UFC Singapore Results: Max Holloway knocks out Korean Zombie, Zombie retires

Originally published at UFC Singapore Results: Max Holloway knocks out Korean Zombie, Zombie retires

UFC Singapore Results: Max Holloway knocks out Korean Zombie, Zombie retires

On Saturday morning, the UFC held a Fight Night event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore. The card was headlined by a bout in the featherweight division, with former UFC Featherweight Champion, Max Holloway, facing longtime featherweight contender, “The Korean Zombie Chan Sung Jung. The Korean Zombie and Max Holloway are considered to be two of the most popular and entertaining fighters in the division’s history, but the two had never been scheduled to fight previously, and with The Korean Zombie approaching the end of his career, this bout was put together to rectify that. In the co-main event, ranked light heavyweight contenders Anthony Smith and Ryan Spann met in a rematch of a fight from September of 2021, a bout that Smith won by first-round submission.

Brendan Fitzgerald provided commentary for this card alongside Michael Bisping and Paul Felder. Performance of the Night bonuses were awarded to Michal Oleksiejczuk and Junior Tafa. Fight of the Night bonuses went out to Max Holloway and The Korean Zombie. The announced attendance for the card was 10,263, with a gate of $1,288,777.

QUICK RESULTS:

PRELIMINARY CARD:

  • Seungwoo Choi def. Jarno Errens by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
  • J. Aldrich def. Liang Na by TKO at 4:49 of Round 2
  • Billy Goff def. Yusaku Kinoshita by TKO at 3:49 of Round 1
  • Kenan Song def. Rolando Bedoya by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
  • Michal Oleksiejczuk def. Chidi Njokuani by TKO at 4:16 of Round 1
  • Garrett Armfield def. Toshiomi Kazama by TKO at 4:16 of Round 1
  • Waldo Cortes-Acosta def. Lukasz Brzeski by KO at 3:01 of Round 1

MAIN CARD:

  • Junior Tafa def. Parker Porter by KO at 1:24 of Round 1
  • Erin Blanchfield def. Talia Santos by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
  • Rinya Nakamura def. Fernie Garcia by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Giga Chikadze def. Alex Caceres by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
  • Anthony Smith def. Ryan Spann by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
  • Max Holloway def. The Korean Zombie by KO at 0:23 of Round 3

SEUNGWOO CHOI (10-6, 146) VS JARNO ERRENS (13-4-1, 145) – FEATHERWEIGHT

Errens opened up with a spinning back kick to the body, before the fighters traded kicks to the shin. A heavy right hand from Errens found its target, as Choi targeted the lead leg of Errens. Choi connected with a big right hand of his own, but Errens was able to power through it, as the fighters began to wrestle in the clinch up against the cage. The fighters separated and traded left hooks, as Errens began to pressure forward, throwing wild strikes Choi’s way. Choi sprawled on a takedown attempt from Errens to end the round. 10-9 Choi.

An uppercut from Errens dropped Choi at the start of the second round, and he quickly followed Choi down as the fight moved to the ground. Despite being rocked badly just moments prior, Choi was able to escape to his feet quickly, and tossed Errens back to the ground, reversing the positioning with two and a half minutes to work. Choi was able to maintain top position for the remainder of the round, but he was unable to do significant damage, and Errens took this round on the scorecards based on his knockdown. 19-19.

The fighters exchanged kicks to the body early in the fight’s final round. The leg kicks from Choi continued to add up, and while Errens took the kicks well throughout the fight, eventually, the damage was too much, and he crumbled to the ground from one of Choi’s heavier kicks. Choi followed Errens to the ground, where he maintained top position until time expired in the fight. 29-28 Choi.

