Back in 2014, Chan Sung Jung shocked the MMA world by announcing that he would be leaving the sport behind to fulfill a two-year mandatory military service required in his native South Korea. Although he had spent the majority of the two years prior to that nursing various injuries, it was his final fight in the octagon — a back-and-forth battle with Jose Aldo at UFC 163 — that proved just how much of a terror he would be for 99% of the UFC’s top featherweights.
But mostly, we remember “The Korean Zombie” for the consistently epic brawls he engaged in while under both the WEC and UFC banners. Whether it was in losing efforts like his first fight against Leonard Garcia or in triumphs like his battle with Dustin Poirier, Jung quickly earned a reputation as one of the sport’s most entertaining 145ers.
With his service now coming to a close, sources close to Jung told MMAFighting that the former title challenger is looking to make his return to the cage sometime in late 2016 or early 2017. The Zombie is back, so to ring in the celebration, we’ve gathered as many of his fight videos and highlights as we were legally allowed to. Head after the jump for the full treatment.
First up, the fight that made Jung’s name: The 2010 Fight of the Year-winner against Leonard Garcia at WEC 48. Really, there are few words in the English language that accurately describe this fight, so we’ll just go with the first one we think of everytime we watch it: BUNGALOWS. Both men threw them, a lot, and while it was Jung who managed to consistently land them with far greater accuracy, it would be Garcia that would emerge victorious in the first of many inexplicable decision wins that “Bad Boy” would be handed.
After finding himself on the wrong end of a George Roop head kick in his next WEC fight, Jung was scooped up by the UFC during the WEC merger and immediately booked in a rematch against Garcia. It was a time when the UFC honestly attempted to do right by its fighters, crazy as it might sound, and the result was the 2011 Submission of the Year.
When Jung was paired up against Mark Hominick at UFC 140, most of us expected another classic barnburner would be added to Jung’s already prestigious record. Hominick himself had just come off a five round war with Jose Aldo — and in fact, appeared to be the fresher man when all was said and done despite having received a grapefruit-sized hematoma on his head — and hadn’t been finished inside the distance since 2008. So this being MMA and all, the fight was finished in less time than it takes to microwave a Pop Tart.
The Korean Zombie would build upon his momentum in his next fight against top-ranked featherweight Dustin Poirier (you can check out that fight here) — another fight that would earn him “Fight of the Year” honors — before facing Aldo in a title fight that would leave both competitors with more injuries than the average head-on collision.
With Jung’s return to the cage now in sight, we ask unto you, Nation: Who would you like to see him face first? Give us a shout in the comments section or on Twitter.