Dong Hyun Kim must have known that question would come his way after defeating Dominic Waters in Seoul, South Korea. In reality, every fighter should expect the “who do you want next?” inquiry following any victory inside of the Octagon.
At least Kim, unlike many of the fighters on the roster who’d prefer to let matchmakers Joe Silva or Sean Shelby decide, had a fighter in mind. A familiar one, at that.
“I think that out of all the top 10 that [Demian Maia] would be the easiest to beat,” Kim said after the fight via MMAjunkie.
Kim previously faced Maia at UFC 148 in 2012, losing in just 47 seconds to the former middleweight title contender. He’d been dominated in the grappling exchanges up to the point of the stoppage, but would have likely continued further into the contest had he not suffered a muscle spasm resulting from a takedown from Maia.
Maia is currently ranked one spot above Kim in the UFC’s official rankings at 170 pounds, though that could potentially change following “Stun Gun’s” latest victory.
Aside from his loss to Maia, Kim has only ever lost to fellow top-10 fighters Carlos Condit and Tyron Woodley, though the losses to both Condit and Woodley came by a traditional TKO stoppage not stemming from an injury.
The first-round TKO victory over Waters puts Maia at 22-3 in his professional career. Twelve of his victories have come inside of the Octagon, with wins over fighters like Erick Silva, Josh Burkman, Paulo Thiago, Nate Diaz and T.J. Grant.