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Denis Kang heading to the UFC

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AchillesHeel

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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.

Post #1   11/3/08 11:34:30AM   

tooly236

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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

Post #2   11/3/08 11:40:08AM   

AnDeRsonDaSiLvA

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Wont ever challenge anderson , but a great addition . Please mousasi and akiyama next !

Post #3   11/3/08 11:41:09AM   

tuvok500

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

Post #4   11/3/08 11:47:34AM   

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I can see him doing very well actually. Good for Kang.

Post #5   11/3/08 12:05:30PM   

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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.

Last edited 11/3/08 12:11PM server time by fedorwins1
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Post #6   11/3/08 12:10:24PM   

Twenty20Dollars

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good job UFC.

Post #7   11/3/08 12:21:01PM   

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I'm excited to see how he'll do now that he's on a win streak.

Post #8   11/3/08 12:21:48PM   

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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.

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Post #9   11/3/08 12:28:48PM   

Aaronno9

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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.

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Post #10   11/3/08 12:30:41PM   

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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.

Last edited 11/3/08 12:35PM server time by cowcatcher
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Post #11   11/3/08 12:34:54PM   

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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

Last edited 11/3/08 12:41PM server time by Ordep
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Post #12   11/3/08 12:40:35PM   

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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.

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Post #13   11/3/08 12:40:41PM   

AchillesHeel

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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.

Last edited 11/3/08 1:06PM server time by AchillesHeel
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Post #14   11/3/08 1:01:59PM   

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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

Post #15   11/3/08 1:34:39PM   
 
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