Dooho Choi : The Superboy’s Korean Homecoming
By James Lee
When Dooho Choi was called up to do mandatory military service this year, it seemed unlikely the fighting world would see him compete for quite a while.
However, with the UFC visiting South Korea this Saturday for the second time in the promotion’s history, he has been given the opportunity to fight against Charles Jourdain in front of over 14,000 in the Sajik Arena.
As his training partner Chan Sung Jung found out, military service can have a detrimental impact on a career. ‘The Korean Zombie’ lost three-and-a-half years because of it and only returned to the octagon in February 2017 after losing a featherweight title fight against Jose Aldo in August 2013.
Fortunately for Choi, it seems unlikely his career trajectory will have as big of an effect as it did to his fellow fighter, but it should still impact it significantly. Especially if he loses to his Canadian opponent on the main card.
Of course the event being in Busan will add pressure to him, but surely the fans are just appreciative and surprised he is fighting so early.
It can’t be forgotten the magnitude of the fight for Choi however. His UFC career could be on the line with a third straight loss.
After he finished his first three fights in the promotion, he fell short to featherweight veteran’s Cub Swanson and Jeremy Stephens in his last two contests.
His fight excitement should save him but he must be cautious. A loss in front of his home crowd wouldn’t be ideal.
On the flip side, a win will spark his flame, potentially ready for another UFC appearance in 2020 if they return to South Korea again.
Fans have probably forgotten how much attention he gained when he first entered the UFC and that skill has not gone. A finish over Jourdian will bring back the hype fans know he can deliver on.
Ultimately, the Superboy’s Korean homecoming is set to be special, but the importance of it should not go understated.