Tyron Woodley vs. Dong Hyun Kim: A Full Head-to-Toe Breakdown
On Saturday, the UFC returns to Macau, China, for UFC Fight Night 48: Bisping vs. Le. The main event features a middleweight bout between Michael Bisping and Cung Le. However, the co-main event is arguably more interesting.
The co-main event is a welterweight matchup between No. 4-ranked Tyron Woodley and No. 10-ranked Dong Hyun Kim.
Woodley is 3-2 in the UFC but lost his last fight by unanimous decision to Rory MacDonald. Prior to that, Woodley had beaten Josh Koscheck and Carlos Condit, both by (T)KO.
Meanwhile, Kim is on a four-fight win streak, including two knockout finishes in his last two fights, both of which earned post-fight bonuses.
Kim's stock is quickly rising in the welterweight division, while Woodley is hoping to get back on track with a win in this fight.
Let's check out a head-to-toe breakdown of this important welterweight matchup.
Both Woodley and Kim have shown really solid striking as of late. Woodley has earned all three of his UFC wins by (T)KO and put on a great performance against Nate Marquardt in Strikeforce, although Marquardt would take the win.
Until Kim's two most recent fights, he hadn't scored a knockout since 2008, but it appears he has found some serious power as of late. Kim knocked out the highly touted prospect Erick Silva and followed that up with a knockout over John Hathaway by spinning back elbow. Not even Jon Jones has ended a fight with one of those.
Either fighter has the potential to end this one with strikes, but Woodley throws vicious power in every punch and would be more likely to land a devastating shot.
This one was really tough to call. Tyron Woodley is a former NCAA Division I wrestler who has trained extensively with former Olympian Ben Askren.
Lately, Woodley has preferred to strike and keep fights on the feet and has largely done a good job of that. In his fight against Jake Shields in June 2013, Woodley stuffed all 18 takedown attempts from Shields.
Meanwhile, Kim is a fourth dan black belt in judo and has got some great takedown defense, as well as impressive throws. You may remember him suplexing Nate Diaz three times in a row at UFC 125 in January 2011.
The only time that Kim has been outgrappled was when he lost due to injury against Demian Maia in just 47 seconds. Woodley was controlled on the ground in the third round of his fight against Rory MacDonald.
Should Kim get top control, he might be able to hold down, and beat up, Woodley.
Neither fighter has really had to deal with submissions lately.
The last time that Woodley won by submission was 2009, when he was in the Strikeforce Challengers series. Of his 13 wins, four are by submission, and they all came consecutively.
Kim has only one submission, and it came in 2006, when he was in the Deep organization.
Neither fighter has ever lost by submission, and in 32 combined wins, only five are by submission. Don't expect the fight to come down to either fighter's submission game.
All the pressure is on Woodley in this fight. He is higher ranked, he is coming off a loss and he is traveling to hostile territory. After an unimpressive performance against Rory MacDonald where he was largely stifled, Woodley will likely come out looking to make a statement.
He'll have to be careful not to get overzealous, because if he does, the judo of Kim could become a huge factor. Woodley needs to be constantly vigilant of throws and try to land a big knockout shot.
Dong Hyun Kim
This fight is huge for Kim. He has twice had fights against top-level welterweights—Condit and Maia—and he faltered both times. A fight with Woodley gives him another chance to take the leap to legitimate contender.
Kim has a chance to score a knockout on the feet, but should he get in trouble, he may also be able to utilize an advantage on the ground. There's a lot that won't really be known until these two square off.
While Dong Hyun Kim absolutely has a chance to win this one, Woodley is likely to come out quick, aggressive and looking for a finish.
All Woodley will have to do is stay on his feet, avoid the takedowns and fight his fight. If he does that, then there's no reason he shouldn't be able to win the fight and maybe even score a finish.
Prediction: Tyron Woodley def. Dong Hyun Kim by second-round KO