The Man In The Background! Kim Jong Won
Name: Kim Jong Won
Born: November 20th, 1975
Height: 170 cm
Fighting Style: Judo
MMA Record: 0-0
Dojo: Team Yoon
Kim Jong Won began taking Judo in elementary school. He started to stand out in his second year in junior high-school where he won most of the tournaments he participated in. By eleventh grade he competed in the 60 kg class and dominated many tournaments in South Korea. He was chosen as a South Korean Judo representative while he was still in high school, something that doesn’t happen everyday. He was chosen to participate in the Atlanta Olympics when he was a second year student in University.
November 19th, 1989: Sungkop Tournament, 60 kg, 1st place
October 1st, 1995: Judo World Championships, 60 kg, 7th place
November 21st, 1995: Asian Judo Championships, 60 kg, 3rd place
July 26th, 1996: Atlanta Olympics, 60 kg, 9th place
July 27th, 1997: Pacific Rim Judo Championships, 65 kg, 1st place
November 23rd, 1997: Asian Judo Championships, 65 kg, 1st place
The Man In The Background
Kim retired from Judo and returned to his private life at quite an early age. Years later, while preparing to become a professional golfer, he accompanied Yoon Dong Sik and saw some MMA fights. His interest grew and he started to seriously consider switching to MMA. When Team Yoon was formed, he began training MMA regularly.
He is the man in the background whenever Yoon fights. You can see him in Yoon’s corner and as a sparring partner in Yoon’s pre-fight public training sessions.
He was supposed to make his MMA debut in 2008, but the event that he was going to participate in never took place. He was planning to participate at Lightweight but after seeing the Lightweight fights in DREAM he thought that his own experience is insufficient for the Lightweight division so he decided to drop to Featherweight.
He trains his grappling at Team Yoon and his stand-up with K-1 fighter K.MAX, who placed second in the K-1 World MAX 2008 Asia tournament.
Kim says that his condition right now is the best (including his Judo days). Observing and being the second of Yoon Dong Sik and Jung Bukyung, he knows that he cannot just go into MMA and win with Judo alone. He has been practicing MMA for a year and a half now in wait for his debut fight. Fighters he look up to are Wanderlei Silva and Georges St. Pierre.