Chan Sung Jung Made Big Changes Outside Cage for Aldo Fight
By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA
Chan Sung Jung, the fighter popularly known as the Korean Zombie, will be taking on arguably one of the best fighters pound-for-pound in Jose Aldo at UFC 163. Jung is taking this fight after Anthony Pettis, who was originally slated to challenge Aldo’s title, was forced out with a knee injury.
The decision to fight Aldo was a no-brainer. While the timing of the title shot may not have been ideal, Jung never once thought about turning it down.
“It’s not every day that you get an opportunity to fight for a title in the UFC, so I’m thrilled that I got the call. Timing on these things isn’t something that you can control, so you have to roll with the punches, so to speak.”
Now he is set to face Jose Aldo, a fighter who is heavily favored coming into this bout.
“Aldo is close to perfect as a fighter,” Jung said, “and I realize that I have shortcomings in my game. On paper it may not look like a good fight, but in MMA things happen that you can’t predict on paper. I think the difference may come down to the mental game.”
And with the mental game, Jung has made some decisions this past year that may prove to give him an edge. In a difficult decision, Jung left his longtime training camp at Korean Top Team in January to establish his own MMA team. He has assumed the additional roles of coach and gym owner, added responsibility that could help mature and focus the Korean Zombie’s mindset coming into such a big fight.
Having won several fight bonuses from the UFC including several finishes/fights of the year, Jung certainly picked a good time to establish himself as a coach and gym owner.
“I just felt that it was time for me to do something on my own. The career of a fighter can be short, so I wanted to take advantage of the timing.
“I’ve learned a lot being a head coach, but more than anything I’m happy for [my student] Yun Jun,” Jung said of Korean Zombie team member, Yun Jun Lee, who recently upset Takafumi Otsaka at Road FC 12. “It’s a big win for him and I’m glad that I could be a part of it.”
Also on team Korean Zombie is Doo Ho Choi, a 145-lb fighter who Jung believes has the potential to find success in the UFC. But before the UFC sees a wave of Korean fighters joining its ranks, Chan Sung Jung has the opportunity to become the first Korean fighter- in fact, the first fighter from Asia- to win a UFC title.
“I’m trying not to think about this fight in regards to that stuff right now,” said Jung about the external pressure compounding the already daunting task of fighting Jose Aldo. “First and foremost, it’s my dream coming true, so I’m focusing on the fight right now.”