UFC Busan: Can Frankie Edgar Survive the Attack of the Korean Zombie?

UFC Denver Korean Zombie Yair Rodriguez UFC Greenville Chan Sung Jung
Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

The always game Frankie Edgar is stepping up to the challenge once again, but can he stop the attack of The Korean Zombie in enemy territory at UFC Busan?

It’s a testament to the throwback mentality of Frankie Edgar that he is still being promoted as part of UFC Raleigh ahead of Saturday’s event in Busan, South Korea.  “The Answer” has not shut the door on making it to the fight with Cory Sandhagen at bantamweight a month after he is set to compete despite the fact that many predict damage during the main event regardless of whether the outcome ends in his favor.

After coming up short in his third bid to win the featherweight title in July, a move down to bantamweight to reinvigorate his career became the consensus solution to keeping one of the best fighters in the lighter weight classes in championship contention.  The idea immediately made him an appealing option for a fight with current double-champion Henry Cejudo.  A former lightweight champion, Edgar’s resume with victories over the likes of BJ Penn, Gray Maynard, Urijah Faber, Chad Mendes, and Yair Rodriguez speaks for itself.  Edgar maintains that he plans to go down to bantamweight regardless of the result, and a victory over the Korean Zombie would do more for his title aspirations at 135 than the fight with Sandhagen.

All of this means little to “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung.  It is incredible to believe that he was just a fresh faced 21 year-old when he fought Leonard Garcia in the Fight of The Year candidate that cemented his reputation.  Now 32 years old, Jung is a lethal featherweight contender who is eager to get a second shot at UFC championship gold.  Leading up to his shot at José Aldo back in 2013 for his first title opportunity, Jung had rattled off victories over the likes of former title challenger Mark Hominick (in seven seconds no less) and future interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier.

Upon his return from mandatory service in the South Korean military, Jung picked up right back where he left off with a first round knockout of ranked contender Dennis Bermudez.  Last year, he was on track to take a decision against Yair Rodriguez before “El Pantera” pulled out a buzzer beater of a knockout to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.  If Jung was rattled by the experience, he did not show it, needing just under a minute to stop Renato Moicano in his next outing.

Edgar and The Korean Zombie were previously scheduled to fight last November and the fight is now arguably more important considering the title picture in two divisions.  Stylistically, Edgar’s technical prowess will test the physicality of the Korean Zombie.  “The Answer” figures to be able to out-maneuver Jung on the feet so long as he commits to getting in-and-out and taking the fight to the later rounds per his usual strategy.  By comparison, Jung will look to use his physicality and walk down Edgar with powerful shots.  The home country favorite has a multi-faceted attack and should look to utilize it to it’s full extent to overwhelm Edgar.

The changing of hands with the featherweight title last Saturday means that the Korean Zombie is now further away from the belt than originally expected a week ago.  However, he remains poised for a big 2020 with possible match-ups against Zabit Magomedsharipov or a rematch with Yair Rodriguez that could set him up for a title fight in the latter half of 2020.  For Edgar, a victory would set him up as the biggest name coming off a victory to compete with bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo upon his return next year.  This case is further strengthened by Cejudo recently stating that he is looking for the biggest fights that will get him paid the most money, both of which Edgar would provide.

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