Denis Kang heading to the UFC

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AchillesHeel
11/3/08 11:34:30AM
UFC Inks Middleweight Denis Kang to Four-Fight Deal.

by Dann Stupp on Nov 03, 2008 at 11:20 am ET

The Ultimate Fighting Championship's middleweight division just got some depth and a potential new challenger for middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

Former PRIDE fighter and current SpiritMC champion Denis Kang has signed a four-fight deal with the UFC, American Top Team General Manager Richie Guerriero today confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).

Kang, 31, will likely make his octagon debut in early 2009.

"I just think timing wise, it was a good point in his career (to sign with the UFC)," Guerriero said. "He's always had his eye on the UFC, but with his commitment to SpiritMC, and with him fighting for PRIDE at the time, it just never happened."

Kang, a Canadian of Korean-French descent, was a top star with SpiritMC, a South Korean-based fight promotion. Kang won the organization's heavyweight (80+ kg) title in September 2004 and cited his desire to fight for the organization as a stumbling block in previous UFC negotiations.

"With the UFC being what it is, I think Denis knew it was a good time to get some exposure here in America," Guerriero said.

Although Guerriero didn't know the particulars of the deal, he said it would be unlikely for Kang to continue fighting for SpiritMC "just based on the way [the UFC] has always done things," he said.

Kang, the 2006 PRIDE welterweight grand prix runner-up, had emerged as a top-five-ranked middleweight during a 23-fight undefeated streak from April 2003 to November 2006. However, he then suffered three losses in a four-fight span, which included a first-round submission defeat to Gegard Mousasi in the opening round of the 2008 DREAM middleweight grand prix earlier this year.

However, Kang has since rebounded for back-to-back victories, which included a 48-second TKO of Marvin Eastman at an Oct. 25 Raw Combat event.
tooly236
11/3/08 11:40:08AM
That is awesome, he came to my gym about 1 year ago for a seminar. He is a super nice guy and very humble. I would love to see him beat Silva
AnDeRsonDaSiLvA
11/3/08 11:41:09AM
Wont ever challenge anderson , but a great addition . Please mousasi and akiyama next !
tuvok500
11/3/08 11:47:34AM
Good news but i don't see him beating any top 5 in the MW.

Wallass
11/3/08 12:05:30PM
I can see him doing very well actually. Good for Kang.
fedorwins1
11/3/08 12:10:24PM
Awesome addition to the MW div. I think Kang will do very well in the UFC. Lately things haven't been going right for Kang, but I think he will make some waves and possibly challenge Anderson for the title some day.
Twenty20Dollars
11/3/08 12:21:01PM
good job UFC.
gartface
11/3/08 12:21:48PM
I'm excited to see how he'll do now that he's on a win streak.
cowcatcher
11/3/08 12:28:48PM
im f'n shocked because hes one guy i never thought id see in the ufc due to his commitment to fighting in korea. awesome news, and a great addition, and probably one of silvas final 5 fights if he starts out with a win.
Aaronno9
11/3/08 12:30:41PM

Posted by tuvok500

Good news but i don't see him beating any top 5 in the MW.




I agree. Still should make for some interesting matches and adds more talent to the division. Kang vs Bisping/quarry/cote/leben would all be fun to watch. Be a good fight with Rich to if he ever drops back down to 185.
cowcatcher
11/3/08 12:34:54PM

Posted by tuvok500

Good news but i don't see him beating any top 5 in the MW.




outside of anderson, rich and hendo(all 3 of whom are likely fighting at 205 next with anderson being the wild card) who is in the ufc's top 5 MW's that he couldnt beat. i honestly think that every other MW in the ufc is at best a 50/50 shot against kang.
Ordep
11/3/08 12:40:35PM
MW is slowly becoming my fav division, not as many Top-level fighters as LHW (Silva excluded) but highly competitive within it...

Silva
Okami
Leites
Bisping
Mardquartd
Maia
Kampmann
Quarry
Leben
Reljic
Almeida
Lister
Hendo (hope he comes back to 185 after Franklin)
Filho/Sonnen (I think UFC bring both regardless of the outcome)
Rivera (gotta support the only Puerto Rican around )
+ now Kang ....



please bring Akiyama too
grappler0000
11/3/08 12:40:41PM

Posted by cowcatcher

im f'n shocked because hes one guy i never thought id see in the ufc due to his commitment to fighting in korea. awesome news, and a great addition, and probably one of silvas final 5 fights if he starts out with a win.



