Long-time UFC fighter Kyung Ho Kang used his wrestling to keep Liu Pingyuan down at UFC Busan, taking home a decision win.
Bantamweights Kyung Ho Kang and Liu Pingyuan opened the main card at UFC Busan on Saturday. The bout found South Korea’s Kang looking to make it three wins in a row, while his Chinese counterpart was hoping to bounce back from the first loss of his UFC tenure, which saw him knocked out by a knee from Jonathan Martinz at UFC Sacramento. Liu was cornered by legend Urijah Faber, but he was fighting in enemy territory.
It was Kang scoring an early takedown off a level change, to a roar from the partisan crowd, that set the tone in the fight. Kang would spend much of the round on top, staying just active enough to keep the fight on the ground. Liu would briefly try for a guillotine from the top, but really didn’t have the position to make it happen. With ninety seconds left, he’d scramble free, getting back to his feet. Only to be taken down again moments later.
Moral of the round, it’s hard to win a fight off your back. Urijah Faber told his fighter as much between rounds.
Kang would land a head kick, something of a glancing blow, in the opening seconds of round two. The South Korean then changed levels and put Liu on his back. From there, it was a similar scene to the first round. Liu was unable to escape, although he would work his way back to teh fence.
Round three at least saw the action remain on the feet for the first minute, which allowed Liu some time to work. He was also able to fight off the initial level change/takedown attempt by Kang. The takedown, however, would come by mid-round. The only real surprise came when one judge scored the bout for Liu Pingyuan.
Official Result: Kyung Ho Kang def. Liu Pingyuan by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)