TOP FC 5 recap: Choi Young-Gwang tops Jo Seung-Won to become Featherweight Champion

TOP FC 5Featherweight title  Choi Young-Gwang defeats Jo Seung-Won
TOP FC 5Featherweight title Choi Young-Gwang defeats Jo Seung-Won


TOP FC 5 took place in Busan, South Korea on Feburary 7, 2015. Choi Young-Gwang defeated Jo Seung-Won to become the first official Featherweight Champion, Kwak Kwan-Ho stayed unblemished, and Kim Jae-Young continued his streak.


It was a cold day in the southern port city of Busan, South Korea but the fury kept the fans in attendance filled with adrenaline. The night was action-packed to say the least with five of the seven contests on the main card ending in TKO finishes. However, the story of the night was the battle of attrition put forth by the two finalists in the Featherweight Grand Prix finals.


Courtesy of TOP FC
Courtesy of TOP FC

Choi Young-Gwang defeats Jo Seung-Won

The main event was the perfect example of two warriors going to battle and fighting for what they thought was rightfully theirs. Despite Choi Young-Gwang landed more strikes on the feet and winning all the rounds, Jo Seung-Won showed that he has no quit in him and kept pushing forward until the sound of the final bell. This was one of the most entertaining bouts in the history of the TOP FC organization.


From the start of the fight, Choi was connecting with all kinds of strikes. When he would engage, he would throw an overhand right or hook to get in range to connect with pinpoint elbows. Occasionally, the NOVA MMA standout landed looping uppercuts and hooks to the body. Also, he did a great job of positioning himself at the perfect distance so the lankier Jo Seung-Won had a difficult time connecting with punches.


Nevertheless, the TEAM MAD representative just ate all the shots and kept rolling forward like a walker from The Walking Dead. Jo tried to mix up his standup with punches and kicks but Choi ducked under a lot of strikes and covered up when needed. At the end of the first, however, Jo dropped Choi twice with a sequence of left and right hooks. Even though Choi got back to his feet, Jo slammed his opponent to the ground and immediately got into mount and reigned down elbows until the bell rang.

Courtesy of TOP FC
Courtesy of TOP FC


The second began with Choi attacking the midsection and then following up with punches and elbows to the head that had Jo in all kinds of trouble. Most of the round had Choi controlling the cage with his crisp boxing and counters. He was a little more patience in his strategy, and therefore, landing more than his adversary. At the end of the round, Jo’s face was unrecognizable and Choi’s lip was three times the original size.


In the third round, after a few brief moments of dancing around Choi attempted and completed an unexpected double-leg takedown. This did not last long because Jo did a phenomenal job defending from the bottom position and finally got back up. Both fighters were bloodied and fatigued but they still threw every punch with intentions to knock out the other. In the last minute, they were going blow for blow with punches and kicks landing from all directions.


All three judges gave the fight to Choi Young-Gwang crowning him the first official Featherweight Champion of TOP FC. There is a long list of contenders that the champion has ahead of him in the organization. One fight that would be interesting to see is a rematch against Han Sung-Hwa, who the champion lost to about a year ago via TKO in the second round. Nonetheless, whoever Choi fights next will probably be just as entertaining as the last.


Kim Jae-Young defeats Ryan Biglar

In the co-main event of the evening, TOP FC veteran Kim Jae-Young and former PXC title contender Ryan Biglar went to battle in the middleweight division. Kim dominated the fight with his extraordinary boxing and top game.


Kim Jae-Young Courtesy of TOP FC
Kim Jae-Young
Courtesy of TOP FC

Early in the first, he dropped Biglar with a left hook and punished him with strikes from half guard. From there, Kim pressed Biglar and peppered him with punches on the ground with a kimura attempt. Although the Guam-native got back to his feet and started to bang with Kim, it was unfruitful. Kim again got Biglar on the fence and then a huge knee dropped him to the mat. The South Korean connected with ten or so unanswered hammerfists. The ref saw enough and stopped the fight.


The Incheon NOVA MMA mainstay has now won six in a row for Top FC and many consider him to be the best middleweight in South Korea. At the event, there were banners stating for the UFC to sign him. There have been rumblings that the UFC will have its first event in South Korea this year, if everything lines up right this could come to fruition.


Kwak Kwan-Ho Courtesy of TOP FC
Kwak Kwan-Ho
Courtesy of TOP FC

Kwak Kwan-Ho defeats Choi Jae-Won

Another stand-out for the TOP FC organization is bantamweight Kwak Kwan-Ho. He was originally supposed to face PXC veteran Ricky Camp but he was replaced by newcomer Choi Jae-Won of Paraestra Seoul.


Kwak started the fight off with a kick heavy attack with flying knees mixed in. He eventually connected with a right kick to the body and Choi was hurt. The KTT rep swarmed but fell when he missed with another kick to the head which allowed Choi to recover. A little later in the round, Choi rushed in and blasted Kwak with a left hook that dropped him. After a couple more shots, Choi backed off for no apparent reason and granted Kwak time to get his senses back in line.



Kwak Kwan-Ho Courtesy of TOP FC
Kwak Kwan-Ho
Courtesy of TOP FC

In the second round, Choi would regret not going for the finish. While he was walking forward, Kwak threw a spinning back kick that sunk into his opponent’s midsection. Undoubtedly in all kinds of pain, Choi ran towards the other side of the cage and Kwak followed throwing shots to the head but it was the knee to the top of the head that made the ref jump in.


The TOP FC promotion is doing an outstanding job bringing up this youngster. He has five professional bouts with all of them ending via TKO. The next step would be to put the 25 year old in the cage with a veteran that has more than ten fights and see if he can put on another spectacular show.


February 7, 2015
Busan, South Korea

-66kg Featherweight Title Match:
Jo Sung-Won (Team MAD) vs Choi Young-Gwang (Nova MMA)

Winner: Choi Young-Gwang, Unanimous Decision (3:0)

-84kg Middleweight Match:
Kim Jae-Young (Nova MMA) vs Ryan Bigler (Spike 22/Countershot MMA)

Winner: Kim Jae-Young, 1st Round TKO (4:55)

-61kg Bantamweight Match:
Kwak Kwan-Ho (Korean Top Team) vs Choi Jae-Won (Paraestra Seoul)

Winner: Kwak Kwan-Ho, 2nd Round TKO (0:38)

-66kg Featherweight Match:
Kim Dong-Gyu (Tristone) vs Robert Wusstig (Spike 22/Countershot MMA)

Winner: Kim Dong-Gyu, 3rd Round TKO Doctor Stoppage (Cut)

-70 Lightweight Match:
Kang Jung-Min (East Heaven White Mountain) vs Lee Dong-Young (Tristone)

Winner: Kang Jung-Min, 1st Round TKO (2:08)

-76 Catchweight Match:
Kim Do-Hyung (Fist Gym) vs Kanazawa Isamu (Philoctetes Niigata)

Winner: Kim Do-Hyung, 1st Round TKO (0:25)

-80 Catchweight Match:
Lee Han-Geon (Extreme Combat) vs Yoon Duk-No (Korean Top Team)

Winner: Lee Han-Geon, Split Decision (2:1)