Chan Sung Jung is knocking on the door to a shot at the UFC featherweight title, but can the ‘Korean Zombie’ beat Brian Ortega in the main event of the latest UFC Fight Island card to stake his claim for the next shot at champion Alexander Volkanovski?
Road To Brian Ortega v Chan Sung Jung
Jung made his eagerly-anticipated return from mandatory military service in South Korea back in 2017 and since then he has re-established himself as one of the premier fighters in the featherweight ranks.
The 33-year-old has gone 3-1 in his last four fights but would have been 4-0 had it not been for a sensational elbow strike in the very last second of his fight with Yair Rodriguez. ‘Korean Zombie’ has rebounded well from that heart-breaking loss though, moving into the top five in the division with first-round stoppages of Frankie Edgar and Renato Moicano, and if he can make it three-in-a-row on Saturday night he will put himself right in the mix for shot at the gold in 2021.
Looking to deny Jung the first UFC title fight of his career is Brian Ortega, a man who is looking to rebound from his first defeat in the pro ranks. ‘T-City’ quickly became one of the hottest prospects in the featherweight ranks after signing with the UFC in 2014. He showcased his tremendous all-round game to reel off a string of stoppage wins over quality opposition, and when he took out former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar inside one round in March 2018 it earned him a shot at then champion Max Holloway.
It proved to be a rough night for Ortega as he was outclassed, battered, bruised and bloodied by Holloway, forcing the doctor to wave it off after round four. Ortega has not stepped foot inside the Octagon since that night due to a torn ACL, so can he make up for lost time here?
Brian Ortega v Chan Sung Jung Betting Tips & Predictions
This has all the makings of an all-out battle that could earn ‘Fight of the Year’ honours. Only two of Jung’s 16 victories have come via decision and only two of his five losses have come via the judges’ scorecards. Ortega, meanwhile, has only one stoppage loss on his CV and 10 of his 14 successes have come via strikes or submission. Both men will be looking for a stoppage win here to send an emphatic message to the rest of the division, and of the two men I believe it will be ‘Korean Zombie’ who gets it.
Had it not been for that two-year enforced stint with the military I believe Jung would have fought for UFC gold before now and he would have been a worthy champion had he claimed the gold. He has been fought to wait though, but his last two performances have really made a statement. He dominated both Moicano and Edgar in those fights, and when he faced the later he was able to drop him several times and control ‘The Answer’ on the canvas before stopping him in less than five minutes. It was sensational stuff from ‘Korean Zombie’ and I expect we will see him put on another show here.
Ortega has not fought for almost two years and the last time he stepped inside the Octagon he suffered the type of beating that many fighters do not fully recover from. He was destroyed by Holloway for 20 minutes before the doctor showed mercy, and in Jung he is coming up against a fighter with more stopping power than ‘Blessed’ has. ‘Korean Zombie’ will prevent Ortega from turning this into a grappling match, making it a stand-up affair that he dominates. Jung will pick his opponent apart, beat him up and take him out inside the first three rounds to move one step closer to a belt he could have been wearing a long time ago.