The 18th match will be presented in which Koreans decorate the UFC main and co-main events, the world’s No. 1 mixed martial arts organization.
UFC Fight Night 224 will be held on the 16th (hereinafter Korean time)안전놀이터 in Enterprise, Nevada, USA. The middleweight (-84 kg) match between Park Jun-yong (32) and Albert Durayev (34, Russia) is the co-main event.
Local relay broadcaster ESPN reported on June 19 that it became a reality. The main event is a women’s bantamweight (-61 kg) match between Holly Holm (42, USA) and Maira Buenu Silva (32, Brazil).
This means that the Co-Main Event is the second most important matchup after the Main Event. Park Joon-young will become the 7th Korean fighter to be treated as a TOP 4 star in a single UFC event, following Chansung Jung (36), Donghyun Kim (42), Hyungyu Lim (38), Dooho Choi (32), Dongyi Yang (39), and Daun Jeong (30).
Chan-sung Jung, Dong-hyun Kim, Hyun-gyu Lim, and Doo-ho Choi are still the only Korean players who have been recognized as the face responsible for the success of the UFC main event. It is noteworthy whether Park Jun-yong will succeed in appearing in the main event in the future, using the UFC Fight Night 224 co-main event as a stepping stone.
Park Jun-yong has won 6 wins and 2 losses since 2019 in the UFC, where he entered the UFC by winning the Russian Real Fight Middleweight Championship in 2018. If he defeats Durayev, he will rise to the joint third place with the most wins by a Korean.
Durayev was the 2016 welterweight (-77kg) and 2017-2018 middleweight champion at the Absolute Championship Berkut in Russia. After overcoming the aftermath of Corona 19, he entered the UFC through the Contender Series in 2021, and is recording 2 wins and 1 loss.
ACB changed its name to Absolute Championship Akhmat in 2019. ▲UFC ▲Bellator ▲Professional Fighters League (above) ▲ONE Championship (Singapore) ▲Rizin (Japan) ▲Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki (Poland) ▲Cage Warriors (UK) and mixed martial arts are grouped into nine major organizations.
The ‘Contender Series’ is a competition to discover prospects directly hosted by UFC President Dana White (54, USA). According to the ‘Fight Matrix’, a mixed martial arts ranking system, Park Jun-yong is ranked 26th in the UFC middleweight division with 171 points, while Duraev is ranked 34th with 130 points.
If Park Jun-yong is currently at a career high, Duraev had the highest score of 227 in the 4th quarter of 2018 and the 1st and 3rd quarters of 2019. At the time, he was rated as the 20th best middleweight in the UFC.
The inferiority of the physique, such as the height of 178-180 cm and wingspan (both arms + shoulders) of 185-191 cm, is also a variable. Park Jun-yong, who is also a regular member of JTBC’s soccer entertainment program ‘Come Together and Kick’ Season 2, is about to have an important match with Durayev in many ways.