’s funny is we had two fight videos that we’d both put on our iPhone’s. I got a couple of hundred views and I was a bit nervous, you know after seeing that many people on my Instagram showing support of me. The kid’s a big deal in Korea. You will be surprised at how many Korean’s he’s fought for, that’s for sure. I was like “Whoa! This kid’s a lot more successful than I’d expect, it just goes to show you the success stories are true.” You always want to thank your sponsors when you can. I had to go to one of the Korean martial arts schools and buy all their equipment. I had to get my own blackbelt in Korean wrestling, even though I’ve been training for a few years. I’ve watched all the videos of Korean wrestlers, and there’s nothing in the blackbook of an MMA fighter in South Korea. You have to go through a different path there. I had a few more tips for Choi: I’ve only had two fights by the time this fight started, so the game plan for Choi was to keep me behind the ropes. The game plan wasn’t one of making Choi pay, but of not letting me breathe. I’m a natural wrestler with a good base. I know how to defend her, and what will make her react. If I can be able to do that I’ll be on my way to being successful. That said, I told Choi to think of the opportunity as a win. It’s possible that some fights aren’t meant to go your way, but I wanted to keep going. If she doesn’t have a game plan for me I’m happy to just stand on the sidelines and watch.
This is what I heard that came out of the Korean Zombie’s mouth:
It’s not the right time, but like I said, I had a couple of fights for the company and didn’t want to pull any punches. I just wanted her to know I’d never give up, for her or anyone else. And that’s the way I did it. I’m going to finish this fight. It’s not going to be easy. I won’t get to take a victory lap or make any speeches in front of everybody. It’ll just be me standing on my feet for the remainder of the fight. It will be a simple decision, I’ll leave the decision up to her in the first round. So we’re going to be able see what moves her, because in the first round she’s stronger than I believe she’d be.
On the flipside, he does acknowledge that there’s nothing to be ashamed of about making “money” in the Octagon:
NoI’m not ashamed of making money in the octagon. It’s going to come out. I’m not making any special promise that I’m going to be undefeated and not die. It’s just that I never really saw myself as a fighter who would need to be taking money out of the octagon, and I don’t think people can see that. I’m just some ordinary Korean guy who gets paid to knock people out, whether it’s my opponent or friends from Seoul or whatever…I’m just going to stand there and see what happens. People forget that I didn’t even get up to fight, I just gave my life to this sport. Even then I was never thinking I would get paid. The idea of getting money isn’t even a thought in my head, not even for a moment.
The Korean Zombie went on to say his goals were to continue to have success in MMA, as well as just getting people to know who he is and where he came from. Here is where I would like to ask him what it took to get the UFC to come calling.
One of his biggest influences when he started training for MMA was a guy named Kim J