Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Choi Doo-ho Ready To Show New And Improved “Korean Superboy”

UFC featherweight Choi Doo-ho says that we’ll see a new and improved version of “Korean Superboy” when he returns to action next month.

Choi is set to enter the Octagon for the first time in over a year and a half. The South Korean will face Danny Chavez on the UFC’s July 31 Fight Night card.

Having burst onto MMA’s biggest stage with three consecutive first-round knockouts, Choi’s last four years have seen setback after setback halt his rise in the sport.

Inside the cage, a three-fight losing skid that includes defeats to Cub Swanson, Jeremy Stephens and Charles Jourdain saw Choi firmly pushed away from the 145-pound rankings.

Outside of it, injuries to his knee, arm and eye left the 30-year-old contemplating retirement. Mandatory military service only added to the extra trials and tribulations Choi was facing away from MMA.

But having come out on the side, “Korean Superboy” is promising a rapid resurgence to his UFC form of old, starting with a victory over “The Colombian Warrior.”

In an interview with SCMP MMA ahead of his highly anticipated return, Choi Doo-ho spoke about his struggles after the Jourdain loss, revealing how close he came to hanging up his gloves.

“After the fight it was a mixture of emotions,” Choi said. “If I lost that fight because of my skills, because my opponent was better than me, I wouldn’t have felt that way. But I knew I lost because of my injury during the fight and that really made me depressed. 

“I was thinking I should quit, if I should just retire. But I just wanted some time to think about it and recover first. And until now, I believe if I didn’t have that injury I would’ve won. It was my fight. This is my second chance to prove that.”

But having battled hard to make his way back to the Octagon, Choi believes he can immediately compete with those currently in the featherweight top 15.

“I do believe I’m still up there skill-wise,” Choi said. “I don’t believe those guys at the top 15 are way better than me. I think I’m at that level. As long as I train hard and keep myself healthy, I’ll be up there again.

“Compared to when I had my three-fight winning streak, I feel way stronger, way better. I improved so much. I believe this will be a new Doo Ho Choi. I’m ready to show a new, improved ‘Korean Superboy’. And I hope the fans support me.”

The Ultimate Fighter Finale: Choi vs. Tavares (Image Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Choi will look to have his hand raised when he returns to action next month, but his opponent will look to crash the Korean’s homecoming.

Chavez has only been finished once in his 15-fight career and has never been knocked out. Choi will look to change that statistic on July 31.

Do you think Choi Doo-ho can get back to his best when he makes his UFC return?