Korean Zombie hints at retirement after loss to Volkanovski
UFC fighter Jung Chan-sung, better known as The Korean Zombie, hinted that he may consider retirement after losing to Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 273 in Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday.
Jung, 35, is one of the most popular UFC fighters, earning his nickname from his ability to keep moving forward aggressively despite taking significant damage in a manner compared to a zombie. He first achieved global fame when he made his World Extreme Cagefighting debut in 2010, transitioning to UFC the following year.
Saturday's fight was a title bout, with Jung challenging Volkanovski for his world featherweight champion title.
It took the Australian champion four rounds to beat Jung, who, despite taking a beating, lived up to his moniker and refused to stop fighting. After struggling through the first two rounds, Jung saw some success applying pressure in the third round but Volkanovski proved too strong.
Jung continued to fight into the fourth round, eventually proving so durable that referee Herb Dean had to intervene with a fourth-round stoppage to end the fight, despite Jung still being on his feet.
The decision by Dean to interject was met with praise for both him and Jung, with world heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou tweeting, "Good call from Herb Dean. Korean Zombie is too tough for his own good."
Speaking after the fight, Jung praised Volkanovski, known as Alexander the Great, saying it felt like he hit an impassable wall.
In Korean comments that weren't fully translated at the time, Jung also said that he knows now that he can't be a UFC champion and he need to reevaluate what he is fighting for. Whether the remark was just a reaction to the tough loss or a signal that Jung might be considering throwing in the towel remains unclear.
Volkanovski, meanwhile, admitted that he had hoped the referee might intervene earlier to limit the amount of damage Jung took.
"He actually took a lot more than I wanted him to," Volkanovski said. "I thought they could have stopped it a bit earlier and I started feeling bad in there, but that's the sport we're in."
Jung has made one attempt at a title challenge before, challenging Jose Aldo in 2013. That fight also ended in the fourth round, with a technical knock out. Jung stepped back from the sport for a few years following that fight to complete his mandatory military service, returning in 2017 and recorded four wins and three losses since then.
BY JIM BULLEY [firstname.lastname@example.org]