Speaking of bright prospects, two of the UFC's most promising Welterweights squared off on the Fox Sports 1 card of UFC 164. Hyun Gyu Lim came in off an impressive knockout victory over Cristiano Marcello back in March where he showed off his surprising size and athleticism with a beautifully timed knee. Krauss entered this fight off a decent, if not terribly exciting victory over Mike Stumpf back in January. He's spent a lot of time on the shelf due to various injuries, but at 26 and with a 11-1 record going into this fight he's been a fighter to watch for some time.
Hyun and Krauss entered into their fight looking to trade in the pocket. Krauss showed some slightly more technical boxing, but had trouble adapting to Hyun's length and power. Krauss started to land with more regularity as the round went on and he got comfortable in his range, but Lim showed that he's just not a fighter to go punch for punch with. He landed a right to the temple that put Krauss on rubber legs (and possible resulted in an injured ankle). From there it was only a matter of time as he closed distance and hit what is becoming is trademark, a devastating and impeccably timed knee that put Krauss out. The result: Hyun Gyu Lim def. Pascal Krauss via KO (knee) at 3:58 of Round 1.
What was the high point?
The finishing knee was a thing of beauty. Hyun needs serious technical polish to his striking and defense, but you can't teach his agility, timing, and power. He closes distance with strikes like few fighters can and that knee was poetry in motion.
What was the low point?
I hate to see one prospect make their leap up the ranks at the cost of another. Krauss is a good fighter and as one of the UFC's few German fighters gives the company some roots in a country where they're looking to expand. He didn't need a fight like Hyun right now, and because of it a lot of the luster is off his potential.
Where do they go from here?
Hyun got a really nice win that should get him a higher profile fight going forward. He's showing that he's a long term investment for the UFC and they need to think about what fights to give him to keep that going. I don't think he needs easy fights, but if they can raise his profile they should. A fight against Claude Patrick when he returns from injury would be good, or the winner of Igor Araujo and Ildemar Alcantara.
For Krauss this is a big step back, much more than his loss to John Hathaway. He needs to find his identity as a fighter as he spent way too much time striking with a far more powerful striker. He won't get cut, but I'd say a fight with Neil Magny would be a good idea to see if one of them has a future in the division.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Watch it now. It's short, it's brutal, and in a year or two Hyun Gyu Lim may be a much bigger name.
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