Top shelf featherweight prospect Doo Ho Choi earns first round win at Deep 59 in Japan
August 23, 2102
Nine months after the biggest win of his career 21 year old Korean Doo Ho Choi (9-1) returned to Korakuen Hall in Tokyo for Deep 59 Impact. Choi highlighted the undercard of the 12 bout card versus Japanese veteran Kosuke Umeda (11-12). An odd set of circumstances overshadowed another excellent performance from Asia's brightest 145 pound prospect.
In early goings of his fight, Choi plastered Umeda with a misplaced low kick to the groin. Deep officials would halt the fight 73 seconds after the opening bell while Umeda recovered and the featherweight tilt was restarted later in the evening. After a few more undercard fights went by Choi and Umeda reentered the ring to resume their bout.
90 seconds after the restart Choi laced Umeda with a perfectly timed counter right hand. The punch connected on the seven year pro's chin after a failed takedown attempt. With his opponent flattened Choi was declared the victor at the 2:49 point of round one.
A member of the Gumi MMA gym in South Korea, Choi rose to prominence in 2011 with a 3-0 record anchored by back to back highlight reel knockouts of Mitsuhiro Ishida and Nobuhiro Obiya. The win over Pride and Strikeforce vet Ishida showcased Choi's underrated power in a fight that lasted only 93 seconds.
Young and hungry Choi could perhaps be another key addition to the UFC as the promotion looks to expand into Asian markets in 2012.The leap in competition would be a step up for Choi but the 21 year old has shown no fear since turning pro in November 2009 at the age of 18. Choi has finished five of his last six opponents by TKO or KO.
Choi entered 2012 as the number 11 featherweight prospect in MMA per ULTMMA.com's top 20 weight class rankings. The South Korean striker also enters the ULTMMA50, a pound for pound prospect top 50, at number 32.
Deep 59 Impact results
Yoshiro Maeda def. Tatsumitsu Wada by Submission Rear Naked Choke 2:32 R3
Masakazu Imanari def. Masahiro Oishi by Submission Toe Hold 1:01 R1
Daiki Hata def. Seiji Akao by KO (Punches) 3:20 R1
Yusaku Nakamura def. Hirotaka Miyakawa by Majority Decision
*Doo Ho Choi def. Kosuke Umeda by KO (Punch) 2:49 R1
Seigo Mizuguchi def. Atsushi Yamada by Unanimous Decision
Yuta Watanabe def. Yoshitomo Watanabe by Unanimous Decision
*Masahito Hisataka def. Yusuke Kagiyama by Unanimous Decision
Ken Hasegawa def. Hiromichi Kobayashi by TKO (Punches) 1:28 R1
Luiz Andrade I def. Yoichi Fukumoto by Majority Decision
Yuki Okano def. Yusaku Tsukumo by Unanimous Decision
Ken Saotome def. Joo Suk Kang by Unanimous Decision
*Prospect to watch