Kim comes out aggressively and grabs the Thai plum when Linhares shoots. They exchange knees to the body against the ropes. Linhares gets him down to his knees in the corner. Kim makes it up and both men get some inside body shots in. Knees to the thigh from Kim. Linhares looks for a single-leg, can’t get it before the referee separates them. Body kick by Linhares and they again exchange knees. Body shots by Linhares met by a low kick. Kim again enters the clinch and goes to work with knees to the thigh until the referee separates them again. Lin-hares tries a spinning back fist, ties up and is still looking for a takedown. Lots of solid knees by Kim to the legs and body. Linhares tries a head kick, gets put back in the clinch and takes more knees from Kim. Linhares nearly hits a trip but Kim rolls through and stands.
Referee separation, and they go back to the clinch and the knees continue. Kim changes levels and goes for a with a single-leg. Linhares catches an attempted soccer kick and stands, only to get tied up again. More knees but Kim is given a yellow card for inactivity. Kim shoots in and completes another single-leg. Linhares scrambles back to his feet. Kim catches a body kick and Linhares completes a takedown, which Kim quickly stands from. The two fighters clinch against the turnbuckle before the referee separates them again. They go back to the clinch right away, and continue to knee each other until the referee separates them again. A right hand by Linhares is followed up by a clinch again.
Both fighters come out swinging, then clinch within seconds. Linhares looks for a low-single but as Kim defends, Kim lands a solid knee that connects. Body kick by Kim, and they clinch again before Kim lands a good left straight before re-entering the clinch. Kim given another yellow card for inactivity. Linhares shoots, more clinching. Kim changes levels and completes a dou-ble-leg into guard and starts laying into Linhares with hard punches.
Soccer kick and knees by Kim on the way up. He completes another takedown. More solid punches and he passes to side control. Soccer kicks on the way up, then he dumps Linhares once again. One minute to go. Kim looks for a flying stomp. More soccer kicks as they stand. Kim scores yet another takedown before the bell. Kim way ahead.
Kim comes out looking for a takedown and gets one quickly. Ground-and-pound with a good left hand as he passes. Kim makes it to mount and starts hitting shots hard. Linhares manages to roll free and block a soccer kick, only to get taken down yet again. Hammerfists by Kim and he is looking for mount again, can’t get it. He follows up with a solid soccer kick and Linhares tries to shoot. Kim eventually winds up on his back against the ropes. Linhares looks to take the back. He can’t but he does keep top position and switches to a half guard. With time running down, Linhares tries leglock but can’t get it. Kim gets in some soccer kicks and ducks a spin-ning back fist from Linhares for a takedown as time expires. The decision goes to the judges, who score the fight 3-0 to Kim, a unanimous decision.
An Interview with Soo Chul Kim
Tell us your thoughts on how the fight went.
It went really bad. I feel like I let down both the organization and my opponent. If I keep fighting like the way I did tonight, I won’t have a career for much longer.
Could you elaborate more on what was so bad?
Fighters need to be able to finish off a fight. I wasn’t able to do that, and I wasn’t able to give the fans an enjoyable fight.
What are your thoughts on your opponent?
Linhares is a tough fighter, and his ground techniques are much better than mine.
We heard that you injured your ribs 2 weeks before the fight. How do you feel right now?
The injury didn’t affect the outcome of this fight tonight. Injuries are a part of a fighters life and I don’t want to make excuses.
The 1st and 3rd rounds seemed to take a different direction. What instructions did you get from Mr. Chon?
My opponent was very persistent and determined, and I think I wanted to get the fight over with early. The fact that I couldn’t, made the round a nothing round. Chon told me in the 3R to start taking my opponent down, and I think that changed the pace a little.
In the second round you delivered a soccer kick as well as stomping. This didn’t seem to bother your opponent?
I think the soccer kick hurt him, but he has so much physical strength and his ability to recover is much better than mine. I didn’t get enough power behind any of my shots. I will definitely be looking at this next time.
An interview with Mike Linhares
What are your thoughts on how the fight went?
For me today, this was my first defeat. I couldn’t fight well, I couldn’t get any power out of anything I did. I really want another chance to come back.
And what are your thoughts on your opponent?
He’s a guy who has a lot of experience. I trained really hard to fight against him, but I couldn’t display my power at all, nowhere near as much as I know I can.
Why do you think you lost the fight?
There are so many reasons, but firstly, I couldn’t get any power out of anything I did. Secondly, as I said, he is such an experienced fighter, I wasn’t able to take my chances when they came.
And what do you think about the event itself?
It’s such amazingly high quality event. It really is great. To fight on a show like this would be a dream come true for any fighter. This fight was my 9th fight of my career so far, and of course I wanted to win it and it makes me quite unhappy to have lost. I want to come back to Japan and show everyone how powerful I am. Please give me another chance, against my opponent today again or someone else, I want to show how good I am.
Do you think the yellow card you got was one of the reasons why you lost?
No, that has nothing to do with why I lost. It was a deadlock and it’s just something that happened. Next time I promise to show everyone my real power and strength.