The UFC Macao: Franklin vs. Le event will feature a welterweight fight on the main card between Dong Hyun Kim and Paulo Thiago. The event is set to air LIVE on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. ET on FUEL TV from China. Let’s see how this fight breaks down.
Paulo Thiago (14-4) is coming off a KO loss to Siyar Bahadurzada at the UFC on FUEL TV 2 event in April. Thiago has two wins via TKO/KO and eight wins via submission. He has beaten the likes of Josh Koscheck, Mike Swick, and David Mitchell. Thiago is an unorthodox striker with a very solid ground game.
Dong Hyun Kim (15-2-1, 1NC) is coming off a TKO(injury) loss against Demian Maia at UFC 148. Kim was taken down just seconds after the fight began, but verbally submitted just 47 seconds into the fight. Kim’s only other loss is to UFC interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit. He’s won six fights via TKO/KO and one fight via submission. Kim is a strong welterweight with a strong top game when the fight hits the ground.
Kim will have a decent size advantage over Thiago in this fight, and will also have about a two inch reach advantage. Kim is a southpaw who’s the much more accurate striker according to Fightmetric, and he’s more successful in getting his opponents to the mat as well. Kim will more than likely have the edge in cardio as well since Thiago has gassed in a couple of his losses.
I expect Kim to use his reach advantage on the feet to strike and set up his takedown attempts. It’ll be more of a workmanlike effort in which Kim will strike and then clinch with Thiago to wear him down, and eventually get him to the mat. Kim is excellent at controlling his opponents once he obtains top position, and while Thiago is good on the ground, he’s not much of a threat to submit Kim from his back.
Thiago is incredibly difficult to finish, so I think Kim takes this one via decision.
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