Korean Zombie Asks UFC to Ban ‘Rising Sun’ Logo
Chan Sung Jung, the UFC featherweight fighter popularly known as ‘The Korean Zombie,’ took to Facebook in March to inform UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre of the social implications behind the ‘Rising Sun’ symbol that decorated a gi he wore at UFC 158. After seeing the symbol worn by UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey in this season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ Jung wrote a letter to the UFC and Dana White asking the company to ban the logo because of the war crimes it represents.
By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA
Chan Sung Jung wrote to the UFC recently in a letter asking the company to ban all clothing that displays the ‘Rising Sun’ logo, citing war crimes during World War II and equating the late 19th and early 20th century symbol of the Empire of Japan to a Nazi Swastika.
A copy of the letter was obtained from Tae-Hun Gu, a friend of Jung, and sent to Bleacher Report. It’s content, which were addressed to UFC President Dana White and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, are as follows:
“Hi, Korean Zombie here. I’m delivering this message on behalf of over 800,000 members of combative sport café, one of the biggest MMA blogs in Korea. We have decided to take the time to speak up for what we know is right, because we do believe this is something that UFC management should absolutely be aware of. Let’s get straight to the point.
“It’s about ‘Rising Sun Flag’ outfits. And our point is that this design is the symbol of war crimes, and that every single item designed after this symbol of war crimes should be kicked out of the UFC, firstly for justice, and then for the company.
“…Let bygones be bygones? Get over it? Unjustified invasion, torture, massacre, military and sexual slavery, medical experiments on living prisoners of war and many other war crimes scarred too many people. It can never be forgotten. This is a tragic history for all of us. Furthermore, the Japanese government never gave a sincere apology, and is even trying to justify and distort their dirty, nasty history. Still to this day, so many victims are dying in pain, heartbroken, without being properly compensated
“…I was happy because I thought we have succeeded in educating a chunk of the world on a very important issue, and that we no longer have to see that symbol of war crimes, at least around the Octagon. But a few days later, another UFC champion and the symbol of WMMA, Ronda Rousey was seen in that ‘Rising Sun Flag’ outfit. Two UFC champions wearing the symbol of war crimes! Don’t you think this will be an awful example for our company, which actually does a lot of charity stuff for troops as well?
“This sport, mixed martial arts, is growing very fast. And on the top of everything is the UFC. It’s been crossing borders with great ease. The event was a great success in Europe, Australia and Brazil, and now it’s time for Asia. As a fighter, I’m really excited and happy to see the sport growing, but I don’t even want to imagine UFC fighters in those outfits, especially in Asia. A lot of furious, heartbroken people will boycott the UFC, leading to a loss of a lot of (potential) fans, which will end up leaving a very bad impression on the Asian market. I mean, can you imagine our fighters in Nazi outfits in Europe? For us Asians, it’s nothing different.”
Jung, a fighter who is known for his tough, relentless style, most recently fought UFC featherweight champion, Jose Aldo at UFC 163. The Korean Zombie would go on to lose the fight, sustaining several injuries in the process. While recuperating physically, it seems he will bring his tenacity to a more political and social fight.
Jung has brought this subject to light before, posting a public letter to UFC welterweight champion, Georges St-Pierre, after GSP had worn a gi prominently displaying the ‘Rising Sun’ logo. St-Pierre and Hayabusa, the company who made the gi, both issued apologies; and Hayabusa decided not bring the gi to market.
When the most recent season of the UFC’s popular reality-television series, ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ began, UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey was seen wearing a shirt with the ‘Rising Sun’ symbol – something Jung alludes to in his most recent letter. Presumably, it was this most recent display of the symbol that prompted Jung’s letter to the UFC.
The UFC, ZUFFA and both Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta have not yet released a comment to Jung’s letter.