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5 potential opponents for 'The Korean Zombie' after his latest setback at UFC 273

UFC 273: Volkanovski vs. The Korean Zombie Zombie
UFC 273: Volkanovski vs. The Korean Zombie Zombie
Erik Sloan

With 'The Korean Zombie' Chan Sung Jung having fallen short once again in an attempt to scale the tall task that is the featherweight division, fans are curious about who should be next for the fan-favorite fighter from Korea.

The UFC 273 performance was far from the best in the illustrious career of Chan Sung Jung, but that speaks of just how good Alexander Volkanovski is rather than it being a knock on Jung.

Volkanovski and The Korean Zombie embrace after their fight at #UFC273 https://t.co/yJwaRqud3Q

'The Great' is quickly approaching the door of 'Featherweight GOAT' status, and he's possibly one or two wins away from kicking it in as he continues to comb through contenders.

While it's heartbreaking for the losing party after a fight, let alone one for a championship, there's no shame in having a rough night against a fighter of Volkanovski's caliber. Furthermore, Jung has taken on some of the toughest fighters in one of the most stacked divisions in the UFC and has emerged victorious.

Should Jung choose to bless the fans with more fights, then there are some very exciting options looming for him. Here are five potential opponents for 'The Korean Zombie' after his latest setback at UFC 273.


#5. Josh Emmett vs. 'The Korean Zombie'

UFC 269: Josh Emmett v Dan Ige
UFC 269: Josh Emmett v Dan Ige

The common denominator in this list of exciting fights will be 'The Korean Zombie', and a scrap against Team Alpha Male's Josh Emmett is possibly one that fans would be eager to see.

Casual viewers may not know Emmett as he's not the most active on the roster. After only fighting four times since 2019, inactivity has been the biggest downfall of the 37-year-old.

Of the last four, Emmett is undefeated and has finished two of these bouts, including an emphatic knockout of Michael Johnson.

His most recent victory on record is over Dan Ige. Ige took this as a rebound fight after his loss to the Korean, so the ties between Jung and Emmett are pretty close.

Chan Sung Jung is now 3-2 in his last five. The losses are only from the top of the division, so it makes sense for him to fight down in the ranks, but not too far down.

'The Korean Zombie' has thrived in fights that take a more chaotic route. This is a mutually beneficial bout for either participant, but the fans will be the real winners for this potential fight-of-the-year candidate.


#4. Shane Burgos vs. 'The Korean Zombie'

UFC 244: Burgos vs. Amirkhani
UFC 244: Burgos vs. Amirkhani

This matchup has "five-round war" written all over it. Shane Burgos is sitting at rank No.14 in the featherweight rankings.

Although 'The Korean Zombie' shouldn't drop down too much in the ranks after a title fight defeat, Burgos is much better than his ranking alludes him to be. Setbacks to Edson Barboza and the aforementioned Josh Emmett are the only losses for Burgos since 2018.

'Hurricane' was able to revert back to his winning ways when he defeated a surging star in Billy Quarantillo.

Pound-for-pound, there might not have been a harder-hitting fight than Josh Emmett vs. Shane Burgos at UFC Vegas 3.They take the No. 4 spot on our 2020 Fights of the Year.Read more: mmafighting.com/2020/12/28/222… https://t.co/qqGIaBevHN

The Quarantillo fight was a risky one, but the 31-year-old is a company man and is willing to fight whoever the promotion sees fit. With big risks come great rewards, and a jump up to take on a two-time title contender is quite the gift.

Rankings aside, if anyone saw these two names slated against each other, they would mark the date and clear their schedule to witness this event.

They are two of the most dynamic strikers in the UFC and are looking to prove their standing in the division. What more could fans want in a Fight Night main event?


#3. Bryce Mitchell vs. 'The Korean Zombie'

UFC 272: Mitchell vs. Barboza
UFC 272: Mitchell vs. Barboza

The twister submission is so rare that fans will need to take a drink every time they sho it during the promo for this potential fight. In fact, it's so rare that it's only been done twice in the UFC.

Bryce Mitchell used it to defeat Matt Sayles in 2019 and 'The Korean Zombie' scored the first twister in the organization's history to defeat Leonard Garcia in 2011 for his debut performance.

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15-0 at age 27, Mitchell's career impetus is towards a UFC title. Having just beaten Edson Barboza, he's very deserving of a leap up in competition. What's even more interesting is that this isn't the "striker vs. grappler" matchup that Mitchell has been a part of as of late. 'The Korean Zombie' is as great a grappler as he is a striker.

Having never been submitted, Jung is usually the hammer when it comes to grappling exchanges. This is an interesting fight because it will give clarity on where either fight fits in currently. Is it too much too soon for Mitchell? Is Jung on his way out? This match should be booked so fans can find out.


#2. Yair Rodgriguez vs. 'The Korean Zombie' rematch

UFC Fight Night The Korean Zombie vs. Rodriguez
UFC Fight Night The Korean Zombie vs. Rodriguez

When Yair Rodriguez and Jung crossed paths in 2018, this was about as wild a fight that the UFC has ever produced. What makes this rematch so interesting is the way in which the first fight concluded. Granted, the fighters have both evolved since this meeting, but it was a fight that 'The Korean Zombie' was a literal second away from winning.

Last time we saw Yair Rodriguez in the octagon...We witnessed an absolute classic vs Korean Zombie, and probably the most insane KO in UFC history πŸ”₯With ONE second left, the miracle hellbow 😱#UFCMexico https://t.co/PrLk6UDZIc

In the final barrage of the fight, one that was completely unnecessary, Jung was caught with an upward elbow that nobody saw coming. Had he not taken this chance, the scorecard would have been in favor of him winning. While it's an especially bitter pill to swallow, it's the type of fighter that Jung is and the reason that fans support him so much.

Rodriguez is coming off a loss to Max Holloway and Jung is fresh off of his shortcomings against Volkanovski for the title. Both fighters need a rebound, so why not try to bounce back off of one another? The two have proved that their chemistry together makes for a must-see fight.


#1. Giga Chikadze vs. 'The Korean Zombie'

UFC Fight Night: Barboza v Chikadze
UFC Fight Night: Barboza v Chikadze

With Brian Ortega excluded, a 'Korean Zombie' fight isn't typically preceded by trash talk or animosity. This may not be the case if Giga Chikadze and 'The Korean Zombie' are to be placed opposite each other.

When Chikadze suffered his first UFC defeat against Calvin Kattar, it was obvious that the Georgian was looking beyond his fight and had his mind set on Volkanovski. This came back to bite him as he was handily defeated.

Following the loss, Jung tweeted in disapproval, as he was targeted multiple times in Chikadze's trash talk prior to the loss.

Now that both Jung and Chikadze are coming off of losses and have shown slight disdain for each other, maybe it's time for them to fight and settle their differences.

Edited by Allan Mathew

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