Issa, from Brazil, is 10-2 overall and has won his last seven fights while Kim, a Korean, is 6-4 and is coming off two very impressive wins of his own.
At just 20-years old, Kim is one of the best prospects in Asia and really showed his potential when he knocked out Sengoku and Pancrase veteran Shoku Sato in the fourth round of their fight at Road FC 8.
He followed that up with another impressive win over URCC champion Kevin Belingon at ONE FC: Pride of a Nation which catapulted him into title contention.
Issa has long been expected to challenge for the bantamweight belt as he has won back to back decisions over Kim last September and Japanese veteran Masakazu Imanari in June. He is a BJJ black belt and a member of the fight team at the world renowned Evolve MMA camp in Singapore.
Interestingly the first time they fought Kim finished very strongly and was extremely aggressive in the final round. With the title match set for five rounds this could be a factor in his favor and he also showcased some impressive stamina in the win over Belingon.
The last time they met Issa was able to rough Kim up with knees and elbows on the ground but, to his frustration, could not find a submission finish despite getting in some good positions. The Brazilian will want to win more decisively this time around while Kim feels he came close enough to winning the first fight to be confident that with another year’s training under his belt he will be good enough to walk away with the belt after the rematch.
ONE FC: ‘Rise of the Kings’ is taking place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on October 6th. For more information visit: www.onefc.com.
PHOTO CREDIT – ONE FC