Korean promotion Road FC has had a great 2013 so far. Lightweight champion Yui Chul Nam, after reportedly hesitating to leave the promotion, has now signed with the UFC and will be the second Road FC champ to move to the world stage this year.
Much like those two stars, Road FC has constantly featured some of the very best Korean fighters. This past year though, they've hosted 5 events, including 3 major shows that also highlighted an expanding roster with international stars such as Issei Tamura, Michihiro Omigawa, Takasuke Kume, Joachim Hansen, Melvin Manhoef, Vuyisile Colossa, Sokoudjou and Luis Ramos among others.
They're already doing great things for the Asian MMA scene, but they have even bigger things planned for 2014. Apart from partnering up with mammoth media corp CJ Entertainment and Media which will significantly increase their broadcast reach in the region, the promotion is also gearing up for a future show in Japan.
Another significant move would be in accordance with their newly set up Road FC Coliseum and Road FC Gym in the country, with the promotion recently announcing that they will be hosting monthly events through the entire year. According to the release, they will have these 'league' events starting with "Road FC - Korea 1" every month, except for those with their major numbered events which would be in bigger venues in Seoul.
One would think that these monthly events wouldn't be nearly as good as their major shows, but it looks like they're not planning to water things down. As officials announced today, the January 18th league event will be headlined by one of their biggest recent acquisitions in Riki Fukuda (19-7), who will be taking on talented prospect Hee Seung Kim (6-1).
Kim, is a training partner of Nam Yui Chul, and is one of the top prospects out of the region, but he will be having a huge step up in competition come January. Fukuda, on the other hand, is a former DEEP champion who has had 5 bouts during his 2-year stint with the UFC. He has wins over Tom DeBlass, Steve Cantwell and Murilo Rua, along with a highly contested decision loss to Nick Ring to his name.
Officials say that the event will be streamed online, so stay tuned to BloodyElbow for more details as the event approaches.