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UFC Seoul “Prelim Spotlight”: Ham vs Casey

Dan Tom

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Ham1

Seohee Ham (15-6)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’2″ Age: 28 Weight: 115 lbs Reach: 62″
  • Last Fight: Decision loss / Joanne Calderwood (12-12-14)
  • Camp: Team M.A.D. (Korea)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Southpaw / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Moderate
  • Overall Fight Grade: C

Supplemental info:
+ Pro Kickboxing Titles
+ 8-3 as Pro Kickboxer
+ 2 Submissions 0 KO’s
+ 1 first round finish
+ Hard left body kick
+ Accurate left hand
^ Will catch kicks & counter
+ Solid footwork
+ Positional based top game
+ Competent submission & bottom game
– Low & parrying hands
^ Opens up counter shots
– Leaves legs behind in scrambles
^ Costs her positions

Casey2

Cortney Casey (4-2)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’2″ Age: 28 Weight: 115 lbs Reach: 62″
  • Last Fight: Decision loss / Joanne Calderwood (7-18-15))
  • Camp: Freak Animal Fitness (AZ)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair
  • Overall Fight Grade: C+

Supplemental info:
+ Amateur MMA Titles
+ BJJ Purple Belt
+ 2 KO’s 2 Submissions
+ All finishes in 1st round
+ 100% finish rate
+ Aggressive pressure & pace
+ Deceptively heavy hands
+/-Will pull guard
+ Dangerously active guard
^ Looks for sweeps & back-takes
+ Chains submission attacks
^ Favors armbar transitions
– concedes bad positions
+ Effectively closes distance

Summary:

Despite being the only female fight booked for Seoul, this match up of Seohee Ham vs Cortney Casey shapes up to be one of the more exciting prelims and possibly a “Fight of the Night” candidate. Seoul Korea’s Seohee is a technically well-rounded martial artist who’s very experienced in the Asian circuit( both in MMA & Kickboxing). Though fairing very well in Asia, the “limited rules” implicated by those organizations can attribute to her lack of finishes and it may also play a factor in this fight. With both women’s last fights being decision losses to Joanne Calderwood, Cortney Casey will have the quicker turn-around since her short notice step up in July.

Despite only being 4-2, Casey has an experienced Amateur career, even earning Titles (Tuff-N-Uff Flyweight Champion). And with her only losses coming to top competition, Casey’s aggressive style has garnered the attention of those who follow the sport. Corntey’s consistent pace & pressure is something I see playing a factor in this fight. Coming out orthodox, Casey will circle in distance looking to close-in off counters. Though only having limited footage of her against southpaws, she shows an outside-foot awareness which will be the key factor in the standing portion of this fight.

When it comes to said foot battle and footwork in general, Seohee is no slouch. Consistently circling or bouncing in-and-out of range, Ham will look to get her right foot on the outside and fire-off her accurate left hand. Often mixing in healthy doses of kicks, she could steal momentum and even rounds should she stay disciplined. Often parrying (sometimes too much) with her lead hand, Seohee also shows an excellent ability to catch kicks and counter with her left. Casey however, throws her kicks conservatively and often to the legs. This may only further expose Ham’s defensive tendencies as she’ll often over-reach and leave herself available to counters.

With Ham’s hands already low, her over-parrying could be especially costly given Casey’s dangerous hooks. If there’s one thing that’s not conservative about Cortney’s game, it’s her heavy-handed hooks that are thrown in volume. Seohee will have to mind this, as she may reach to parry jabs that don’t come. Though I give Seohee a technical and slight overall advantage standing, it could all be negated with the size & strength difference in this match-up. Naturally competing at atomweight, Seohee shows struggles with these intangibles against bigger fighters like Calderwood.

Cortney Casey is not only bigger & stronger (for the Strawweight division in general), but her pace & pressure will be gas to this fire if Ham fails to manage it. This perceived advantage should only amplify once this contest touches the mat. Seohee shows much improved counter wrestling but that may not matter with their being so many routes (especially in female fights) that can be taken to the ground. Not the mention Casey’s propensity to pull guard, which can be looked down upon in MMA, but in this case may suit her well. Size difference aside, technically Seohee will leave her legs behind when transitioning which has shown to allow opposition back into fights with submission threats or position reversals.

Ham’s athleticism & composure has gotten her out of those bad spot and many others throughout her career. However it’s in those spots where Casey has shown to thrive as she’ll use leg attacks to reverse positions and take-backs. In summation this is a very close fight, but in said ground & standing exchanges, I feel Casey’s size, durability, and aggression will make the difference. Unless Seohee can shift the momentum early and apply a disciplined game, I believe Casey’s pressure will create an environment where the South Korean will have to succumb.