WINNER: Seungwoo Choi by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Choi was immensely popular with this Singapore crowd, who erupted whenever Choi landed anything throughout the fight, from heavy right hands to light leg kicks. The fight was very competitive, as neither fighter had any difficulties finding their range, and exchanged knockdowns in the final two rounds, but Choi seemed to be just a slight step ahead of Errens, countering well whenever Errens attempted to press forward, while continuously beating up the lead leg of Errens until the leg finally gave out on him in the fights final round. Choi is now 4-5 in the UFC following this win, snapping a three-fight streak of losses.

LIANG NA (19-6, 126) VS J.J. ALDRICH (11-6, 126) – FLYWEIGHT

Aldrich landed the first notable strike of the fight, a short right hook as Nah pressured forward. Na winged a wild haymaker to force her way into the clinch, and while she ate some strikes on her way in, Na successfully took Aldrich to the ground. Aldrich was able to escape to her feet without taking much damage, and Aldrich recorded a takedown of her own with ninety seconds remaining in the round, countering another attempt from Na. Aldrich maintained top control for the remainder of the round but was unable to do much damage from the position.

Na quickly took the fight back to the ground in the second round, partially taking the back of Aldrich. Aldrich committed to a rear naked choke, but she was too high on Aldrich’s back, which allowed Aldrich to take top position with over three minutes to work. Aldrich worked her way into full mount, where she began to pepper Na with right hands. Eventually, Aldrich was able to flatten Na out, and she threw down ground and pound strikes until the fight was stopped.

WINNER: J.J. Aldrich by TKO at 4:49 of Round 2

Na fought with a wild gameplan, forcing clinch exchanges by throwing looping right hands, where she would continuously look to take Aldrich down with head and arm throws. She actually found a degree of success with this strategy, but Aldrich was ultimately the more skillful fighter and was able to reverse positioning on the ground, where she eventually secured the finish. It was a strong performance from Aldrich in a fight that she was heavily favored in, making good on those odds, and taking home her first UFC finish in the process. Aldrich’s UFC record now stands at 8-5, following this win.

BILLY GOFF (8-2, 170) VS YUSAKU KINOSHITA (6-2, 170.5) – FLYWEIGHT

Kinoshita pressed forward to start the fight, throwing each of his strikes with considerable power. Goff weathered the early storm from Kinoshita, and he began to attack the lead leg of Kinoshita, slowing his opponent down. Still, Kinoshita’s jab was doing considerable damage whenever it landed, and whenever he chained his strikes together in combination, Kinoshita would pull ahead. The leg kicks from Goff was adding up, but he was getting countered on his way in as well, with Kinoshita throwing hard hooks and knees up the middle whenever Goff looked to generate his own offense. As the round wore on, Goff started to pressure forward, and eventually, he opted to dig into the body. A straight right hand to the body immediately sent Kinoshita to the ground, where he turtled up in pain, allowing Goff to throw down strikes until the fight was stopped.

WINNER: Billy Goff by TKO at 3:49 of Round 1

I thought that Kinoshita looked very good throughout the round, tagging Goff repeatedly with his impactful jab. Goff found success attacking the leg of Kinoshita, but he was getting caught on his way in as well, and it seemed as though Kinoshita was starting to pull ahead in the fight early. As the round approached its final minute, Goff changed strategies and started applying heavy pressure that put Kinoshita on the retreat, and while he was still countering strongly, a perfectly placed body shot from Goff found its way through Kinoshita’s guard, ending the fight. It was a strong finish from Goff in his UFC debut, and he expressed his desire to fight at Madison Square Garden after his win.

KENAN SONG (19-7, 170) VS ROLANDO BEDOYA (14-2, 170.5) – WELTERWEIGHT

The fighters exchanged low kicks throughout the opening minutes of the fight, at a fairly even rate. Bedoya seemed to be the more active fighter offensively, attacking in combination whenever he pressed forward, as Song shelled up, before re-focusing his attack on the lead leg of Song. As the round progressed, Bedoya began to pull ahead with his output, and Song was not offering Bedoya enough offensively in return to deter Bedoya from advancing. Bedoya defended a takedown attempt from Song to end the round. 10-9 Bedoya.

