While it was The Korean Zombie's first decision loss in the UFC, nobody expected Brian Ortega to return the way he did and outstrike a man who many consider to be amongst the most dangerous strikers in Featherweight history.
Either way, it's all said and done and Brian Ortega expects to face Alexander Volkanovski in early 2021. The Korean Zombie's coach Eddie Cha opened up about the defeat. Speaking to MMA Junkie, he expressed his disappointment and admitted that it was one of their toughest defeats:
“That loss was a super tough loss,” Cha said. “That was probably one of the toughest losses that both of us had encountered. I’ve lost a couple of world titles in other fights – not to say that one of them isn’t more important than the other ones. There was just so much invested into it: going into Korea, staying there for two months, two-week quarantine, the hours, the time we put into it. Zombie is 34. The winner gets a title shot and stuff like that. We knew what was at stake. We really wanted that fight.”
Eddie Cha said that he recalled The Korean Zombie telling him that he didn't remember rounds three, four and five and was essentially on autopilot mode. He said that in the first two rounds, he felt The Korean Zombie was slowly finding his rhythm, but it was the "game-changing" spinning elbow from Brian Ortega that proved to be the difference-maker:
“Hats off to Brian. It was a perfectly executed elbow. We were practicing that. A lot of guys are saying, ‘Well, you weren’t expecting the kicks and the southpaw (stance).’ We ran all of that stuff. It’s just things happen in the fight. All it takes is one punch or an elbow to turn the tides.”
Who is next for The Korean Zombie?
We imagine that it will be a while before we see Chan Sung Jung inside the Octagon again. If he's ready enough, there are a few top contenders who he could face. While Calvin Kattar would be a big name, there have been reports that Max Holloway could be an opponent instead.
UFC could book Max Holloway vs The Korean Zombie as a main event fight, but that too could be a big step-up for Chan Sung Jung. It wouldn't be surprising to see him take an opponent outside of the Top 5 while Brian Ortega gets a title shot.Published 30 Oct 2020, 09:13 IST