Saturday February 4th, in the main event of ‘UFC Fight Night: Texas’, fan favorite featherweight Chan Sung Jung, also known as ‘The Korean Zombie’, will make his highly anticipated return to the Octagon almost 4 years after his last scrap.
Jung rode a 3-fight win streak into a featherweight scrap with Jose Aldo, which saw Jung drop a 4th round TKO to the featherweight champ in an inspiring performance that saw The Korean Zombie continue to fight despite dislocating his shoulder earlier in the night.
Ahead of his return to the Octagon this Saturday, where he will fight Dennis Bermudez, Jung spoke to MMAFighting to discuss now only the Korean Zombie return this Saturday, but also his training, and military service in the time since his last fight.
“SINCE I STARTED WORK EARLY IN THE MORNING, I WAS ABLE TO FINISH EARLY ENOUGH TO MAKE IT TO TEAM PRACTICE MOST DAYS. I DIDN’T TRAIN AS INTENSELY AS I NORMALLY WOULD HAVE, SO I FOCUSED MORE HEAVILY ON IMPROVING MY SKILLS IN THE DIFFERENT DISCIPLINES.”
Of course, a lot has changed in the 4 years since Jung’s last fight. In addition to Jose Aldo losing the UFC featherweight championship to Conor McGregor, before then once again being promoted to the featherweight champ a year later, the UFC was sold to WME-IMG.
I FOLLOWED THINGS PRETTY CLOSELY. I THINK WITH THE NEW OWNERSHIP, THE UFC IS ON ITS WAY TO BECOMING A MORE PROFESSIONAL, BIGGER SPORT. ALSO, YOU SEE MORE FIGHTERS WHO ARE ABLE TO LEVERAGE WHAT THEY CAN TO MAKE MORE MONEY.”
While a lot has changed, Jung’s desire for UFC gold has not. Despite the lengthy layoff, Jung isn’t concerned about ring rust, and believes a win over Bermudez puts him one win away from a title shot:
IT’S BEEN A WHILE, BUT SINCE I WAS ABLE TO CONTINUE TO WORKOUT AND STAY IN SHAPE, I’M NOT TOO WORRIED ABOUT IT. THE TIME AWAY WAS GOOD FOR ME IN THAT I WAS ABLE TO HEAL A LOT OF OLD INJURIES AND REALLY IMPROVE ON A LOT OF MY SKILLS, SO IN THAT WAY, IT MAY HAVE BEEN A BLESSING IN DISGUISE. I GUESS WE’LL FIND OUT WHEN I GET INTO THE OCTAGON.”
“IF I GET A WIN OVER BERMUDEZ, I’M HOPING ONE MORE WIN WILL GET ME A TITLE SHOT. OF COURSE, WE’LL HAVE TO SEE HOW EVERYTHING GOES, BUT THAT WOULD BE MY IDEAL SCENARIO.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/1/2017.