Song began the second round with a left hook, and he caught Bedoya with a left hand moments later that caught Song off balance, knocking him to the ground momentarily. Back on the feet, a one-two from Song caught Bedoya clean, but Bedoya seemed to have composed himself and started to pick up his activity as he did in the first round. This was a much tougher round to score than the first, as Bedoya still held the edge in activity, but Song arguably landed the more damaging strikes. I gave a slight edge to Kenan Song. 19-19.

Song was applying forward pressure at the start of the fight’s final round, throwing his strikes with considerable power. Bedoya was still throwing back in combination, finding his target with regularity, but Song’s power was stopping him on his way in. The leg kicks from Bedoya continued to be his best weapon, with over fifty leg kicks landed throughout the bout, but he was not overwhelming Song as he did in the first. Song knocked Bedoya down momentarily, but Bedoya quickly popped back to his feet, where he pressed forward as he attempted to steal the round back. Song held his ground until time expired, and the fight went the distance. 29-28 Song.

WINNER: Kenan Song by unanimous decision (29-28 all)

Song started the fight off slowly, seemingly troubled by the pace that Bedoya was setting. As the fight wore on, however, Bedoya began to slow, and Song was able to gauge Bedoya’s timing quite well, catching Bedoya on his way in repeatedly. While a significant edge in output won Bedoya the first round, the next two rounds were decided by Song’s edge in power, as his damage outweighed Bedoya’s slight edge in activity throughout the fight’s final rounds. Song was a sizeable underdog going into this fight after a pair of tough knockout losses, but those losses came against tough opposition, and Song showed why he is considered to be one of the division’s more dangerous fighters outside of the top fifteen with his performance here. Song improved to 5-3 in the UFC following this win, with this marking his second career win by decision.

CHIDI NJOKUANI (22-9, 1 NC, 185.5) VS MICHAL OLEKSIEJCZUK (18-6, 1 NC, 186) – MIDDLEWEIGHT

Njokuani attacked the body of Oleksiejczuk with brutal knees to start the fight. Oleksiejczuk fired back with a powerful right hand, and he began to press forward, but Njokuani successfully brought the fight into the clinch against the cage. Oleksiejczuk quickly took dominant position in the clinch, but the fighters quickly separated, and a hard leg kick swept Oleksiejczuk’s leg out from under him momentarily. Back on the feet, a failed takedown attempt from Njokuani led to Oleksiejczuk taking top position, but he did not do much with the position, and the fight returned to the feet, where Njokuani wobbled Oleksiejczuk badly with a head kick. Njokuani flurried forward as he attempted to capitalize on the moment, looking to overwhelm the rocked Oleksiejczuk, but Oleksiejczuk fired back, and he rocked Njokuani in return, forcing Njokuani to retreat as he attempted to buy himself time to recover. Oleksiejczuk walked Njokuani down, throwing heavy strikes until Njokuani shot for a desperation takedown. Oleksiejczuk defended the attempt before taking the fight to the ground himself, where he threw down ground and pound strikes until the fight was stopped.

WINNER: Michal Oleksiejczuk by TKO at 4:16 of Round 1

Njokuani brought the fight to Oleksiejczuk from the fights very beginning, quickly chaining together a series of damaging knees to the body. Oleksiejczuk was able to weather the early storm from Njokuani, but a well-timed head kick had him in deep trouble. Njokuani nearly secured the first-round finish here, but he left himself open as he flurried forward, allowing Oleksiejczuk to fire back with some heavy shots that rocked Njokuani, directly leading to Oleksiejczuk’s ground-and-pound finish moments later. The move to middleweight has been very successful for Oleksiejczuk, who improved to 3-1 in the division with this win, and in his post-fight interview, Oleksiejczuk asked for a top-fifteen-ranked opponent for his next fight.

