Dae Hwan Kim determined to move closer to world title shot
Former ONE Bantamweight World Championship challenger “Ottogi” Dae Hwan Kim is fully focused on making his way back into the world title picture, and to do that he plans on picking up an impressive win at ONE: CLASH OF LEGENDS this Saturday, 16 February at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.
The 32-year old Seoul, South Korea-native will have his hands full, however, as he meets Japan’s Shuya “Stealth” Kamikubo in what should be a crucial contest in the bantamweight division.
“Every match is important for me,” Kim said via the ONE Championship website. “But if I win this time, I believe I will take a step closer to the title.”
Kim has been near the top of the mountain before, as he challenged then-champion Bibiano “Flash” Fernandes for the title back in 2014, losing via submission in the second round.
Since then, Kim has compiled a 4-2 record and is currently on a two-match winning streak.
Against Kamikubo, “Ottogi” is targeting a third straight win and possibly another world title shot.
He understands, however, that his Japanese foe will be far from an easy task.
“I think he is a good athlete. I viewed video footage of his ONE Championship bouts, and I think he’s a good wrestler who is adept at keeping up the pressure,” Kim said of Kamikubo.
“He didn’t get tired through all three rounds and was able to keep up the pressure. His positioning on the ground and his jiu-jitsu skills appear to be his strengths.”
While Kim is nothing but respectful for his opponent’s skills, the former KAMMA Bantamweight Champion and fourth-degree taekwondo black belter is confident in his own capabilities as well.
“I am a mixed martial arts fighter, but my strength lies in my striking ability, and I can spot weaknesses in his striking ability,” Kim expressed. “He has a punching-oriented style, while there isn’t a lot of kicking, knee strikes or elbow strikes.”
“My opponent this time has no height advantage over me, and I believe I have the edge when it comes to physical strength,” he added
Against a grappler like Kamukibo, Kim says that he will not be resting on his superior striking, but rather aims to approach his latest assignment as a well-rounded competitor.
“I’ve played all of my matches so far with one intention – to knock out my opponents,” Kim explained.
“This time, I’ve been training to display a more well-rounded fighting style. I won’t fixate on one thing, but try to use jiu-jitsu, wrestling, or any other style so I can overpower my opponent," he continued.