‘The Korean Zombie’ wins decision in back-and-forth battle with Dan Ige at UFC Vegas 29
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC
“The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung is well known for the brutal wars he’s survived over the years, but in the UFC Vegas 29 main event he showed that he’s a complete fighter as well.
By mixing up his striking on the feet and a slick grappling game on the ground, Jung kept Dan Ige guessing for the better part of five rounds to win a unanimous decision. The judges scored the fight 48-47, 49-46 and 49-46 as Jung climbed back in the win column following a setback to Brian Ortega in his previous octagon appearance.
“I wanted to show all my skills and the capabilities of me becoming a champion,” Jung said about his performance. “I wanted to show everything and bring everything in this fight.
“In the fifth round I wanted to do a submission and do some kind of finish before going all the way to the fifth round, but that’s OK. I do feel a little bit upset about that but I did want to show everything, the qualities of a champion.”
Perhaps looking to add another $50,000 bonus to his bank account, Ige was fast on the attack at the start of the fight with blistering combinations including several thudding punches to the body. Ige then went back up top, snapping Jung’s head back with a well-timed uppercut in the middle of a flurry of shots.
Rather than standing and exchanging with Ige on the feet, Jung brought the fight down to the ground to ensure the Hawaiian featherweight was ready to defend his strikes and his grappling game.
As the second round started, Jung clipped Ige with a stinging shot right away that dropped him down to a knee momentarily, which helped Jung set the pace with his striking. “The Korean Zombie” continued to connect with shots as he launched well-timed left-right combinations that were constantly finding a home on Ige’s chin.
— UFC (@ufc) June 20, 2021
While he was definitely winning the majority of the exchanges on the feet, Jung knew he could be even more dominant on the ground, which then led to another takedown. From there, Jung attacked with submissions and shredded Ige’s defense to lock on the body triangle from the back.
Ige survived then came out with a real sense of urgency in the fourth round as he looked to change the momentum in the fight. By constantly attacking with punches to the body, which then led to shots going to the head, Ige began to pour on the offense and that had Jung backing up.
Knowing he only had five minutes remaining, Ige started gunning for the finish and blasted Jung with a staggering shot at the start of the final round that he used to open up with a barrage of punches.
Unfortunately for Ige, Jung refused to go away. Jung evened the score with a knee strike right up the middle that eventually led to the fighters hitting the ground again. From there, Jung took the back and held onto the superior grappling position until time ran out.
Despite the result, Ige still made a strong showing for himself as he continues to improve with hopes of getting even better when he returns for his next fight.
“I went out there, I fought my best. I have no excuses,” Ige said. “The Zombie is an absolute legend. I want to test myself against the absolute best in the world. I’ll be back better and stronger.”
A constant threat at 145 pounds, Jung is now 3-1 in his past four fights as he seeks to return to title contention sooner rather than later.