That was my initial reaction. Then I remembered that the UFC will be going to that part of the world very soon...and now it seems like the perfect fit.
AchillesHeel
11/3/08 1:01:59PM
Without spending a ton of time on it, I'd rank the UFC middleweights thusly:

1. Anderson Silva
2. (Rich Franklin)
3. (Dan Henderson)
4.. Yushin Okami
5. Michael Bisping
6. Demian Maia
7. Patrick Cote
8. Thales Leites
9. Nate Marquardt
10. Martin Kampmann
11. Rousimar Palhares
12. Chris Leben
13. Jason MacDonald
14. Nate Quarry
15. Dan Miller
16. Kendall Grove
17. Jason Day
18. Alan Belcher
19. Jason Lambert
20. Matt Horwich

I think numbers 4 though 11 on this list are a pretty tight group, in terms of relative skill and competition with each other, and I think I would rate Kang right with them. And the guys who've beaten Kang recently - Akiyama and Mousasi - comprise the remainder of the international Top 6, imo (with Silva, Filho, Franklin, and Henderson).

Kang's also not the biggest middleweight you'll ever see, and I wouldn't be shocked or unhappy to see him drop to 170 if he lost to guys like Bisping and Leites.


EDIT: I forgot Ricardo Almeida. I'm tempted to put him in the Top 20 too.
MMAcca
11/3/08 1:34:39PM

Posted by AchillesHeel

Without spending a ton of time on it, I'd rank the UFC middleweights thusly:

1. Anderson Silva
2. (Rich Franklin)
3. (Dan Henderson)
4.. Yushin Okami
5. Michael Bisping
6. Demian Maia
7. Patrick Cote
8. Thales Leites
9. Nate Marquardt
10. Martin Kampmann
11. Rousimar Palhares
12. Chris Leben
13. Jason MacDonald
14. Nate Quarry
15. Dan Miller
16. Kendall Grove
17. Jason Day
18. Alan Belcher
19. Jason Lambert
20. Matt Horwich

I think numbers 4 though 11 on this list are a pretty tight group, in terms of relative skill and competition with each other, and I think I would rate Kang right with them. And the guys who've beaten Kang recently - Akiyama and Mousasi - comprise the remainder of the international Top 6, imo (with Silva, Filho, Franklin, and Henderson).

Kang's also not the biggest middleweight you'll ever see, and I wouldn't be shocked or unhappy to see him drop to 170 if he lost to guys like Bisping and Leites.


EDIT: I forgot Ricardo Almeida. I'm tempted to put him in the Top 20 too.



Rating guys like Marquadt, Leites, Cote and Maia is pretty over generous isn't it
Bowen50
11/3/08 2:04:52PM
this is a great move by the UFC. they added depth but i don't think he'll be beating any top guys any time soon. i'd like to see Kang possibly debut against Bisping. that would be a great fight. i'm still waiting for the UFC to land Jacare and Mousasi, then we'd be talking title implications.
PaleHorse
11/3/08 2:07:20PM

Posted by MMAcca


Posted by AchillesHeel

Without spending a ton of time on it, I'd rank the UFC middleweights thusly:

1. Anderson Silva
2. (Rich Franklin)
3. (Dan Henderson)
4.. Yushin Okami
5. Michael Bisping
6. Demian Maia
7. Patrick Cote
8. Thales Leites
9. Nate Marquardt
10. Martin Kampmann
11. Rousimar Palhares
12. Chris Leben
13. Jason MacDonald
14. Nate Quarry
15. Dan Miller
16. Kendall Grove
17. Jason Day
18. Alan Belcher
19. Jason Lambert
20. Matt Horwich

I think numbers 4 though 11 on this list are a pretty tight group, in terms of relative skill and competition with each other, and I think I would rate Kang right with them. And the guys who've beaten Kang recently - Akiyama and Mousasi - comprise the remainder of the international Top 6, imo (with Silva, Filho, Franklin, and Henderson).

