After one of the wildest knockouts of the year in 2021, Joshua Wang-Kim had social media buzzing and asking the same question over and over: “Where has this guy been hiding?”
The 5-1 Wang-Kim spent a lot of time on the amateur scene, finding almost nothing but success. The extended stay paid off as he jumped into the professional circuit and immediately made the impression of a lifetime. Less than two years after going pro, Wang-Kim and his flashy style stole the show in one of Cage Warriors’ trips to Southern California and put him on everybody’s radar.
“In the Cage Warriors fight, I kneed him in the face, he dropped and I secured the victory,” Wang-Kim explained. “I just felt calm, cool, and collected. My knee connected with his chin, he dropped, I put on the finishing touches, and it worked.”
Don’t let the “matter-of-fact” answer fool you, if a knee didn’t land a wheel kick or Superman punch might have. Wang-Kim’s striking style is tailor-made for DWCS, where wins aren’t necessarily enough to secure your spot in the UFC – you’ve got to be must-see TV.
Thus far, neither opponents nor the spotlight has been too much for Wang-Kim. His striking is not only some of the flashiest we’ll see this season, but it’s sometimes so smooth Wang-Kim doesn’t even appear to break a sweat. Judging from Dana White’s demand for excellence in week one, he’s going to need every advantage he can get.
“As a martial artist, I try to make everything as clean and as beautiful as possible,” Wang-Kim said. “Everything that I throw, I throw with a lot of assertiveness behind it, but it’s consistent repetition that I have ingrained with years and years of hard work that I put in. Contender Series is a great spotlight, a great platform to showcase who I am to the audience base. This is a good ground to show the world who I am, who my lineage is, and my style that I’ve been cultivating for 13 years. It’s my artistic experience that I want the audience to see.”
Winning is one of the best feelings a fighter could ask for, but long before landing his first strike to an opponent Wang-Kim was already working on honing his craft. Wang-Kim was years away from ever inflicting pain on a person when he was first starting to concern himself with the crispness and form of his striking. By the time he was “Packing the Mack” at Tuff-N-Uff he was already being compared to some of the greatest to ever suit up.
“When I fought for TUFF ‘N UFF they said I was a little bit Anderson Silva-ish and in my last fight I was a bit of a Jon Jones,” Wang-Kim said. “I think I’m myself. I’m unique, and when they see me move, they can try to relate and just see a martial artist and his expression. Everyone comes to the approach one dimensional, rudimentary, one-sided; I come at it with multiple angles and an ambidextrous feel.”
The one area Wang-Kim may fall short in if he secures a contract is the fight building aspect. Wang-Kim is polite and respectful to a fault, which he knows, but he hopes to let his performances speak for themselves.
So while he may have the exact opposite personality of Tank Abbott, his outlook on his reputation and star power is exactly the same. Let the fighting do the talking.
“At the end of the day, it’s an entertainment business,” Wang-Kim said. “For the fans, the entertainment comes with a little bit of witty rapport, s**t talking, stuff like that. I just like to walk the walk.”