Former Road FC lightweight champion A Sol Kwon is a man on a mission.

Nearly six months after losing his  title to French submission specialist Mansour Barnaoui, the South Korean’s competitive fire is burning intensely. He says he is more driven than ever to recapture his lost glory,

“I will get my belt back,” he declared through his translator.

“My ultimate goal is to become a champion again, so I will go up against whoever it is necessary to get there.”

A Sol Kwon ground and pound

Long reign

Kwon’s road back to the belt brings him up against Russian stalwart Shamil Zavurov with a three-round encounter taking place in the main event of Road FC 56, live from the Jinnam Gymnasium in Yeosu, South Korea on Saturday.

The 33-year-old Mokpo native relinquished his possession of the gold-plated strap, yielding to Barnaoui by way of first-round submission this past May. The heartbreaking setback is still something that does not sit well with Kwon,

“I was champion for 1735 days. It was hard for me. Though it was difficult on my part, I take full responsibility. That’s why I want to fight again. I am here to put myself back into title contention. I want that belt back,” he said.

The promotion’s lightweight roster has no shortage of fighters that are vying for a shot at Barnaoui’s lightweight crown. But while he does not want to second-guess Road FC’s matchmakers, Kwon believes a win on Saturday could earn him an immediate title shot,

“I hope that after I beat him, I can get a shot. His record looks good. He defeated some quality fighters in Road FC and in other organizations,” he stated.

“I rate him very highly. He is a great grappler who possesses fantastic control. He has heavy hands as well. He doesn’t get tired that easily, and he is a veteran. I am very happy that he is my opponent,” Kwon added.

Barnaoui and Kwon1

Near perfect

Zavurov’s run in the promotion is near perfect, losing only once in his last five fights under its banner. His lone defeat came at the hands of Barnaoui via third-round knockout in the finals of the $1 Million Lightweight Tournament at Road FC 53 last February.

Both men have the same goal of earning a second date with Barnaoui, but before he can get lost in thoughts of vying for the Road FC lightweight title, Kwon understands that just a win will not be enough to secure number one contender status,

Kwon believes that he has to beat Zavurov in style to make a statement and secure his title opportunity,

“I need to finish him,” he revealed. “This win can’t be a normal win. It has to be very aggressive. It has to have a big impact, so I can say I’m the rightful challenger for the lightweight title.”

Although nothing has been set in stone yet, Kwon promises that he will not rest until his quest leads him back to the title.

“I want to get my title back as soon as possible. If I win this fight, whenever Road FC wants to give me the shot, I will be ready. If they want to give it to me after this fight, then that would great.”