After nine years, Korea’s NeoFight returns with a lightweight tournament

Lee Kwang-Hee
“Crazy” Lee Kwang-Hee

After nine years, Korea’s NeoFight resumes operation with a card on 6 September 2018. On NeoFight 13, Korean OG Lee Kwang-Hee returns and the opening round of a lightweight tournament will be held.

NeoFight started in 2003 as an effort to raise Korea’s MMA scene to the fervor of PRIDE and K-1 that Japan was enjoying. The promotion was originally organized by Scott Sung-Yeel Seo, hapkido master and world representative, and he remains the impetus for the revival.

NeoFight 1 was an ambitious undertaking held in the JangChung Gymnasium. The heavyweight tournament winner Jin-Ho Yang was awarded a respectable $30,000USD and the middleweight tournament winner Scott Sheeley got $23,000USD, with the remaining fighters splitting $30,000USD between them, according to Black Belt Magazine in December 2003.

Ten more events were held over the course of the next four years across Korea, including a two-day tournament event and a 3-day event. Much of the MMA market in Asia dropped in 2007, and NeoFight did not avoid the pinch. It came back with a single event in 2009 that included Seo Doo-Won, Yang Hae-Jun, one of the first Muay Thai fighters to cross over into MMA Berneung Sakhomsin, and TUF veteran Ray Elbe.

Veterans from NeoFight include ROAD FC lightweight champ Kwon A-Sol, “Icepick” Lim Jae-Seok, “Armbar” Kim Chang-Hyun, UFC veteran Bang Tae-Hyun, Myung Hyun-Man, Kim Do-Hyung, and Choi Seung-Pil.

NeoFight 13 will host two of the original fighters: “Crazy” Lee Kwang-Hee and “Dragonball” Jung Doo-Je. Lee will be in the main event match versus Japanese journeyman Yuta Namakura at possibly welterweight, as Namakura is booked at Pancrase’s 300th event for that division. Jung will be facing China’s Bideliya in the opening round of of an 8-man lightweight tournament.

There will also be women’s match on the card, with kickboxer Park Bo-Hyun and grappler Jung Seo-Yoon.

NeoFight 13
6 September 2018
Seoul, South Korea

Main event
Kwang-Hee Lee vs Yuta Nakamura

Lightweight Tournament Opening Round
Doo-Je Jung vs Bideliya

Lightweight Tournament Opening Round
Young-Uk Woo vs Jae-Uk Myung

Lightweight Tournament Opening Round
Min-Gun Kim vs Min-Hyung Kim

Lightweight Tournament Opening Round
Eun-Ho Choi vs Sung-Dae Kang

Lightweight Tournament Opening Round
Sung-Hwan Cho vs Soo-Hwan Oh

Women’s match
Bo-Hyun Park vs Seo-Yoon Jung

Jun-Young Hong vs Jian Kai Chee


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