Kang's also not the biggest middleweight you'll ever see, and I wouldn't be shocked or unhappy to see him drop to 170 if he lost to guys like Bisping and Leites.


EDIT: I forgot Ricardo Almeida. I'm tempted to put him in the Top 20 too.



Rating guys like Marquadt, Leites, Cote and Maia is pretty over generous isn't it



Not Marquardt, Maia, and Cote, Thales hasn't proven to me he's in the top 10 yet but Maia Marquardt and Cote certainly are within the UFC's top 10 middleweights. Maia has the best ground game in all of MMA hands down submitting fighters with excellent ground games as well as countless BJJ gi and no gi grappling victories, Cote has beaten Grove, Almeida, and McFedries who are all at least top 20 UFC middleweights in my opinion, and Marquardt has pretty much only lost to Anderson Silva in his last few fights (he won the Leites fight IMO), otherwise he's accomplished many victories over people who have been in and out of the top 10 for quite a while including Salaverry (former champ), Kampmann, Misaki, Doerkson (always a contender wherever he goes), Lister (one of the greatest Americans practicing BJJ today), Horn (responsible for high level BJJ at the Miletich school), and Marquardt's definately the best Greg Jackson trained middleweight competing. IMO Marquardt would beat out most other top 10s.
gsquat
11/3/08 2:26:49PM
Great addition... not the guy to squash the Spider though. Bring in F. Shamrock, Cung Le, Mousasi, or get Manhoef out of "retirement".
amicali
11/3/08 2:26:50PM
I'm freakin stoked!!!!
matt_black
11/3/08 2:34:24PM
easily the best news of the week so far, cant wait to see kang in the octagon
teddythetuna
11/3/08 2:41:16PM
its about time!
AchillesHeel
11/3/08 2:53:51PM

Posted by MMAcca

Rating guys like Marquadt, Leites, Cote and Maia is pretty over generous isn't it


Well, I was being less than scientific when I put this list together, but other than forgetting about Almeida, I don't think I did anything crazy. I've basically given up on Leben and MacDonald breaking into the Top 10, but they could surprise me. I thought Palhares' loss to Hendo impressed me more than MacDonald's win over Lambert or Leben's win over Sakara. I think Kampmann and Quarry (and Almeida) are on the road back, but I can't credit them for wins they don't have yet. Palhares and Miller both look promising to me, but I can't really rate them much higher either. Grove, Day, Belcher, Lambert, and Horwich look like place-holders to me.

So yeah... With Henderson and Franklin going to 205, Okami, Bisping, Maia, Cote, Leites, Marquardt and Kampmann are Anderson Silva's backup singers. I think Kang probably displaces Kampmann from the Top 10, but I obviously I can't put him on this list until he fights somebody in the Octagon.


Posted by PaleHorse

Thales hasn't proven to me he's in the top 10 yet[...]


Leites lost to Kampmann, but that was two years and five wins ago. Maybe I was too impressed with his squashing of Drew McFedries; he could turn out to be one of those guys like Leben and MacDonald who look great against non-Top-20 fighters, but his admittedly-narrow win over Marquardt (who clubbed Kampmann in September) suggests that won't be the case. Another win over a Top-15 opponent would cement his position, but I think he's done more lately than Quarry or Miller have. Leites might be a good choice for Kang's first match, actually. A win would give either guy some instant credibility.
juanez13
11/3/08 3:00:33PM
I think he'll do great in the UFC, he has had some rough luck lately, but IMO like other fighters, if he gets his head in the game i think he can be top 5 in the division. I think coming into the UFC is just what he needs to get motivated and get to that next level, the kid has tons of talent.
ufc88
11/3/08 3:02:56PM
I think a perfect debut fight for Denis Kang to get acquainted with the mainstream fans would be against Alan Belcher
Jesse_Canadian_MMA
11/3/08 4:19:08PM
I hope he does good but I don't see it either, a hit or miss chance.
and my top 10 MW in the UFC are and well thought out by ranking based in 3 categories
fight in UFC total/last 12 months/2008
1.Anderson Silva 7-0/3-0/2-0---------Champion
2.Rich Franklin-11-2/2-0/2-0----------would be the champ if the above guy didnt exist

