Why Chan Sung Jung is ‘a little bit sad’ with UFC on ESPN 25 main event spot

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

LAS VEGAS – Chan Sung Jung was looking for a change of pace going into his next fight, and that meant removing himself from the main event spotlight. Unfortunately, he didn’t get his wish.

Prior to being booked in Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 25 headliner with Dan Ige, Jung (16-6 MMA, 6-3 UFC) has specifically asked the UFC brass to give him a three-round co-main event. It didn’t happen, however, and instead he was booked atop the card for his eighth consecutive fight.

Most fighters will never headline eight UFC shows in a career – let alone consecutively – so “The Korean Zombie” isn’t necessarily complaining. However, training for five rounds is far more grueling, and after losing to Brian Ortega in his previous bout, he wouldn’t have minded a change of pace.

“I’ve been asking for a co-main event to do three rounds,” Jung told MMA Junkie through an interpreter at Wednesday’s UFC on ESPN 25 media day. “They didn’t give it to me. I was a little bit sad about that. There’s also an upside to being a main event. You get a lot more attention. A little bit more money and stuff like that. I definitely wanted to do a three-rounder.”

Related

Dan Ige vows to engage with 'self-proclaimed best brawler' Chan Sung Jung at UFC on ESPN 25

'The Korean Zombie' vs. Dan Ige set for UFC Fight Night main event June 19

Once the fight was locked in for 25 minutes, though, Jung began to physically and mentally prepare himself for another big spot. He takes on Ige (15-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC), who has won seven of his past eight fights and has been calling out Jung for the better part of two years.

Jung said he digs the matchup with Ige, and he’ll be ready to put on another one of the brawls he’s become so famous for since he joined the UFC roster.

“He’s a great all-around fighter,” Jung said. “He likes to brawl, he’s an aggressive fighter which makes for an exciting fight. I’m super sorry, but I (only) knew who Ige was when he fought (Calvin) Kattar. … Dan’s a brawler. If he wants to brawl, I’ll more than welcome that kind of fight. I thought a lot of people were saying that about Ortega, too, that he was going to brawl with me. I was ready for that and it never happened. So, we’ll see what happens.”

Jung said he thinks this is a hugely important fight for his career. He would’ve likely received a title shot if he’d beaten Ortega at UFC Fight Night 180 in October. The 145-pound division is growing deeper by the day, and new contenders are emerging. If the 34-year-old Jung wants to keep pace, he said winning at UFC on ESPN 25 is a must.

“I definitely look at the rankings,” Jung said. “I still believe I’m in title contention and my goal is to win the world title. If for some what odd reason that I lose this fight, I will be kind of an exciting fighter like Nate Diaz or something”