Bantamweight prospect Josh Wang-Kim (4-0) impressed in his Cage Warriors debut this past weekend, moving to 4-0 as a professional as part of the main card of Cage Warriors 130 live from San Diego, California.
Taking on fellow promotional newcomer Jose Hernandez, Wang-Kim was able to show off his grappling skills early in the bout. After opening with a lead-leg hook kick, Wang-Kim threw a head kick followed by a spinning back-fist attempt that allowed Hernandez to wrap him up and get the easy takedown.
Wang-Kim immediately rolled and looked for a leg-lock to begin a whirlwind grappling series that saw him nearly lock up a triangle choke then an armbar, briefly threaten a kimura, then try for another armbar as Hernandez postured up on him before finally returning to his feet.
The rest of round one was largely a striking contest, though Hernandez was clearly looking to get things back to the ground in spite of the submission attempts he had navigated early in the round.
Wang-Kim was able to use his length to keep Hernandez on the back foot without much difficulty, and when the two fighters did get in close, Wang-Kim punished Hernandez with knees in the clinch before breaking away.
Round two saw Wang-Kim get right back to work in the striking, regularly switching stances and easily moving out of range when Hernandez did try to fire back or close the distance for a takedown attempt.
The finish eventually came when Wang-Kim dropped Hernandez with a hard knee to the head in the clinch, then followed up with strikes on the ground until the ref stepped in.
While Wang-Kim’s record now stands at an impressive but fledgling 4-0 since turning pro in 2020, the twenty-eight-year-old from San Diego began his amateur career in 2015 and compiled a 15-1 record with eleven finishes; his only loss came via a split-decision.
No conversation about Wang-Kim as a prospect would be complete without mentioning his twin brother and fellow fighter, John Wang-Kim. Both men compiled identical 15-1 amateur records and have often fought on the same cards, including in 2020 at CCW: Ragnarok when John won his pro debut and Josh moved to 2-0.
This was easily the most high-profile win of Wang-Kim’s young pro career, earning a victory on the main card of a well-known promotion and an event being broadcast on UFC Fight Pass.
While earning a shot with Cage Warriors may have been partially due to this event taking place in Wang-Kim’s home of San Diego, hopefully the impressive victory and social media buzz generated from his performance will encourage the UK-based promotion or another top tier developmental show to invest further in Wang-Kim’s future.