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Korean Zombie to take bite out of Moicano? Get UFC on ESPN+ 12 tips

Leigh Copson 19 Jun 2019
'The Korean Zombie' Chan Sung Jung (credit:USA TODAY Network/SIPA USA/PA Images)

Renato Moicano v Chan Sung Jung predictions for UFC on ESPN+ 12 on Saturday, June 22. Will ‘Korean Zombie’ Chan Sung Jung win back-to-back UFC fight for the first time in seven years, or can Renato Moicano bounce back from his February defeat to claim one of the biggest victories of his career? Read on for our free predictions and betting tips for UFC on ESPN+ 12.

Renato Moicano v Chan Sung Jung


Having failed to dethrone then featherweight champion Jose Aldo in August 2013, Chan Sung Jung put his mixed martial arts career on hold in order to complete a mandatory stint in the South Korean military. But when he did finally return to action, in February 2017, he showed that he had not lost a step, taking less than three minutes to knock out Dennis Bermudez. However, back-to-back victories eluded him last November when he fell victim to one of the most sensational finishes in UFC history. Jung was beating Yair Rodriguez on the judges’ scorecards, only for the Mexican to unleash an elbow from an almost impossible angle to snatch a KO victory with just one second left in the fifth and final round – truly incredible stuff. That loss means ‘The Korean Zombie’ is 1-1 since returning from his military duty, leaving him outside the top 10, but all of that would change with a win on Saturday.

Jung’s next opponent on his comeback trail is fifth-ranked contender Renato Moicano. The 30-year-old has gone 5-2 since arriving in the UFC four-and-a-half years ago, establishing himself as one of the best fighters in the featherweight division. Yes, there are a couple of defeats on his record, but this is a man who has notable wins over Jeremy Stephens and Cub Swanson, while his defeats have come against two of the very best the division has to offer in former title challenger Brian Ortega and the man who went a decade unbeaten and ruled over this division for many, many years in Jose Aldo. February’s loss to Aldo was the first TKO loss of his career, so how will Moicano react to that?

This fight has the potential to be one of the absolute best you will see all year.

‘The Korean Zombie’ nickname could not be any more fitting for Jung because he is like something you would see in The Walking Dead – he keeps walking forward no matter what is thrown at him and only a shot to the head will stop him. His last two defeats have come via strikes, but for me that does not suggest that his resistance is one the wane, he can still take punishment as he dishes it out himself – and he certainly does dish it out. Jung is still a very aggressive striker even if he has tamed his approach over the years, and that aggressiveness combined with better technique and more patience makes him very difficult to deal with in the stand-up game. He is not a one-trick pony though – his grappling is the best part of his game and we should not read too much into what Brazilian jiu-jitsu belt he has because this man has slick skills on the ground. He is, after all, the only man to successfully finish a fight with the ‘Twister’ inside the UFC. So if Jung cannot get the job done standing, he can also take the fight to the mat to get the job done there.

Moicano has shown submission chops himself with almost half of his wins coming via his opponent tapping out, and prior to that loss to Aldo he was on the brink of perhaps forcing his way into a shot at featherweight champion Max Holloway. The bookmakers expect him to bounce back here, having made Moicano the odds-on favourite, but I really do like the chances of Jung springing an upset. Moicano is coming off his ever knockout defeat and there are always questions about how a fighter will respond to that type of loss. While it would be foolish to say that the Brazilian is finished because of the nature of that loss, there may never be a better time to take him on. ‘The Korean Zombie’ has looked good since returning to the Octagon and he was just one second away from going 2-0, so I am backing him to bounce back from that heart-breaking loss and charge right back into the title mix at 145lbs. 

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