Going into the UFC Fight Night 124, Doo Ho Choi – a.k.a. “The Korean Superboy” – was quite possibly a glimpse into the future of the sport.
Not so much because he’s a tough, capable fighter who thrills fans by banging it out, but because he’s a star in a foreign market (in this instance, South Korea). And foreign stars mean foreign growth of the sport – the only true emerging market MMA has left.
Conversely, Choi’s opponent, Jeremy Stephens, has probably gone as far as he’s going to go. He’ll never win the belt, he’ll never win the sport any more new fans. He’s great for his willingness and ability to throw down, but no crystal ball showing the future features him with any prominence.
Unfortunately, as the saying goes, “live by the sword, die by the sword.” And for standing in the pocket and throwing bolos, Choi ultimately died by the sword in this one.
It started off pretty good for him, as he used kicks to chop at Stephens’ legs (thereby breaking his rhythm) and plant his foot across Stephens’ face whenever there was an opening. The South Korean took Round 1 by virtue of his striking and ability to avoid his foe’s power.
Then came Round 2, and while Choi still scored, landing punches to Stephens’ face as well, Stephens simply waded in and nailed him with one of his powerful rights. Choi dropped, dazed yet defending, and Stephens followed, banging him in the head with more fists – so many that the ref was forced to step in.
Results: Jeremy Stephens def. Doo Ho Choi via TKO (Punches) at 2:36, R2