One year after a TKO victory over Leandro Issa, South Korea’s Soo Chul Kim returns to One FC to defend his bantamweight title against interim champion Bibiano Fernandes, and he is confident his hands will be the key to the victory on Oct. 18 in Kallang, Singapore.
"I expect to show the world that I am the best mixed martial artist in this division," Kim told MMAFighting.com. "He is highly touted and very respected. I think it will be a huge victory for me if I can upset him. He has very good ground game but I think I can beat him in other areas."
Fernandes has been finished only once in his MMA career, when he lost via doctor stoppage to Urijah Faber in his second professional bout in 2006, but Kim believes he will make a statement by finishing one of the best 135-pound fighters in the world.
"Yes, I'm confident I can defeat him," he said. "His striking might have improved but I still think my striking is better. I have one punch knockout power and I will showcase it against Bibiano. I'm still young and only getting better and I will be much improved from the last time you saw me inside the One FC cage.
"(A win over Bibiano Fernandes) will definitely mean I am one of the best, if not the best, bantamweight in the world," he continued. "Everybody will be aware of me once I defeat one of the biggest names in the sport and one of the best in the world in Bibiano. One FC is such as big promotion and staying as their champion will make me one of the best in the world."
Kim has won three straight after going 1-4 between 2011 and 2012, and all the losses have helped him evolve as a mixed martial artist.
"It was a very good learning lesson," he said. "I learned to push myself further and began to really dedicate myself to completely train in mixed martial arts. You can really see the improvement I've made in such a short time and I am just getting started."
The South Korean fighter avenged one of his losses with his TKO win over Leandro Issa at One FC 6, and he wants the opportunity to beat the other three guys to ever defeat him: Andrew Leone, Gustavo Falciroli and Jae Hoon Moon.
"It was definitely a good feeling," Kim said. "Not only did I manage to avenge a loss, I also did it in decisive fashion and earned the world championship belt as well. I want to avenge all the losses I have on my record."