UFC on Fuel 8 in Japan is looking to be a great event so far, headlined by sluggers Brian Stann and Wanderlei Silva. That is not the only good fight, though. The card is already stacked.
One of the fights to look forward to is between Afghani-born Siyar Bahadurzada and South Korean grappler Dong Hyun Kim. It is a great style matchup that could catapult either man into the top 10.
Here is a head-to-toe breakdown of this anticipated showdown.
This fight will feature one man who is improving his striking and another who is a very refined striker already.
Dong Hyun Kim has six career knockouts, but hasn't had one since his UFC debut. He is more of a ground-and-pound striker than a standing striker, but he is working hard to get there.
On the other hand, there is Siyar Bahadurzada.
The Afghani is bred in the art of kickboxing—11 of his wins have come via knockout, including his UFC debut, when he blasted Paulo Thiago out cold in just 42 seconds.
There is no doubt that Bahadurzada has the advantage in this area.
Neither man is a powerhouse American wrestler, but both men are competent with their takedowns.
Dong Hyun Kim relies on his high-level judo skills as his offensive takedown weapon. He does not have the power takedown of American wrestlers at 170, but his trips and throws are almost flawless.
Bahadurzada uses his wrestling to stay standing, but I don't think his wrestling is as good as Kim's.
That earns the South Korean the edge.
Grappling is a huge key here for Dong Hyun Kim, as his top game on the ground is smothering and frustrating.
Kim only has one submission win in his career, but his grappling and control on the ground is elite. His last fight against Paulo Thiago did not see him win by submission, but he humiliated the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt on the ground.
Bahadurzada is a decent grappler himself and actually has more submission wins than Kim. However, he would be best served to keep this fight on the feet, as Kim is a dynamo.
Despite the outright grappling advantage Dong Hyun Kim has over Siyar Bahadurzada, the Afghani's power is what Kim should be worried about if he gets close.
The last time Kim fought somebody with a skill set like Bahadurzada was when he fought Carlos Condit. That fight saw Kim get decapitated with vicious strikes.
I think Kim can get the upperhand at points in the fight, but at some point he will get caught. Bahadurzada will counter him with a huge punch, effectively ending the South Korean's night.
Prediction: Bahadurzada def. Kim via knockout