Going into UFC Fight Night 37 in Macau, China, Dong Hyun Kim will be riding a three-fight win streak. With that said, he is in dire need of a victory.
It isn’t common for a UFC fighter who is 10-2 inside the organization to be fighting lower-tier opponents. It’s even more uncommon for a fighter with the same record to be ranked outside of the top-10 in their respective division. That is just the case for Kim.
When Kim steps inside the octagon opposite John Hathaway, he will be ranked 11th in the UFC rankings (a controversial system). That either means the division is really deep (which it is) or Kim doesn’t necessarily get the respect he deserves (which he doesn’t). His only losses in his career are to welterweight title contender Carlos Condit and Demian Maia (following a rib injury).
Kim desperately needs the victory on Saturday, not to save his job, but to save any chance of him one day getting a shot at the contenders in the division. Of course, his opponent on Saturday is no pushover. Hathaway (17-1) has only lost once in his career to Mike Pyle. As impressive as Kim’s UFC record is, Hathaway holds a decent one as well (7-1).
Kim possesses all the tools to walk away with a victory, though it will most likely go to a decision considering the two styles. If he does win, the UFC owes the man at least a fight against a top-10 opponent. It doesn’t have to be a contender by any means, but at least someone who test whether or not Kim could be a contender one day.