Breaking New Ground in Korea (UFC FN 79 Review)

ufc_fn79In the constant quest to become a worldwide brand the UFC broke into a new market with UFC Fight Night 79.

It was the first time that the UFC found their way to South Korea as they continue to expand in the Asian market.

The UFC has been looking for a long time to find an Asian champion and so far has been unsuccessful as many only fight in these Asian market fights.

That is difficult when title fights are often in Vegas or other parts of the USA and not in Japan, China, or South Korea.

There have been a few fighters that have risen to the occasion but eventually they have all fallen to the talent in the UFC.

The UFC’s attempt to find that superstar has given them stars like Yoshihiro Akiyama and Dong Hyun Kim who were both a part of the main card.

Both have risen to superstardom in their countries but neither have been able to work their way to the top of their divisions.

The UFC continues to give them the opportunity by continuing to host fights in Asia and allowing them easier fights than travelling to the USA.

Travelling to these new places is also an opportunity to expose fans to the top level of the sport and hopefully finding new fighters while there.

The UFC is still fairly young and so is the sport of MMA with fighters only now coming into the UFC training MMA from the start.

That is a result of the UFC constantly trying to expose new fans to the sport as there are constantly stories of fighters who got to see their first live show and fell in love.

The more this sport is exposed to new people the more fans it receives and more people begin to take up MMA as their sport.

Exposing the UFC to more fans is never a bad idea and the UFC continues to do so as they try to cover the entire world with the highest level of the sport.

As the entered this new market they featured plenty of Korean fighters both up and coming and established stars.

There was one fighter though that had always wanted the first fight in South Korea and he got his wish this time around.

Benson Henderson is not a Korean fighter but he is as close to a Korean superstar from outside of the country that there can be.

His mother is from Korea and every chance he gets he visits the country with fans swarming him everywhere he goes.

He had always taken advantage of Asian fights to travel to South Korea and take in his heritage, sometimes alongside his mother.

So when the UFC decided that it was going to travel to South Korea for the first time ever Henderson stepped up and put his name in to be a part of the fight.

He got that chance as he was named to the main event at UFC Fight Night 79 where he was going to take on Thiago Alves in only his second welterweight fight.mma-sidebar.fw

An injury to Alves changed this main event as Jorge Masvidal was moved from the main card to the main event to take on the former lightweight champion.

Henderson had the chance to fight in front of what he considers a home crowd and even more than that was a chance to get a big win in front of that home crowd.

A win was going to be a chance for Henderson to get his second in a new division after climbing to the top of the lightweight division only to run into the new talent in that division and lose two straight.

If he can win he is sure to move into the welterweight rankings and continue his pursuit of a second UFC title.

For Masvidal the new opportunity was a massive one as it was easily the biggest fight of his career.

Putting a former champion on your record is never a bad thing and for Masvidal it was the first chance to fight someone at that level.

A win was going to make everyone pay attention to the unranked fighter and move him up as he pursues his own title run.

Despite brief times on the ground the fight took place mainly on the feet with both fighters exchanging.

Either fighter had their time throwing and connecting with combinations and kicks while both did damage.

Overall though neither fighter truly dominated and made it easy when the fight went to the judges.

The judges found that Henderson did just enough to get the win via split decision but it wasn’t impressive.

Masvidal took the loss and will remain out of the rankings for the time being but he did do well on short notice against a good opponent.

Henderson took the win but it wasn’t that impressive and might put him just inside the top 15 in the division.

To get another title shot he needs a lot more work though as he needs to fight better opponents and be more impressive to get to the title conversation.

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