In the second season of Road to UFC, in which special forces reservist Kim Sang-wook (30) participates as a mixed martial artist, he competes against a Japanese powerhouse.
UFC, the world’s No. 1 organization메이저놀이터, launched Road to UFC in 2022, an Asian mixed martial arts prospect contest that qualifies winners of tournaments by weight category.
The 2023 Road to UFC kicks off on May 27 at the China Performance Institute Shanghai. Kim Sang-wook will play a quarterfinal match against Kazuma Maruyama (31, Japan) in the lightweight (-70 kg).
It is a match between Korea and Japan, where they are downgraded from welterweight (-77kg) to lightweight to advance to major mixed martial arts tournaments. Kim Sang-wook was the interim Korean AFC Welterweight Champion. Maruyama had experience fighting for the Australian Bragging Rights welterweight title.
Kim Sang-wook, who fulfilled his military service duty in the Navy Special Warfare Team (UDT/SEAL), appeared in survival entertainment programs such as Channel A’Steel Troop’ in 2021 and Netflix’Physical: 100′ in 2023.
Physical: 100 gained worldwide popularity, ranking first in global OTT’Netflix’ non-English viewing hours from February 6 to 19, 2023. Kim Sang-wook, who survived to the final 30, also raised his name value.
Kim Sang-wook is a fighter belonging to ‘Team Stun Gun’ led by broadcaster Kim Dong-hyun (42), who was the MC of the Steel Troops. Whether he can become Kim Dong-hyun’s junior in the UFC is of interest this season’s Road to UFC.
Kim Dong-hyun’s record of 18 matches since 2008, 13 wins, 4 losses, and 1 nullity, is still the most appearances and wins by a Korean in the UFC. From February 2-7, 2017, he was #6 in the official UFC welterweight rankings.