3.Patrick Cote- 4-5/2-1/2-1------------------4 fight winning streak stopped by the champ, all his wins were over ufc fighters with wins this year

4.Yushin Okami-6-1/1-0/1-0-loss to 2nd rank and never got a title shot
5.Nate Marquardt-6-2/3-1/3-1--------2 losses in last 4 fights is why he's here
6.Michael Bisping-7-1/3-1/3-0---------most of Bisping wins are over low to no rank fighters except Hamil and leben
7.Demian Maia-3-0/1-0/1-0-----------just doesnt fight enough
8.Jason Macdonald-5-3/2-1/2/1-------------fights all the time but wins one loses one kinda record

9.Chris Leben-8-4/1-1/1-1
10.Martin Kampmann-4-1/1-1/1-1


whos missing-Leites,and the beloved Dan Henderson
the reason for these fighters not being in my top 10
are as follows-Leites cause other then a win(by taking a beating and the sub win over mcfederies) everyone else he beat doesnt matter
Henderson has lost 2 of his last 3 and I think he is having a hard f'n time in the UFC and Franklin is also going to beat him so would a man who is 1-4 in his last 4 get rank 1/2/or 3 **** no
Wolfenstein
11/3/08 5:53:40PM
Kang could creep into the top 5now that he has some good competition, and I think his head is starting to get back into the fight game. I don't think there's a lot of guys out there that can beat him in the UFC. A lot of people are going to be impressed at just how good this guy is.

I also think a cage is going to work really well for him, because he's extremely strong and he'll be pushing just about every opponent against the cage and mauling them there.

I would like to see him fight Nate Marquardt.

postman
11/3/08 5:59:11PM

Posted by Jesse_Canadian_MMA

I hope he does good but I don't see it either, a hit or miss chance.
and my top 10 MW in the UFC are and well thought out by ranking based in 3 categories
fight in UFC total/last 12 months/2008
1.Anderson Silva 7-0/3-0/2-0---------Champion
2.Rich Franklin-11-2/2-0/2-0----------would be the champ if the above guy didnt exist

3.Patrick Cote- 4-5/2-1/2-1------------------4 fight winning streak stopped by the champ, all his wins were over ufc fighters with wins this year

4.Yushin Okami-6-1/1-0/1-0-loss to 2nd rank and never got a title shot
5.Nate Marquardt-6-2/3-1/3-1--------2 losses in last 4 fights is why he's here
6.Michael Bisping-7-1/3-1/3-0---------most of Bisping wins are over low to no rank fighters except Hamil and leben
7.Demian Maia-3-0/1-0/1-0-----------just doesnt fight enough
8.Jason Macdonald-5-3/2-1/2/1-------------fights all the time but wins one loses one kinda record

9.Chris Leben-8-4/1-1/1-1
10.Martin Kampmann-4-1/1-1/1-1


whos missing-Leites,and the beloved Dan Henderson
the reason for these fighters not being in my top 10
are as follows-Leites cause other then a win(by taking a beating and the sub win over mcfederies) everyone else he beat doesnt matter
Henderson has lost 2 of his last 3 and I think he is having a hard f'n time in the UFC and Franklin is also going to beat him so would a man who is 1-4 in his last 4 get rank 1/2/or 3 **** no



Ok if you are ranking a guy in the 185 division his fight at 205 should have nothing to do with his spot in that division. Secondly he owned Anderson in the first round he handled Palhares the whole fight and if you want to use the 205 fight with Rampage to gauge what kind of a fighter he is he went 5 rounds with a much bigger guy and looked alot better then the next guy that went 5 with page did. There are ppl who think he beat Page, fact is Dan Henderson is one of the 10 best fighters in MMA hands down. I can't take any top 10 rankings serious if the author puts any of the following ahead of Dan:
Patrick Cote
Demian Maia
Jason Macdonald
Chris Leben
Martin Kampmann

I personally don't feel Franklin, Bisping, Okami, or Marquardt could beat him.
xAcidburNx
11/3/08 6:51:51PM

