Prior to each UFC card, Jay Primetown takes a close look at debuting fighters. In the latest installment, we look at South Korean bantamweight Ji Yeon Kim as she makes her UFC debut against Lucie Pudilova at UFC Fight Night 111 in Singapore.  

Ji Yeon Kim

Hometown: South Korea
Age: 29
Height: 5-foot-6
Reach: NA
Weight Class: Women’s Bantamweight
Camp: So-Missions Jiu Jitsu
Career Record: 6-0-2
Key Wins: None
Key Losses: None

Background

The South Korean bantamweight is undefeated to start her career. She began her career with two draws but has followed that up with six consecutive wins. She’s fought in some of Asia’s best promotions, including Road FC and DEEP Jewels.

Strengths

  • Good footwork
  • Physically strong for the weight class
  • Does a good job of pushing opponents against the cage
  • Advances positions well on the mat
  • Solid submission game

Weaknesses

  • Really poor striking defense
  • Chin is a question mark
  • Questionable competition

Fighter Grade

Offensive Striking: D+
Striking Defense: F
Knockout Power: D+
Athleticism / Speed: D+
Footwork: C-
Chin: D
Offensive Wrestling: C
Takedown Defense: D+
Submissions: C-
Conditioning: D+
Intangibles: D

Overall Grade: D

Matchup with Lucie Pudilova

In the fight to kick start UFC Fight Night 111, South Korean women’s bantamweight Kim takes on the Czech Republic’s Pudilova. For Kim to have success in this fight, she’ll have to use her strength to push Pudilova against the cage and control her. Lina Lansberg had success doing that when she fought Pudilova years ago, but when she fought Pudilova in March, she didn’t have nearly that level of success. In fact, Pudilova showed increased strength and an ability to fend off takedown attempts. I expect that to happen in this fight on the feet, as Pudilova is a much better striker. She can land with volume, and her reach should give Kim all sorts of problems. Look for Pudilova to get her first win in the UFC. If this price dips below -140, I’ll be eyeing a bet on the Czech fighter.

UFC Ceiling

Kim has the strength to compete in the UFC. If she can have success securing pushing opponents against the cage and earning takedowns, she can have success in the promotion. Her problem is her striking defense is poor, and she will struggle against any power puncher. She needs to improve her stand-up game, or she’ll stay a one-trick pony in the UFC. Currently, she’s too predictable in her approach to have any sustained level of success. 

Fight Film

Check out Kim in some of her most recent fights…

Kim vs. Hatice Ozyurt

Kim vs. Yukumi Kamikaze