Coming up this Friday, Legend FC 4 goes down in Hong Kong, which features Rod MacSwain and Kim Hoon fighting for Legend’s Welterweight Championship, the start of their Bantamweight tournament, and a lightweight title fight that has a story a year in the making. At the first Legend FC show, Adrian Pang and Nam Yui Chul fought to a draw, and now a year later, these two meet again to see who will walk out of the ring as champ and who goes with a loss on their record.
We spoke to the Legend FC lightweight champ, Adrian Pang, a few days ago, and today we talk to the challenger, Nam Yui Chul, who tells us his thoughts on their first fight, MMA in South Korea and if he thinks being Korean might cause him problems if the fight goes the distance again.
Fight Nerd: How are you preparing to fight Adrian Pang?
Nam Yui Chul: After our last fight, I saw some holes in my game, so I’ve spent the past year working to address them. I’ve trained across all disciplines: Muay Thai, wrestling, submissions. I’ve prepared myself to the level where I think I’m better than him regardless of where the fight goes.
Fight Nerd: You and Adrian fought to a draw at the first Legend FC show. What are you going to do to make sure there is a clear winner this time?
Nam Yui Chul: I’m going to finish him. There is no clearer way to be the winner.
Fight Nerd: Who do you think won your first fight with him, or do you agree with the draw?
Nam Yui Chul: I don’t agree with the draw. I think I was the superior fighter in the first fight. And now I have another chance to prove it.
Hit the jump for the rest of the interview!
Fight Nerd: If this fight goes to a decision, are you worried about biased judging against you because you are not Chinese?
Nam Yui Chul: I was very unhappy with the judges decision the first time, but I don’t think it had anything to do with my not being Chinese. I think it was just a bad decision. And for this week’s fight, I’m not worried about biased judging either, because I’m not going to let this fight go to a decision.
Fight Nerd: How did you first become a fan of MMA, and what led you to fight?
Nam Yui Chul: My father is a Tae Kwon Do black belt, and he was my first inspiration to learn martial arts. I have always been a very driven and competitive person, and within the martial arts, the best way to test and improve yourself is to compete.
Fight Nerd: You currently train out of Team Posse. Tell us about the gym and coaches.
Nam Yui Chul: Team Posse is a great team. It has an excellent coaching staff and a good mix of fighters at different stages of development. I learn something new every day, and I have a lot of great training partners. I’m very grateful to be part of my team.
Fight Nerd: What is the MMA scene like in South Korea right now, and how was it five years ago?
Nam Yui Chul: In some ways, Korean MMA is in great shape: there are a lot of famous Korean fighters having success in major promotions around the world, and more and more people are starting to train in MMA — some to compete, but many just for love of the sport. On the other hand, there are a lot of obstacles as well. Now that Spirit MC is gone, most Korean fighters have to go overseas in order to be able to fight. And with Japanese MMA slowly dying, there are fewer opportunities there. Legend has actually developed at a great time, and has shown the world some of the best Korean fighters. You have to understand that being a fighter in Korea means many big sacrifices — I believe bigger sacrifices than in other countries. Being a fighter contradicts many of the values of Korean culture. You really need to give up a lot to be a fighter. But I think that’s what makes us so good — we’re so hungry to win and succeed in order to prove ourselves.
Fight Nerd: You hold a bachelor’s degree in physical education. Is fighting your full-time job, or do you use that degree?
Nam Yui Chul: I work in the fitness industry, and I will be earning a graduate degree in physical education as well.
Fight Nerd: Do you have any last words you want to tell Adrian Pang and the international viewers of Legend FC 4?
Nam Yui Chul: Adrian, I respect you very much as a fighter. I know you’re very tough and accomplished. And if you were sitting across from me right now, I would tell you that. But in the ring, it’s a different story. To the viewers: thank you for watching me. I am looking forward to representing Korean MMA. I am proud to be the first Korean to headline a US Pay-Per-View event, and I promise that you will not be disappointed.
You can catch Legend FC 4 on Friday, January 28 at 8 PM ET, with an immediate replay after, on pay-per-view. For more info, head to LegendFC.com.