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Fighter on Fighter: Breaking down UFC Fight Night 104’s ‘Korean Zombie’

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MMAmania.com resident fighter analyst — and aspiring professional fighter — Andrew Richardson breaks down the mixed martial arts (MMA) game of UFC Fight Night 104’s Chan Sung Jung, who looks to return from a long layoff this Saturday (Feb. 4, 2017) inside Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) title contender, Chan Sung Jung, makes his long awaited return to the cage opposite bruising wrestler, Dennis Bermudez, this Saturday (Feb. 4, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 104 inside Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

Little more than two years ago, fight fans were devastated to hear that one of the sport’s most creative and exciting young athletes would spend two years on the shelf because of mandatory military service. A whole lot has changed in that time, but “Korean Zombie” will soon return to the Octagon. Indeed, if Saturday night goes his way, Jung will return to a Top 10 position as well.

Considering his level of success and how quickly he became a fan favorite, it’s easy to forget that Jung competed just four times in UFC. A trio of finish victories earned the South Korean athlete a title shot, but Jung ultimately came up short to current-kingpin Jose Aldo. After 3.5 years away from competition — Jung suffered some injuries prior to his military service — he will attempt to make another run to the top.

Let’s take a closer look at his skill set:


Jung is one of the more unique strikers in UFC. Despite third-degree black belt in Hapkido and second-degree black belt in Taekwondo, Jung prefers to exchange from within the pocket, where he is quite dangerous both while leading and countering.

Because of his low hand position, Jung’s primary form of defense is head movement. He will occasionally play the outside and use distance as a safeguard, but Jung’s love of fighting in the pocket often overrules that strategy. Feeding further into the odd style of Jung is his habit of pushing a pace that he cannot maintain, as Jung’s wild offense requires time to recover from. During those periods where Jung is catching his breath, his head movement suffers most of all, and Jung is far more hittable.

While fresh, however, Jung does a very nice job of punching while getting his head off the center line. Both on offense and defense, the dipping jab is a favorite technique of his. When pushing forward, Jung will use this spearing jab to bait his opponent into ducking into an uppercut or leaning back into overhand.

The dipping jab works quite well on an advancing foe as well. Against Dustin Poirier, for example, Jung repeatedly gave ground as “The Diamond” pushed forward, but Poirier kept his head perfectly still and stood fairly tall. Jung’s slip inside may not be a guarantee that his foe’s punches will miss, but it gave him a decent chance, whereas his hard jab found its mark far more often than not.

The way Jung applies his right hand is another interesting technique. He is deceptively quick with the strike, which allows Jung to enter the pocket before his opponent expects. Once there, Jung will follow up with a rolling left hook or a slick clinch takedown. Additionally, Jung makes great use of both the cross counter and pull and return cross (GIF). Both are classic uses for a sharp right hand and strong timing, skills which Jung has sharpened by spending so much time working in the pocket.

The final pocket boxing tricks of Jung revolve around the uppercut. On the counter, Jung does a nice job of slipping inside the jab and returning the right uppercut. Though that technique is more commonly seen in boxing, it works well for Jung opposite fighters who lean over their lead leg.

Jung will also use the uppercut in coordination with his feints and head movement. Ducking down as he often does, Jung can instead explode into a fast uppercut intended to split his opponent’s guard (GIF).

Aside from his skill in the pocket, Jung has shown some strong kicking technique in the past, even if he rarely relies upon it. This was most notably in his bout with Poirier, as his foe’s Southpaw stance opened lots of opportunities. He scored with hard roundhouse kicks to the bottom — often underneath Poirier’s cross — as well as stepping knees to the body and the occasional snap kick.

Finally, the flying knee is a major part of Jung’s attack. Whenever his opponent covers and backs straight up, whether due to being hurt by a punch or by Jung’s pressure on its own, Jung will advance with a flying knee straight up the center. Even when blocked, it’s practically a guarantee that some part of the impact will get through, allowing Jung to follow up with more punches on a shell-shocked foe.


A Judo black belt, Jung has proven to be quite crafty at landing his takedowns inside the Octagon. It’s not an aspect of his game that he turns too often, but Jung’s ability to dictate where the fight takes place has been successful against just about everyone aside from Jose Aldo.

From the clinch, Jung’s timing is excellent. He attempted a pair of takedowns from that position opposite Poirier in very different circumstances, and both were well-executed. In one, Jung caught Poirier backing straight up with fairly flat feet, making it easy for him to transition directly from the cross into a body lock slam.

That’s a great technique, but the more interesting exchange came early in the bout as Poirier looked to control Jung along the fence. Controlling one of his foe’s hands, Jung created space as though he intended to land a knee before instead driving forward into a body lock with an outside trip (GIF)

Lastly, Jung scored a slick foot sweep in his second match with Leonard Garcia (GIF). Attempting a half-hearted single leg, Jung quickly transitioned to a single collar tie. Controlling Garcia’s posture with one hand, he tripped Garcia’s foot while yanking him to the side, effectively dropping him to the mat.

Once Jung gets on top of his opponent, his ground and pound is very good, thanks to his solid posture and ability to stack his foe’s hips. After tying up a hand, Jung will collapse his arm into an elbow. Another great trick he used against Poirier was to reach back like he was going for a guard pass then come down with a big punch.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Though officially ranked as a purple belt, Jung has shown some truly excellent submission skill inside the Octagon. Nine of his wins come via submission, including two of his three in UFC.

Similar to how he is a willing counter puncher and bruiser, Jung is equally dangerous from his back and on top. From the guard, Jung is incredibly active, stabbing at his opponent with elbows while constantly looking to jam one of his opponent’s arms between his legs to set up a triangle. Once the head and arm are trapped, Jung will quickly transition into the arm bar and back to the triangle as necessary, always looking to finish one of the holds.

Additionally, Jung showed off the power of butterfly hooks as a defensive tool. After rocking Poirier, Jung’s foe managed to get in deep on a double leg, driving forward before Jung could effectively sprawl. Rather than concede position, Jung went with his opponent’s momentum, using the butterfly hooks to roll Poirier into mount.

Both of Jung’s UFC submissions are really excellent techniques worthy of deeper analysis, but I chose to do this week’s technique highlight on his 2011 twister submission over Leonard Garcia. I had to jump on the opportunity now, as who knows the next time anyone — let alone a main event caliber fighter — will pull this submission off.

Jung’s d’arce choke finish was also pretty slick. After crushing a wounded Poirier under a heavy sprawl, Jung quickly slid his outside arm around Poirier’s head and arm. Locking in the rear-naked choke grip, Jung applied a twisting pressure to force Poirier to his back. From that position, Jung was able to drop his weight on Poirier’s neck while squeezing, putting “The Diamond” to sleep quickly (GIF).


This is a very intriguing match up for a very intriguing fighter. On one hand, Dennis Bermudez’s crisp combinations, hard low kicks, powerful wrestling, and endless cardio appear to be a horrifically difficult match up for “Korean Zombie’s” return bout. However, Bermudez has a habit of walking into violence, and few men thrive at creating such moments as Chan Sung Jung. Win or lose, it will be good to have Jung back.


Andrew Richardson, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt, is an undefeated amateur fighter who trains at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, California. In addition to learning alongside world-class talent, Andrew has scouted opponents and developed winning strategies for several of the sport’s most elite fighters.

Source:: mma mania