Korean welterweight Dong Hyun Kim has in the past spoken about the problems that jet lag takes on fighters who travel from Asia to the U.S. to compete. For example, his trips from South Korea to Las Vegas are about 6,000 miles and a change of 17 time zones. His UFC on FUEL 6 fight wasn't nearly the epic trip, with a flight that took less than three hours.
His performance was indicative of a fresh, charged-up athlete as well, as he dominated Paulo Thiago over the three-round bout en route to a unanimous decision.
The win was Kim's second in his last three fights, but with a different bit of luck, it could have been three straight. In his only loss in that time, he suffered a rib injury during the fight that effectively brought about the end of the fight. The ruling was Maia by TKO, but it wasn't exactly a decisive win.
Not surprisingly, Kim wants a chance to avenge the unfortunate conclusion, telling FUEL's Gareth A. Davies in a post-fight interview that he would like a rematch with Maia as his next fight.
"Demian Maia, I want," he said in English, ensuring his message didn't get lost in translation.
The Kim-Maia fight at July's UFC 148 landed just 47 seconds. The freak injury happened as he was attempting to defend a takedown try and the two fell to the mat. Kim was immediately in pain from what later was said to be a severe muscle spasm. Maia only threw one punch and realized his opponent was finished, and the ref waved off the action.
While the 30-year-old Korean may have his sights set on Maia, he may have to wait as Maia recently continued his march up the welterweight rankings with a crushing neck crank submission over Rick Story at UFC 153. He is so far unbeaten in the division.