TOSHIOMI KAZAMA (12-5, 135.5) VS GARRETT ARMFIELD (8-3, 135) – BANTAMWEIGHT

Armfield repeatedly caught Kazama on his way in early in the round. Every shot in which Armfield landed was doing significant damage, and Kazama quickly changed strategies, shooting for a takedown unsuccessfully. Armfield pressed forward with heavy shots, looking for a quick finish, and he seemed to be well on his way to securing one, dropping Kazama with a speedy combination of hooks. Armfield allowed Kazma back to his feet, where he floored Kazama with a right hand, and the fight was immediately stopped.

WINNER: Garrett Armfield by TKO at 4:16 of Round 1

Armfield just ran through Toshiomi Kazama here. Kazama matched Armfield’s pace in the fight’s opening minute, but quickly realized that he could not match Armfield’s power or skill on the feet, and started looking for takedowns that Armfield defended with ease. From this point onward, Kazama was just trying to stay in the fight as Armfield looked to end things, throwing each strike with considerable power, and eventually, Armfield’s onslaught was too much for Kazama to handle, resulting in Armfield picking up the first-round finish. This marked Armfield’s first win in the UFC, and he is now 1-1 in the promotion.

WALDO CORTES-ACOSTA (9-1, 264) VS LUKASZ BRZESKI (8-3-1, 1 NC, 243) – HEAVYWEIGHT

The opening minutes of this fight were spent trading leg kicks until Cortes-Acosta began to work some heavier hands into his attack. Brzeski blocked the majority of Cortes-Acosta’s strikes, and he continued to attack the left leg of Cortes-Acosta, looking to limit the movement of his opponent. A right hand from Cortes-Acosta seemed to rock Brzeski, and moments later, a heavier right hand caused Brezki to lose his balance completely, turning his back to Cortes-Acosta. Cortes-Acosta flurried forward with heavy hooks, and he quickly knocked Brzeski unconscious, picking up the first-round finish.

WINNER: Waldo Cortes-Acosta by KO at 3:01 of Round 1

There was no shortage of first-round knockouts on this card, but this may have been the most devastating finish of them all, to this point on the card. Cortes-Acosta threw each of his strikes with the fight ending intentions, and while Brzeski initially did a good job of defending himself from these heavy attacks it was always going to be just a matter of time before Cortes-Acosta connected cleanly with one of these shots. Cortes-Acosta now holds a record of 3-1 in the UFC, and this marked his first finish since joining the promotion last year.

JUNIOR TAFA (4-1, 255) VS PARKER PORTER (13-8, 256) – HEAVYWEIGHT

It did not take long for the fighters to start trading strikes wildly, and a knee up the middle from Tafa had Porter rocked. Tafa moved in to finish the fight and eventually caught Porter with an overhand right that sent Porter face-first to the canvas, finishing this fight quickly.

WINNER: Junior Tafa by KO at 1:24 of Round 1

There is not much to break down from the action given how quickly the finish came, but Tafa fought with a great deal of confidence despite his relative inexperience in the sport of mixed martial arts. He walked Porter down, clearly willing to trade shots with Porter until he quickly found the finish. It was a strong finish for Tafa, who picked up his first win in the promotion here, and all five of his professional wins have come by way of knockout. A somewhat interesting sidenote is that Porter’s last two losses have now come to Justin and Junior Tafa respectively, in a combined time of two minutes and thirty seconds.

ERIN BLANCHFIELD (11-1, 125.5) VS TAILA SANTOS (19-2, 124.5) – FLYWEIGHT

Santos seemed to be getting the better of Blanchfield on the feet in the fight’s opening minutes, finding Blanchfield’s chin repeatedly. Blanchfield seemed unconcerned by the power of Santos, and she attempted to push the pace, initiating nearly every exchange on the feet. Santos’s counterstriking was looking very sharp, but Blanchfield was able to close the distance and held her opponent against the cage for a time in search of a takedown. Santos defended the attempt and landed a hard knee to the body after the fighters separated. A big right hand from Santos opened up a cut on the nose of Blanchfield late in the round. Santos defended another takedown to end the round. 10-9 Santos.

