Yui Chul Nam : MMA Prospects Report 2013

Lightweight Division

#9 Prospect: Yui Chul Nam



Yui Chul Nam’s nickname, “The Korean Bulldozer,” is an exact description of his fighting style. Nam has a penchant for barreling in like a juggernaut and testing the wills of his opponents.

Nam’s MMA career began in 2006 shortly after finishing up his service in the Korean army. He aligned himself with Korean Top Team and immediately began competing in South Korea’s Spirit MC promotion. Nam won consecutive 4-man, 1-night tournaments to start out his career, which instantly made him one of the top prospects to watch in the region. Following a nearly 2-year hiatus from 2006-2008, Nam returned to Spirit MC, where he once again won a 4-man, 1-night tournament to extend his record to 7-0 overall. Nam won 1 more fight in Spirit MC before departing for the M-1 promotion.

Nam’s M-1 stint did not go as envisioned. He struggled against stiffer competition, losing decisions to Mikhail Malyutin and future Bellator tournament winner Dave Jansen. Nam was able to salvage his stay by defeating future UFC Featherweight Hacran Dias, who had previously been undefeated. After going just 1-2 in the promotion, Nam moved on to Legend FC.

Nam appeared in Legend FC’s inaugural event, fighting to a close draw against Adrian Pang. Nam also began competing in South Korea’s Road FC promotion, fighting and winning via knockout on Road FC’s debut fight card. Nam has since continued to bounce around between both promotions, going 6-2 since 2011. Nam’s only losses during this time was a razor-thin decision against Pang and a submission loss to Legend FC Champion Jadamba Narantungalag.

Nam is currently riding a 3-fight win streak, highlighted by a recent decision win over fellow top prospect Takasuke Kume, which earned Nam the Road FC championship. Their first fight (video 1) was a back and forth war of attrition that could have gone either way. Nam and Kume are set to rematch for the title in October.

Camp/ Country:

Nam initially started training at Korean Top Team, but has since moved his camp to Team Posse. Both camps are considered solid training grounds for Korean fighters, though Korean Top Team has the better pedigree and seems to possess more connections to the UFC. Team Posse is starting to attract some better prospects, but it remains to be seen if they can get some of their fighters to the next level.

Career Forecast

Nam is a beast of a fighter. He is gritty, tough, and strong all blended into one. Nam is not the most technical of fighters though. He seems to throw his gameplan right out the window once the fight starts and this had led to a few of his losses. Nam is very fiery type fighter. He likes to get right in the face of his opponents during the pre-fight staredowns and usually comes out firing as soon as the bell rings. In a way this makes him very predictable and at times he gasses out towards the end of the rounds.

Nam is very comparable to his former teammate and recent UFC veteran Dongi Yang. Both are powerhouses and like to use their raw strength and tenacity, rather than play it safe for the scorecards. The problem is, as Yang’s UFC tenure revealed, that once you move up in competition level, your technique becomes so much more important. Nam is great at exploding with combinations, but then he gasses himself out and tries to play the clinch game until he is ready to go “hulk” again. This sort of fighting style does not lend itself towards consistent success, or at least it doesn’t at the UFC level.

The fact remains that Nam is an impressive fighter that could be a real force with some small tweaks to his fighting style. If he were able to improve his submission skills and pace himself just a bit, Nam could certainly be a UFC mainstay. He will have to make these needed changes quickly though as he is already 31 years old, and the door could be closing on his opportunity to fight in the UFC.


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Video 1: Nam vs. Takasuke Kume (2013)

Video 2: Nam Highlights

Other Links

Twitter: None
Sherdog Profile: http://www.sherdog.com/fighter/Yui-Chul-Nam-15987

The 2013 MMA Prospects Report

My 2013 Prospects Report started on June 1, 2013. All statistics, news, and info are reflected up to that date.
Fighters marked with a "+" after their name have since signed with a major promotion.
1. Darrell Montague +
2. Sergio Pettis +
3. Josh Sampo +
4. Sean Santella
5. Danny Martinez +
6. Mamoru Yamaguchi
7. Dileno Lopes
8. Ali Bagautinov +
9. Rafael de Freitas +
10. Jose Maria +

* Honorable Mentions
1. Henry Cejudo
2. Bibiano Fernandes +
3. Aljamain Sterling +
4. Marlon Moraes +
5. Sheymon Moraes
6. Josh Hill +
7. Chris Holdsworth +
8. Brandon Bender +
9. Kyoji Horiguchi +
10. Sirwan Kakai +

* Honorable Mentions
1. Lance Palmer +
2. Doo Ho Choi +
3. Chas Skelly+
4. Rick Glenn +
5. Jim Alers+
6. Ande Fili +
7. Gleristone Santos
8. Tom Niinimaki +
9. Goiti Yamauchi +
10.Chris Gruetzemacher +

* Honorable Mentions
1. Bubba Jenkins +
2. Justin Gaethje +
3. Gilbert Burns
4. Tony Martin +
5. Katsunori Kikuno +
6. Joe Ellenberger +
7. Carlos Ferreira+
8. Ivan Jorge +
9. Yui Chul Nam +
10. Nick Newell +

* Honorable Mentions
WelterweightMiddleweightLight HeavyweightHeavyweight
1. Alex Garcia +
2. Dhiego Lima +
3. Yan Cabral +
4. Cathal Pendred +
5. Rashid Magomedov +
6. Assan Njie
7. Myung Ho Bae
8. Mike Rhodes +
9. Hernani Perpetuo +
10. Chidi Njokuani

* Honorable Mentions
1. Mamed Khalidov
2. Elvis Mutapcic +
3. Michal Materla
4. Ramazan Emeev
5. Joseph Henle
6. Ricardo Abreu+
7. Bubba Bush
8. Jeremy Kimball +
9. Tim Williams +
10. Sean Strickland+

* Honorable Mentions
1. Robert Drysdale +
2. Tyrone Spong +
3. Patrick Cummins+
4. Jan Blachowicz+
5. Steve Bosse+
6. Kyle Cerminara
7. Viktor Nemkov
8. Max Nunes
9. Francimar Barroso +
10. Jake Butler

* Honorable Mentions
1. Steve Mocco +
2. Jared Rosholt +
3. Tony Johnson +
4. Guram Gugenishvili
5. Magomed Malikov
6. Satoshi Ishii
7. Derrick Lewis +
8. Chris Birchler
9. Walt Harris +
10. Ante Delija

* Honorable Mentions
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