Dong Hyun Kim is Relishing the Boos in Belfast against Gunni

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Dong Hyun Kim has promised to throw a “wet blanket” over the crowd at UFC Belfast on November 19, when he stars alongside Gunnar Nelson in the main event at the SSE Arena.

Despite Nelson being heralded as one of the best grappling proponents out of Europe, Kim is confident that the Icelandic welterweight’s skillset will bring his own ability to the forefront.

“I will prove my advanced MMA grappling skills through his stellar jiu-jitsu. The strategy is to flow like water in every contact and find his weakness,” said Kim.

The Irish fans have provided a colourful backdrop to each event UFC have brought to the Emerald Isle.

Nelson is thought of as one of the Irish contingent due to his links with John Kavanagh’s SBG gym, and is likely to get a hometown reception when he takes to the Octagon in Northern Ireland.

While many see it as an advantage to fight with the backing of a supportive crowd, Kim claims that he prefers to fight on his opponents’ turf.

“That kind of loud and passionate atmosphere can be both an advantage and a weakness. There’s enormous pressure towards the fight so I personally prefer to fight at enemy’s turf,” he said.

To add to that, Kim maintains that ‘Gunni’ isn’t the type that enjoys a lot of attention and hopes that the added pressure will help to victory at the SSE Arena.

“I don’t know exactly how Gunnar is, but my feeling is that he’s not the type that fully enjoys that kind of an attention like Conor McGregor,” Kim said.

“I’ll probably walk in to the octagon with a lot of ‘boo’s, but if I put up a good fight, the audience will be clapping as I walk out.”

“There will be no one that will want my victory at Belfast, and I will throw that wet blanket and just quietly come home with my fight money.”

When asked what would be the difference between him and Nelson, Kim pointed to his mentality as the deciding factor in the contest.

He said: “It’s my mentality that will bring me victory. I am stronger at an opponent’s turf. It’s easier to ruin another man’s party than safeguarding it.

“I did not make 12 wins just out of grappling – and I will show what got me the 12 wins at the octagon.”

@PetesyCarroll

Peter Carroll is Severe MMA's lead feature writer. He has been featured in many top publications and some rubbish ones too. He also writes for the Irish Daily Mirror and Vice's Fightland.