UFC 125 Fight Card: Nate Diaz vs. Dong Hyun Kim Primer

Diaz_kim_medium_mediumWelterweights Nate Diaz (13-5, 8-3 UFC) and Dong Hyun Kim (13-0-1-1, 4-0-1) will open the main card of UFC 125 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Diaz, the popular winner of The Ultimate Fighter season five, has fought at 155lbs for the bulk of his UFC career going 6-3. Since moving up to 170lbs he's 2-0 with dominant wins over Marcus Davis and Rory Markham. 

Diaz is known for his slick jiu jitsu and his unconventional boxing style which relies on a large volume of arm punches to overwhelm opponents. 

Kim represents a serious step up in competition for Diaz. The judo stylist is undefeated in MMA competition with wins over Amir Sadollah, T.J. Grant, Matt Brown and Jason Tan in the UFC. 

Kim lost a decision to Karo Parisyan at UFC 94 but that fight became a No Contest when Parisyan failed a drug test for painkillers after the bout. 

Leland Roling broke down the Diaz vs Kim bout:

Diaz should be the more well-rounded fighter in this match-up. He has the lengthy limbs in tandem with his boxing to be very dangerous on the feet, and those same appendages can be tough to wade through in the grappling department. The difference here is that he won't have that advantage as Kim is 6'1" to Diaz's 6'0" frame. We've seen on multiple occasions that Diaz can threaten in either area of a fight, but he lacks the tactical knowledge on the ground to avoid being smothered in wrestling or held down by stronger combatants.

Kim may be able to embody that type of opponent. He's very strong in the clinch, and he has effective tactics in bringing fights to the floor that Diaz may not be expecting. While I highly doubt Kim is going to be a dangerous threat in the striking department, I have no doubt in my mind that the South Korean will endanger Diaz in a clinch war against the fence. Huge height can be a tremendous asset, but we've seen many times that strength and technique can topple even the tallest giant.

...
This is one of the toughest fights to call, mainly due to the questions surrounding Diaz's defense to tactics like that of Stevenson and the strength and technique that Kim has shown in the clinch. This fight will be won along the fence, it's just a matter of whether Diaz can avoid being thrown to the canvas when he gets there.


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