Angels Fighting (AFC) featherweight champion Ju Sang Yoo (30, Pinnacle MMA) captured the featherweight title of Japanese organization HEAT.
He defeated Takuya Kuramoto (30, Japan) by TKO (rear-naked choke) 24 seconds into the first round at “AFC 27-HEAT 52,” a co-feature event held by the two organizations at New Pier Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
Yoo was crowned AFC featherweight champion after defeating Shunichi Shimizu via decision at AFC 22 last December. The victory marked his first defense of the AFC title and second championship belt, while also extending his unbeaten streak to six fights since turning pro in 2021.
Yoo is a striker with great range. His strength is his timing of strikes, which is difficult for opponents to read.
Against Kuramoto, he unleashed a quick, crisp jab and straight, landed a surprise high kick to catch him off-guard, and landed a right hand straight as Kuramoto was pressed against the cage fence to get the takedown.
Yu has a calm demeanor and gentle demeanor, but when he’s up against the cage, he’s a cold-blooded killer. When Kuramoto grabbed his leg and tried to stall for time, he didn’t hesitate to unleash a barrage of ground-and-pound strikes. It took just 24 seconds to end the fight.
Yoo Joo Sang is an iconic AFC fighter who debuted and grew up in the organization. By becoming champion of two organizations, he has created a bridgehead to the major leagues.
AFC would like to open the door for him to join a major organization like the UFC if he wants to. “We would be very happy if Yoo Joo-sang plays on the big stage as an AFC representative,” said Park Ho-joon.
On the same day, the AFC played an 8-on-8 Korean-Japanese game against the Heat. The result was 3 wins and 5 losses.
Along with Yoo Joo-sang, high school fighters Jo Joon-gun and Jang Yoon-sung, a protégé of Chung Chan-sung, “Genius No. 2,” earned victories for AFC.
Flyweight Jo Jun-gun (17, Team Marco-The Gymlab) outstruck Axel Ryota (31, Japan) in the first round before scoring the KO victory with a back spin-block with one second left in the match. It was a “buzzer-beater” that went off at the same time as the closing buzzer.
After landing a calf kick to the shin, shifting his stance from side to side, and piling on the damage with punches, Cho finished the fight with a flurry of strikes as a desperate Axel Ryota rushed in.
Jo made his professional debut in the AFC last year and has been on a terrific run. He made a name for himself last December when he knocked out Kim Tae-hoon with a spinning back kick in 25 seconds. His professional record is 3 wins, 1 draw, and 1 loss.
Welterweight Jang Yoon Sung (22, Korean Zombie MMA) is another newcomer who debuted last year. Recently, he has shown promise in the AFC with two consecutive first-round finishes.
This time, he was outstruck by 29-fight (14-0) veteran Shoki Omichi (35, Japan), but showed his game management skills by using his wrestling to score takedowns and ground-and-pound from top position.
Jang didn’t look happy with the outcome of the fight after winning a third-round TKO, but he deserves credit for finding a way to break through in a fight that didn’t go as expected.
His record now stands at 4-1.
Son Min, Jeon Ho-cheol, and Song Hyun-jong were disappointed to see their matches come back from behind.
Son Min injured his ankle on a surprise toehold by Gaku Hirayama and lost via submission, while Jeon Ho Chul pressured Daichi Mikami from top position to take the first round, but was crushed by Mikami in the second and lost via TKO after a barrage of ground and pound.
Riding a five-fight win streak, Song Hyun Jong was forced to tap by Tomohiko Hori, 19-8, 17-0, with a rear-naked choke. First loss in his professional debut.
Jong-Joon Park drew attention with his wild and unorthodox offense in his kickboxing match with Yuto Ueno. However, he was outclassed by Ueno’s low kicks and lost a split decision.
In the main event kickboxing middleweight title bout, Yang Chang-won was unable to withstand the powerful punches of champion Aviral ‘The Himalayan Cheetah’ and was knocked out in the first round.
After taking a 6-2 lead in the first meeting between the two organizations in Seoul in April, AFC went on a 3-5 run in the second meeting to beat Heat with a combined 1-2 record of 9-7.먹튀검증
However, Park Ho-joon said, “I felt that Heat’s age and experience were great. I thought we would win easily this time, but we learned a lesson. If the third game is held, we will face them with stronger elite members.”