This article was originally published at CageCraze.com. Copyright: CageCraze.com.
CageCraze.com caught up with Dongi “The Ox” Yang of Korean Top Team as he trained at Derby City MMA in Louisville, Kentucky, in preparation for his middleweight bout against Rob Kimmons on the preliminary card of “UFC on Versus 3.” “The Ox” rattled off nine straight stoppage victories before entering the UFC. Yang’s first venture in the UFC ended with a split-decision loss to “The Ultimate Fighter Season 11″ cast member, Chris Camozzi. Most people had Yang winning the first two rounds of that fight but the judges at UFC 121 did not see it the same way. Yang won over many UFC fans with his performance against Camozzi and he brings his exciting style to the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville on March 3.
The man standing across the octagon from Yang this Thursday night will be UFC veteran Rob Kimmons. Kimmons holds a 3-3 record in the UFC, and his overall record is 23-6. Rob Kimmons has been stopped by Kyle Noke, Jorge Rivera, and Dan Miller during his tenure in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Kimmons will undoubtedly be hungry coming into the match-up with Yang as he has a chance to improve his UFC record to 4-3. We had a chance to ask Dongi “The Ox” Yang about the matchup with Kimmons, and how his training has gone thus far in Louisville.
We first met up with Yang and his Korean Top Team teammates last Wednesday when he arrived in Louisville at Derby City MMA. He was admittedly tired from the long journey to Kentucky but we still got to hang around and watch him train with his teammate, Chan Sung “The Korean Zombie” Jung, and coach, Dongjin Ha. CageCraze.com caught up with Yang once again over the weekend, and asked how he felt after a few days in country:
“I’m feeling good. Now we’re just down to cutting the excess weight. Right now I’m a little over 20lbs over (207lbs on Sunday, the fight’s on Thursday). I prepped really hard for this fight and I [am] ready to go.”
A little over two weeks ago, Dongi Yang’s camp was looking for a gym in Louisville that had a cage so that he could properly train for his fight. We suggested that Korean Top Team look into training at Derby City MMA because they have a full cage, which is exactly what they wanted to find. We were curious to see how the local gym was working out, and how it compared to other gyms that Yang had trained in over the course of his career:
“Derby City is a really nice gym. Lots of really friendly people there, too. Derek [Cissell, owner] was super friendly and it’s been a huge help to be able to work out there. One big benefit is the cage. Unfortunately, we don’t have a cage at Korean Top Team, so being able to work out in one is helpful.”
One thing on our minds was the effect that the split-decision loss to Chris Camozzi had on Yang’s mentality and his training regimen. Even though many people believe Yang was robbed in that fight, Yang was very humble and made no excuses for the loss:
“I think I could have been a little better prepared as far my stamina. So, that’s probably one thing I concentrated on a little more on this time around, but other than that, I haven’t really changed anything with my training.”
Rob Kimmons is much more experienced than Dongi Yang, but has had trouble when moving up to face tougher competition. We asked Yang how he felt he matched up with Rob Kimmons, and whether or not he sees any weaknesses in Kimmons’ fighting that he can exploit on Thursday night:
“He definitely has a lot of experience and no glaring weaknesses in his game. I’d like to keep the fight standing, which is where I feel most comfortable, but even if it goes to the ground, I’m confident that I can control the pace.”
Dongi would like to thank his sponsors and teammates for helping him prepare for “UFC on Versus 3″ in Louisville:
“Yeah, I [would] like to thank my sponsors Sseda, Mutnam.com, Plus, Dr. Ihm of SL Ophthamology, Dr. Hwang and my coaches at Korean Top Team, Coach Ha and Coach Jeon.”
CageCraze.com would like to thank Jeffrey Madden and Brian Rhee for helping with the logistics and translation for this interview. We would also like to thank Derek Cissell of Derby City MMA for giving us access to the gym for photos of Dongi Yang’s training sessions.
“UFC on Versus 3: Sanchez vs Kampmann” takes place on Thursday, March 3, in Louisville, Kentucky. The UFC announced that this event will be the first UFC event to be broadcast in 3D. The event will air live on Versus at 9:00PM ET. Visit UFC.com for more information on this event. CageCraze.com is your MMA Social Network dedicated to connecting, promoting, covering and improving local MMA everywhere. Create your free profile today, and stay connected with local MMA Everywhere!