Road Fighting Championship President Jung Mun-hong said the UFC is “cheap” for taking domestic talent without providing appropriate compensation to the organizations where the fighters honed their skills.
During a recent interview with The Korea Times, Jung expressed his frustration over losing former Road FC bantamweight champion Kang Kyung-ho to UFC after he signed a contract with the world’s biggest MMA organization in July. The 25-year-old won the Korean outfit’s inaugural title.
“Do you know how much of our resources we spend to discover and develop talent? It was a great loss for us,” Jung said. “However, Kang really wanted to go, so I let him, even though UFC didn’t pay anything to our organization.”
Jung said the harsh logic of capitalism is pervasive in the sport where UFC dominates noting, “They use their reputation to recruit talent, while the talent-builders like us get nothing.”
Korea has produced many top-class fighters such as Kim Dong-hyun and Jung Chan-sung, proving it has a wealth of talent. However, many young athletes do not have many opportunities to fight and develop in Korea. Jung said providing such chances to young fighters was the biggest motivation in starting Road FC.
“I really believe Korean fighters have great potential on the international stage. With a constant talent drain for nothing, however, it’s really tough to keep the domestic scene competitive,” Jung said. “But we have definitely made some progress over the past two years and now we are ready to revive the sport’s past glory here.”
Road FC is the largest MMA organization in Korea following the closure of Spirit MC in 2009.
“I think we have an edge in terms of having a better understanding about Asian culture. And I will stand up to high-handedness of the rich U.S. counterpart,” Jung said. “Let’s see how successful Korean talent can be without relying on the reputation of UFC.”
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