Welcome back, Korean Zombie!
Chan Sung Jung, better known as “The Korean Zombie,” was successful in his return to MMA following a three-and-a-half-year layoff. He showed very little ring rust by dispatching #9 ranked featherweight Dennis Bermudez in the first round. Let’s talk about what we saw from Korean Zombie, and what his future at 145 lbs might look like.
Obviously, a decisive knockout win over the #9 fighter means we can expect Korean Zombie to break into the top 10. Realistically we know Zombie to be a top 5 featherweight, but his lay off essentially makes him start over. The division has changed drastically, and his old wins over Dustin Poirier and Mark Hominick don’t count for much in 2017.
Going off of the UFC’s official rankings for the featherweight division, I assume Zombie will slide in at #6 to look like this:
C. Jose Aldo
1. Max Holloway (IC)
2. Frankie Edgar
3. Ricardo Lamas
4. Cub Swanson
5. Jeremy Stephens
6. Korean Zombie
7. Charles Oliveira
8. Yair Rodriguez
9. Brian Ortega
10. Dooho Choi
11. Dennis Bermudez
12. Darren Elkins
13. Mirsad Bektic
14. Renane Barao
15. Andre Fili
*Note: I removed Anthony Pettis from rankings since he will likely be moving back up to 155 lbs for his next fight.
Korean Zombie’s right uppercut met Bermudez’s chin around three minutes into the first round. The shot crumpled Bermudez, allowing Zombie to follow up with a few more shots before getting the ref stoppage. It wasn’t much to go off of, but impressive nonetheless.
In the fight we saw Zombie put tremendous pressure on Berumudez as he continually walked him down to cut off the cage. Even though Bermudez was able to stun him with an overhand right, we know Zombie’s chin is made of granite. Korean Zombie recovered quickly, and went straight back to pressuring.
Zombie’s offense looked to be primarily boxing oriented, and much improved from year’s past. Mechanically-speaking, it’s clear that Zombie has been putting in some work in his time off.
Further more, we saw Zombie stuff Bermudez’s takedowns with ease, and threaten with his own. Zombie is known for having one of the slickest ground games in the division – remember when he pulled off the first twister in the UFC against Leonard Garcia?
Overall, it was a very sound performance from Zombie. For not competing in three-and-a-half-years, he looked as dangerous as ever.
After seeing the Korean Zombie take out Dennis Bermudez, you have to wonder how far he will go. It’s clear that Zombie is more refined, more mature, and more lethal than before. With that said, I would like to see the UFC give him another small test before throwing him at the title.
We saw Jose Aldo against a younger Korean Zombie, and even though Zombie held his own, there was a big difference in striking ability. I think it would be a much different fight in 2017, but Zombie for sure needs to earn his way back up.
Following Korean Zombie’s win, #5 Jeremy Stephens was quick to call him out. I really like this fight, especially being in Kansas City (I might actually go see it live!), but stylistically it’s a dangerous fight to take for Zombie. We know Zombie doesn’t have the best striking defense, and he relies on his ability to take punches in order to dish out his own. Against Stephens, one of the division’s hardest hitters, it could be a short night.
If we want to see Korean Zombie face a banger like Jeremy Stephens, I think #4 Cub Swanson would be a better opponent. Swanson is on a three-fight win streak, and just beat fellow South Korean prospect Doo Ho Choi. Both Swanson and Zombie are veterans of WEC, and stylistically it would be a brawl for the ages.
Another match up I like is #7 Charles Oliveira.
Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out other UFC news here at GetMoreSports!
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