Leandro Issa tried everything he could to finish Dae Hwan Kim at ONE: Immortal Pursuit but the South Korean somehow managed to survive for the full three rounds.[srizonfbvidsingle id=1628428827180366]
Issa, who had recently returned to ONE Championship after a short stint in the UFC, immediately took control of the contest. He stalked Kim early and forced his opponent’s back to the cage. With no room to move, Kim was forced to engage with Issa before being dragged to the mat.
Issa landed in half guard and began implementing his wealth of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu knowledge to apply heavy pressure to his grounded opponent. The Brazilian slid into side control and began raining down punches. Kim continually tried to scramble back to his feet and smartly attempted to use the cage to assist him in his efforts. He eventually worked back to his feet, but it wouldn’t be for long as Issa took him straight back down to the mat.
Round two looked much the same as the opening five minutes. Issa seemed to close the octagon in on Kim and removed his ability to operate in the center of the cage. The Brazilian secured yet another takedown and began working over his opponent from a number of positions. Kim managed to avoid being submitted but was on the receiving end of some hard elbows and punches throughout the round.
Kim’s efforts to stay in the contest were both impressive and surprising. He continually fought off Issa’s attempts at armlocks, arm-triangle chokes, while managing to defend just enough of Issa’s strikes to keep the referee from stopping the contest.
The unanimous decision victory was Leandro Issa’s second consecutive victory since returning to ONE Championship. The win also puts him in contention for a shot at the ONE Bantamweight World Championship in the future.
For Dae Hwan Kim, he managed to stick around for fifteen minutes against a tough opponent but was never able to implement his own game plan through the contest.
Jake is The Body Lock's Editor in Chief, based in Tasmania, Australia.