Santos began the second round with a trio of leg kicks, before defending another takedown attempt from Blanchfield. Blanchfield continued to search for takedowns as the round progressed, and while she was not initially successful in taking this fight to the ground, she did control Santos against the cage for a significant portion of the round. With roughly half the round remaining, Santos reversed the positioning and nearly secured a takedown of her own, but Blanchfield controlled the positioning and took top position when the fight hit the ground. Santos returned to her feet without taking much damage but was unable to create the separation that she needed to generate her own offense before time expired. 19-19.

Blanchfield immediately closed the distance in search of another takedown in round three, but the shot was defended. Santos was still landing the cleaner strikes on the feet, but Blanchfield’s relentless takedown attempts were draining the gas tank of Santos, who was having trouble creating separation. Still, the takedown defense from Santos held up well, and this was anyone’s round with time running out in the fight. A big right hand from Blanchfield caught an exhausted Santos near the end of the fight, in what was arguably Bleachfield’s best shot of the bout. The fight went the distance, and I scored it 29-28 for Erin Blanchfield.

WINNER: Erin Blanchfield by unanimous decision (29-28 all)

Santos was several steps ahead of Blanchfield in the opening round, and after five minutes, it was looking like this might be a rather one-sided fight. However, the momentum began to shift in round two, as while Blanchfield was unable to take the fight to her comfort zone on the ground, her pace was relentless, and Santos quickly exhausted herself keeping the fight on the feet. Blanchfield was not necessarily successful with a lot of what she was trying to do offensively throughout this bout, but she was the initiator, the one pushing the action throughout the last two rounds, and that is what ultimately won her this fight. After her win, Blanchfield called for a title shot, stating that she would like to face the winner of the rematch between Alexa Grasso and Valentina Shevchenko. Now 6-0 in the UFC, with back-to-back wins over former flyweight title challengers, I imagine Blanchfield will get the title shot that she asked for here, and will be the next challenger for the UFC Flyweight Championship. 

RINYA NAKAMURA (7-0, 135) VS FERNIE GARCIA (10-3, 135.5) – BANTAMWEIGHT

Nakamura brought the fight to the ground roughly a minute into the first round. Garcia did his best to escape to his feet, but Nakamura just threw him right back to the ground, where he began to work from half-guard. Nakamura moved to north-south position, where he locked in a tight north-south choke, but Garcia created enough space to escape the submission. Nakamura postured up and landed some heavy elbows just before time expired in the round. 10-9 Nakamura.

Nakamura threw up some wild head kicks in the second round, although Garcia was able to get his hands up in time to block the kicks. The fighters traded leg kicks, and Garcia caught Nakamura with a hard left hand when Nakamura stepped in. Seconds later, Nakamura shot for a takedown, and while Garcia initially defended with a guillotine attempt, Nakamura quickly escaped and re-took north-south position. Nakamura moved into side control and extended the right arm of Garcia, but Garcia successfully defended the submission attempt before time expired in the round. 20-18 Nakamura.

Garcia stumbled on his feet for a moment roughly two minutes into the final round, and Nakamura immediately capitalized, returning his opponent to the ground. Once again, Nakamura moved into side control, before moving into half-guard. Nakamura was hunting for a finish, but Garcia defended himself well, keeping himself out of dangerous situations. Still, Nakamura’s wrestling ability was far too much for Garcia to deal with, and he was unable to create the separation he needed until the final seconds of the fight. 30-27 Nakamura.

WINNER: Rinya Nakamura by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)

Garcia showcased some solid submission defense on the ground, but Nakamura’s wrestling was levels above Garcia’s, and he was able to take the fight to the ground at will. Nakamura’s first fight in the UFC resulted in a quick knockout victory for Nakamura, and while it was an impressive finish, I was certainly interested to see why he was a minus nine-hundred favorite going into this fight. The reasoning behind those odds quickly became apparent when I saw Nakamura’s speed and fluidity, especially on the ground, where he transitioned between dominant positions with ease, constantly threatening submissions without ever allowing Garica to escape from under him. It was another big win for Rinya Nakamura, who seems to be a name to keep your eye on as he ascends the bantamweight ladder.