Official Pick: Casey – Inside the distance

Preliminary Card Predictions

  • Dongi Yang def. Jake Collier
  • Yui Chul Nam def. Mke De La Torre
  • Tae Hyun Bang def. Leo Kuntz
  • Cortney Casey def. Seo Hee Ham
  • Yao Zhikui def. Fredy Serrano
  • Ning Guangyou def. Marco Beltran
  • Dominique Steele def. Dong Hyun Kim

Recommended Plays

Fantasy MMA Picks

High Tier Picks:

– Doo Ho Choi
– Dong Hyun Kim
– Benson Henderson

Low Tier Picks:

– Mike De La Torre
– Dongi Yang
– Alberto Mina

Pieces for your parlay:

– Doo Ho Choi
– Tae Hyun Bang
– Benson Henderson

Props worth looking at:

– Doo Ho Choi – by KO/TKO
– Dong Hyun Kim – Inside the distance

Fights to avoid:

– Yui Chul Nam vs Mike De La Torre
– Jake Collier vs Dongi Yang
– Yoshihiro Akiyama vs Alberto Mina

For the complete undercard analysis & past UFC events visit MixedMartialAnalyst.com and for future breakdowns & your latest in world-wide MMA news, stay tuned & follow @MMALatestnws MMALatestNews.com

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Highest Ranked Strawweight Outside of the UFC challenged Angela Lee to a title fight in One Championship

Hazwady

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28 Years Old, Zhang Weili(16-1) from China has challenged Strawweight champion Angela Lee for her strap in One Championship according to a source close to the Chinese fighter. Zhang who is the champion and fighting for Chinese based promotion Kunlun FC is currently negotiating on a one fight deal to face Angela. According to the source, they would like to determine who is the best women fighter in Asia in a one-off match and would have no problems to fight under the One Championship banner.

Zhang Weili(Left) at Kunlun FC 12

Since her pro debut loss in 2013, Zhang has racked up 16 wins in 3 years with a total of 15 finishes. She is the number #6 ranked women strawweight in the World according to Fightmatrix.com, just behind Rose Namajunas who will be facing UFC champion and number #1 ranked strawweight Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the title next month. Angela, on the other hand, is 9 rungs below Zhang at number 15.

Fightmatrix rankings as per 9/10/2017

While ONE was very eager to have a cross-promotion fight between Angela Lee and Joanna Jedrzejczyk to determine who has the better strawweight, they seem less eager to have a Kunlun FC champion on board for a one fight deal. The source states that ONE would need for Zhang to sign a 2-year exclusive contract first before discussing further for a fight with Angela.

If the source is accurate, ONE seems to be covering their bases this time and would not like for their champion to lose the belt to another promotion without securing Zhang on an exclusive contract. Kunlun, on the other hand, would also not want to lose their best fighter to another Asian promotion. Zhang would be a huge asset to ONE for their expansion in China but it would be tough for them to pry off the Chinese fighter as the source states that Zhang is being paid handsomely on Kunlun FC.

While things are looking bleak for a match between Angela Lee and Zhang Weili to happen in the ONE Championship cage, the fans will be keeping their fingers crossed and hope that they could witness a fight between two of the best women Strawweights in Asia.

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Martin Nguyen to challenge Eduard Folayang’s title in Manila for the first champion vs champion fight in ONE Championship

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After speculations on who Martin Nguyen’s next opponent when he signed a fight contract, ONE Championship have confirmed that Martin Nguyen is set to challenge Eduard Folayang’s lightweight title in Manila on ONE: LEGENDS OF THE WORLD on 10 November.

The fight is the latest in a series of cross-division fights announced after Shinya Aoki vs Ben Askren and Aung La NSang vs Alain Ngalani, but this will be the first time the reigning ONE Championship titleholders from two weight divisions will clash.

Nguyen’s coach, Fari Salievski, did tease on the idea of Nguyen fighting for the title in different weight divisions , but he teased on a bantamweight division since Martin was underweight for his featherweight title fight against Marat Gafurov.

Despite being on the lighter side of a featherweight division, the new champion decided to challenge the title against a fighter a weight class above him, and opens the possibility of the first fighter in ONE Championship to challenge the title in 3 weight divisions.

“I’m not out only to make a statement, but to go down in history as the best to ever compete under the ONE Championship banner” – Martin Nguyen

ONE: LEGENDS OF THE WORLD will be held in Malls of Asia Arena in Manila on 10 November 2017

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Bashir Ahmad embraces new role in ONE Championship

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Bashir Ahmad is appointed as the Senior Manager of Industry Partnerships, the role made to develop and strengthen the relationships between ONE Championship and various MMA gyms and promotions.

“EssentiallyI see myself doing what I did in Pakistan and working to accelerate the growth of MMA in Asia with other players in the MMA scene,” Ahmad explained.

As the pioneer of Pakistani MMA, Bashir Ahmad has worked to promote MMA in Pakistan, most notably the Shaheen Gym project, a non-profit gym which serves to take at-risk youth off the street with the appeal and focus of MMA. With his new position in ONE, Ahmad believes he will be better positioned to develop MMA in Asia, particularly in his hometown Pakistan.

“I think it’s a win-win. I’ve learned about developing MMA in a really difficult market – Pakistan, and I bring that experience with me.”

“On the flip side, I get work with one of the world’s most professional martial arts brands and bring those lessons to my mission in Pakistan.”

4-3 on his professional MMA career, Ahmad has been fighting for ONE Championship since April 2013 and became the first ONE Championship athlete to make the transition from into the management role in the promotion. Despite this additional role, Ahmad is adamant that his new role in ONE Championship does not take him away from active competition.

“100% not retired. I can certainly train. If Martin can beat Gafurov while being a full-time mechanic, I can certainly train when I work in the MMA industry for a living. It’s about time management and training smart.”

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