The Korean Zombie: Chan Sung Jung
Military Vet, and UFC Star!
Earlier this month, at the UFC Fight Night: Korean Zombie vs Rodriguez, in Denver, Colorado, fans were treated to a potential fight of the year which ended with a last second knockout of the year when Yair Rodriguez landed a vertical-up elbow over his back as he ducked under from Korean Zombie’s (Chan Sung Jung’s) forward striking pressure.
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The judges had the #10 Jung winning the match against the #15th ranked Yair until he was knocked out by the incredible strike with :01 seconds left on the clock. In terms of fight statistics, the match was very close, with Jung landing 130 of 312 total strikes (42%), and Yair landing 129 of 281 (46%), and Jung’s 126 significant strikes to Yair’s 119 significant strikes.
Both fighters were awarded a well deserving $50,000 Fight of the Night Bonus, and for his KO, Yair received an additional $50,000 for one of the two performances of the night (Cowboy Cerrone with his dramatic first round submission of Mike Perry via armbar was the other performance of the night winner).
Chan-Sung Jung was born on March 17, 1987 and has been a professional fighter since 2007. His nickname, “The Korean Zombie” comes from his zombie-like ability to absorb hard shots and continuing to move forward. Before landing in the UFC, Jung competed for the WEC, Pancrase, World Victory Road, and DEEP organizations.
Jung was first introduced to martial arts at the age of 14 years old, when his aunt took him to a nearby Hapkido gym, so he could protect himself from childhood bullies. He continued training in kickboxing, judo and Brazilian jiu jitsu. In June 2007, he won a Sambo tournament which was arranged by the Korean Sambo Association, and in December of the same year, he won the Lightweight division of the Pancrase Korea Neo-Blood Tournament.
The year after, in May 2008, Jung made his professional debut at the age of 20. He participated and won Korea-FC’s 8-man MMA tournament in their 65kg division.
On April 24, 2010, Jung made his American debut when he fought Leonard Garcia in WEC 48. While he lost a very controversial decision, the bout was awarded the Fight of the Night honors, and was even awarded Fight of the Year by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
Since 2011, Jung had fought 6 times in the UFC. With an impressive 4-2 record, he has had a staggering 6 post fight bonuses:
- Submission of the Night (two times) vs. Leonard Garcia and Dustin Poirier
- Knockout of the Night vs. Mark Hominick
- Fight of the Night (two times) vs. Dustin Poirier and Yair Rodriguez
- Performance of the Night vs. Dennis Bermudez
Incredible Finishes- Submissions of the Night and KO of the Night
Throughout Jung’s tenure in the UFC, he has had a number of incredible fights and finishes. In March 26, 2011, at UFC Fight Night 24, Jung avenged his original loss to Leonard Garcia by defeating him in a rematch with a twister submission hold. This earned Jung his first Submission of the Night honors, and was later awarded the Submission of the Year by the World MMA Awards. Jung mentioned that he learned the submission move by watching Eddie Bravo’s videos on Youtube.
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On May 15, 2012, at UFC on Fuel TV: Korean Zombie vs. Poirier, Jung defeated Poirier via D’arce choke in the fourth round. This performance also earned him another Submission of the Night award and both fighters earned Fight of the Night honors as well.
In addition to his stunning submissions, Jung also recorded the fastest UFC knockout when he knocked out Mark Hominick in seven seconds of the first round on December 10, 2011 at UFC 140.
Military Duty and Triumphant UFC Return:
With Jung’s tremendous skill and excitement, he was scheduled to fight many more times in the UFC, but in mid-October 2014, he announced that he would begin his mandatory military service, which was required of all males in South Korea. The Korean Zombie made his triumphant return back in the UFC on February 4, 2017 at UFC Fight Night 104, where he knocked out Dennis Bermudez, winning the Performance of the Night bonus award.