It was a beautiful performance that even fight fans rooting for the Chinese fighter could appreciate.
“Black Hole” Lee Chang-ho, 29, staged an upset to become the only South Korean contestant to reach the finals of “Road to UFC Season 2.
Five South Koreans competed in the semifinals, but Lee was the only one left standing while the other four were eliminated. The three fighters fell to the Chinese fighter via unanimous decision. Flyweight Choi Seung-guk (26) lost a close decision (30-27, 30-27, 20-27) to Genius Yue (23/China), featherweight Kim Sang-won (29) lost a close decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) to Li Yi (26/China), and lightweight Kim Sang-wook (29) lost a close decision (30-26, 29-28, 29-28) to Long Zhu (23/China). Lightweight Park Jae-hyun was outwrestled by Shin Haraguchi (24, Japan) and lost by decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).
Changho Lee (KOR) punched his ticket to the finals by defeating Daelmis Jaufas (CHN) by TKO at 3:35 of the third round in the bantamweight (61.2 kg) semifinals of Season 2 of “Road to UFC” at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Nov. 27.
It was a thrilling upset. Lee struggled in the first and second rounds against Dahlmis in the grappling area, which is his strong suit. He was takedown first and fought back to take his opponent to the ground, only to have the position reversed.
In the third round, a grim one, Lee finally turned the tide. He pushed Dahlmis until he ran out of gas, and Dahlmis began to stumble backwards in exhaustion. Even though he was at a disadvantage, it was an achievement after a constant back-and-forth grappling battle in the first and second rounds.
Lee struck first with strikes, then took control of Dahlmis’ back position against the cage and took him to the ground. Dahlmis desperately tried to get back to his feet, only to be dragged back down to the ground in an ant-hole by Lee. From the back mount, Lee unleashed a merciless ground-and-pound assault that eventually resulted in the TKO.
In his post-fight interview, Lee said, “The hell of training with Coach Choi at Extreme Combat really paid off,” adding, “My grappling game, stamina, and strength are the most confident I’ve ever been in the UFC.” He then went to the octagon to face off.
“I think Daelmis is much stronger than Xiaolong,” he taunted the other finalist, Xiaolong (25, China), as they entered the Octagon for a face-off.
It couldn’t have gone any better. Chinese MMA fans also raved about Lee’s beautiful performance. Some Chinese fans even commented, “Isn’t he on drugs?” as proof that Lee’s performance was beyond their wildest dreams.
Road to UFC is a quarterfinal tournament featuring the top MMA prospects in Asia, with the winner receiving a UFC contract. In Season 2, a total of 32 fighters competed in four weight classes – flyweight (56.7kg), bantamweight (61.2kg), featherweight (65.8kg), and lightweight (70.3kg) – and eight made it to the finals. 바카라
Speaking at the post-fight press conference, Lee said, “My name wasn’t mentioned much from the opening round, so I promised myself that this time I would make myself the most talked about. I’m the only one who survived, and I’m determined to make up for the players who were unfortunately eliminated.”