Japanese UFC newcomer Syuri Kondo successfully debuted at UFC Fight Night 117 in Japan. Kondo outworked the 20-year-old Chan Mi Jeon over the course of three rounds to score a split decision victory in the eyes of the judges.
Kondo outworked the 20-year-old Chan Mi Jeon over the course of three rounds to score a split decision victory in the eyes of the judges. Her constant forward movement would smother Chan Mi Jeon’s operating room and not allow her opponent to plant her feet for combinations. Despite another valiant effort from Chan Mi Jeon, she would fall just short highlighting that she may need some more time to further develop her skillset before returning to the octagon.
Syuri Kondo’s gameplan was clear from the very beginning. Her approach was to exchange with Chan Mi Jeon at close range and fluster her opponent. Chan Mi Jeon has the most success at the edge of her range and would often run to the middle of the octagon to escape these tight exchanges and reset the distance between herself and her Kondo.
In the first round, Jeon connected with a hard combination before Kondo returned fire immediately by dropping her to the mat. Jeon and Kondo continued to brawl towards the end of the first round and, like always, Jeon began to smile as she tasted the power of Kondo.
— UFC (@ufc) September 23, 2017
Syuri Kondo’s strength was a major factor in this fight. In the clinch and the close exchanges, she would overwhelm Jeon. Jeon was consistently forced to re-adjust her feet and stance every time Kondo stormed forward and closed the distance.
An eye poke in the last round sparked a final flurry from Chan Mi Jeon, but it would not be enough to sway two of the judges.
Syuri Kondo and Chan Mi Jeon can brawl. Despite Kondo controlling the majority of the action, Chan Mi Jeon stands out in this fight for another great display of heart, determination, and willingness to put her body on the line. We’ll remember the back-and-forth flurries between both of these fighters.
Fight rating: 65/100
Syuri Kondo is a strong, intelligent and extremely composed mixed martial artist. She remained patient and waited for her opportunities, never forcing anything in the fight. She executed her gameplan perfectly and connected with damaging shots for the entire 15 minutes. Kondo even showed a decent chin, as she took some of Jeon’s best shots cleanly.
Chan Mi Jeon
Chan Mi Jeon is incredibly gritty and tough. She remained aggressive even after taking Kondo’s powerful punches and fought bravely in the final minutes of the fight in an attempt to steal the decision.
At distance, she’s capable of controlling the striking exchanges and has significant power in her straight punches and kicks. She’s currently developing a Muay Thai style and with further improvements, she’ll be a force to reckon with. Chan Mi Jeon needs another 8-12 months of training before competing with anyone that isn’t an inexperienced UFC newcomer.
Jake is The Body Lock's Editor in Chief, based in Tasmania, Australia.