ROAD Fighting Championship will have its first event of 2016 on January 31st at Jangchung Gymnasium in Seoul, South Korea. ROAD FC 28 will be headlined by Middleweight Champion Riki Fukuda making the first defense of his title against Korean Cha Jung-Hwan.
The Japanese veteran, Riki Fukuda (23-7), and current ROAD FC Middleweight Champion has streamrolled the competition ever since he enter the cage for the Korean promotion. Fukuda has made it look easy by going undefeated and knocking out every fighter on his way to winning the title back at ROAD FC 24 in Japan against a young and powerful but inexperience Jeon Uh-Jin.
His opponent, “Stone Cutter” Cha Jung-Hwan (11-6-3), is considered one of the pioneers of Korean MMA. He is returning to the cage after being out for over a year and moving up to middleweight to challenge for the title.
During his long career, “Stone Cutter” has fought for many promotions and holds knockout finishes over Igor Gracie and Ryo Chonan. In his most recent bout at ROAD FC 19, Cha toughed out an unanimous decision over UFC veteran Alexandre Barros. He is 2-1-2 for ROAD FC with his only loss coming to current UFC middleweight Roan Carneiro.
Many might be puzzled by the matchup since Cha is a welterweight moving up a weight class and he has been on hiatus for over a year but people need to consider that the Korean started his career at 185lb and the middleweight division in Asia is not that deep and finding individuals to step up to fight a gritty and hard-nosed champion like Riki Fukuda is a hard task.
At the end of the day, this will be a good challenge for the champion and maybe the key to getting back to the UFC and if Cha pulls it off he can obtain a title that has been eluding him for his whole career.