Posted by MMAcca


Posted by AchillesHeel

Without spending a ton of time on it, I'd rank the UFC middleweights thusly:

1. Anderson Silva
2. (Rich Franklin)
3. (Dan Henderson)
4.. Yushin Okami
5. Michael Bisping
6. Demian Maia
7. Patrick Cote
8. Thales Leites
9. Nate Marquardt
10. Martin Kampmann
11. Rousimar Palhares
12. Chris Leben
13. Jason MacDonald
14. Nate Quarry
15. Dan Miller
16. Kendall Grove
17. Jason Day
18. Alan Belcher
19. Jason Lambert
20. Matt Horwich

I think numbers 4 though 11 on this list are a pretty tight group, in terms of relative skill and competition with each other, and I think I would rate Kang right with them. And the guys who've beaten Kang recently - Akiyama and Mousasi - comprise the remainder of the international Top 6, imo (with Silva, Filho, Franklin, and Henderson).

Kang's also not the biggest middleweight you'll ever see, and I wouldn't be shocked or unhappy to see him drop to 170 if he lost to guys like Bisping and Leites.


EDIT: I forgot Ricardo Almeida. I'm tempted to put him in the Top 20 too.



Rating guys like Marquadt, Leites, Cote and Maia is pretty over generous isn't it



dont forget hes only talkin about the ufc middleweights so that does make sense. and nate is better than bisping and leitus. he only lost because of point deductions. his accidental elbows and the weak ass pile driver (very illegal) didnt have enough impact on that fight to say if he didnt do them he would have lost. side note. bisping vs cote is something i wanna see
cmill21
11/3/08 9:13:52PM
I'm very shocked, but very happy to have Kang in the UFC. I think he will surprise alot of people, losing to Gegard and Akiyama is not a shame and many people in the UFC would lose to them as well IMO.
Aether
11/3/08 10:34:34PM

Posted by Jesse_Canadian_MMA

I hope he does good but I don't see it either, a hit or miss chance.
and my top 10 MW in the UFC are and well thought out by ranking based in 3 categories
fight in UFC total/last 12 months/2008
1.Anderson Silva 7-0/3-0/2-0---------Champion
2.Rich Franklin-11-2/2-0/2-0----------would be the champ if the above guy didnt exist

3.Patrick Cote- 4-5/2-1/2-1------------------4 fight winning streak stopped by the champ, all his wins were over ufc fighters with wins this year

4.Yushin Okami-6-1/1-0/1-0-loss to 2nd rank and never got a title shot
5.Nate Marquardt-6-2/3-1/3-1--------2 losses in last 4 fights is why he's here
6.Michael Bisping-7-1/3-1/3-0---------most of Bisping wins are over low to no rank fighters except Hamil and leben
7.Demian Maia-3-0/1-0/1-0-----------just doesnt fight enough
8.Jason Macdonald-5-3/2-1/2/1-------------fights all the time but wins one loses one kinda record

9.Chris Leben-8-4/1-1/1-1
10.Martin Kampmann-4-1/1-1/1-1


whos missing-Leites,and the beloved Dan Henderson
the reason for these fighters not being in my top 10
are as follows-Leites cause other then a win(by taking a beating and the sub win over mcfederies) everyone else he beat doesnt matter
Henderson has lost 2 of his last 3 and I think he is having a hard f'n time in the UFC and Franklin is also going to beat him so would a man who is 1-4 in his last 4 get rank 1/2/or 3 **** no



Uhhh Henderson is having a hard time because he lost in 2 title fights? Since when does losing to the best in the world constitute having a hard time or warrant a drop in rankings? If you get beat by #1 there should be no reason for your ranking to drop. Patrick Cote #3?? Marquardt has 2 losses in his last 4 fights but look at the losses, he lost to the #1 MW in the world and lost a fight which he clearly won as a result of point deductions.

You can't just look at W's and L's when you're ranking people. Records mean nothing, how you perform in your fights is what matters. To not have Dan Henderson in your top TEN because he lost to the #1 fighter in 2 different divisions makes no sense at all. You don't rank Leites at all because you say his wins are over poor competition and then you rank Cote #3 when he hasn't beaten anyone in your own top 10? Your reasoning doesn't make sense to me.
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