5 Things To Know About South Korean MMA Phenom Jin Tae Ho
Jin Tae Ho exploded into ONE Championship in highlight-reel fashion.
The South Korean showman charmed the global fan base when he submitted former ONE World Title challenger Agilan Thani in just two-and-a-half minutes. Now, he’s looking for an encore performance.
On July 22, Jin will collide with Brazilian knockout artist Valmir Da Silva in a welterweight mixed martial arts contest at ONE 159: De Ridder vs. Bigdash in Singapore.
Da Silva has eight victories to his name – and has knocked out all of those opponents – but the Seoul native has momentum on his side and intends to keep rolling.
Before the 33-year-old steps into the Circle against Da Silva, here are five things you may not know about him.
#1 He’s A Massive Bruce Lee Fan
Like many other competitors, Jin was instantly hooked on martial arts icon Bruce Lee.
The South Korean watched Lee’s most popular films, such as “Enter The Dragon,” and he was fascinated by the Hong Kong legend’s technique and ability.
In fact, that obsession led to his career in the all-around sport.
“I first started MMA because I loved Bruce Lee, so I started looking for gyms where I could learn all his movements, and I was only able to find an MMA gym. That’s how I started.”
#2 He Has Experience In Various Disciplines
Jin is now fully committed to MMA, but he trained in several other martial arts along the way.
His journey includes some impressive achievements in the striking arts. However, he’s hesitant to advance his belt ranking in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu due to personal reasons.
The South Korean said:
“I’m a black belt in aikido, a black belt in taekwondo, and I’m actually a blue belt in BJJ for more than 10 years because my master passed away, and I refused to be promoted by anybody else.”
#3 He’s Got A Unique Nickname
Most mixed martial artists pick intimidating nicknames that strike fear into opponents – but not Jin.
Instead, the rising star is known as “Camellia,” which is actually quite endearing and holds a deep meaning.
“I got the nickname from my former coach. The name means that camellia blooms late compared to the other flowers and it’s more beautiful than any other flower. And I became a champion at a late age after going through a lot, just like the camellia. So, he gave me that name.”
#4 He’s On A Six-Fight Winning Streak
Jin experienced mixed results at the beginning of his MMA career, but he’s truly found his strike over the past few years.
Since 2019, the South Korean has put together a six-fight winning streak while claiming the DGFC Welterweight Title.
The Seoul native credits his brilliant run to finally discovering the division where he competes at his best, as well as tweaking his preparation.
“I think the biggest thing [about going on a winning streak] was the weight class. I cut too much weight before. Now that I’ve found a perfect weight class, I’m showing my true potential. And even with training, I used to only focus on losing weight. But now, I’m focused on improving my skills and training with teammates. That helped me a lot.”
#5 He Loves Kazushi Sakuraba
From the minute Jin walked into the Circle for his promotional debut in April, fans could instantly tell that he was a big fan of Japanese MMA legend Kazushi Sakuraba.
The South Korean wore the same kind of fight shorts that Sakuraba was known for and then pulled off the type of finish that would make the icon smile.
In his post-fight victory, Jin even acknowledged his fandom.
“I feel like I’m going to fly. I’m so happy, and I hope Sakuraba watched this and leaves me a DM and tells me congratulations. I would be so honored.”