GIGA CHIKADZE (14-3, 146) VS ALEX CACERES (21-13, 1 NC, 145.5) – FEATHERWEIGHT

Caceres pushed forward to begin the fight, throwing out some solid kicks to the body of Chikadze. He landed a strong spinning backfist before Chikadze answered with a strong body kick of his own. Caceres was doing a good job of dictating the range of the fight, but Chikadze was as comfortable fighting from distance as Caceres was, and he attacked the head and body of Caceres with kicks consistently, occasionally stepping in to land a straight right hand. This was a very competitive round, but I thought that Caceres may have taken it based on his early work. 10-9 Caceres.

Caceres landed the first strong strike of the second round, a short overhand left. Chikadze started to press forward with his own offense, landing a pair of hard straights as Caceres attempted to retreat. Chikadze seemed to be throwing his strikes with more power than Caceres, and he was certainly the more efficient fighter offensively, but Caceres stayed in this fight by matching Chikadze’s activity, throwing out creative strikes whenever the opportunities presented themselves. Still, Chikadze was clearly doing more damage whenever he connected, and while Caceres still had the slight edge in activity, I thought that Chikadze did enough to take this round on the scorecards. 19-19.

A clubbing right hand from Chikadze seemed to wobble Caceres early in the third round, but if he was hurt, Caceres recovered quickly. While the fighters continued to exchange strikes at an even rate, the edge in power for Chikadze seemed overwhelming by this point in the bout, and Caceres needed to create a moment of significance to regain the momentum. Chikadze fought at his own pace throughout the round, avoiding the majority of Caceres’s big strikes before responding with heavier shots of his own, and while he could not secure a finish before the fight’s conclusion, I thought he won his round definitively. 29-28 Chikadze. 

WINNER: Giga Chikadze by unanimous decision (30-27 all)

The fighters seemed to be rather evenly matched early in the fight, with the men exchanging solid shots at a fairly even rate, but as the fight progressed, the edge in damage for Chikadze became apparent, and Caceres was unable to match that power, falling behind on the scorecards as a result. It was a competitive fight, but Chikadze is a tough fighter to trade with at kickboxing range and won every round of this one on the judge’s scorecards. This marked Chikadze’s first fight since his loss to Calvin Kattar in January of 2022, and in his post-fight interview, Chikadze made it clear that he would like to fight again before the years end, calling for a spot on the December 16th card.

ANTHONY SMITH (36-18, 205.5) VS RYAN SPANN (21-8, 205) – LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT

This was a rematch of a fight from September of 2021. Smith won the fight by submission in the first round.

Smith cracked Spann with a series of heavy right hands throughout the fight’s opening minute, and then dropped him to a knee momentarily after a hard leg kick. Smith’s leg kicks were bothering Spann, and he was lighting Spann up with right hands whenever Spann took a step in to close the distance. Smith changed levels and took the fight tot eh ground, where he began to work from half-guard with just over ninety seconds remaining in the round. Spann was in a rough position but powered back to his feet. Smith connected with two more significant leg kicks before time expired in the round. 10-9 Smith.

Spann hurt Smith badly with a left hook at the start of the second round, and Spann quickly took the fight to the ground, where he began to throw down damaging ground and pound strikes. Smith was doing his best to improve his positioning, but his body language was poor, and while he survived the flurry from Spann, his left eye looked absolutely destroyed when Spann finally allowed him to his feet. The damage that Smith had done to the lead leg of Spann kept Spann from getting too aggressive once the fight returned to his feet, and I thought that despite the swelling to Smith’s eye, he was able to do good work for the remainder of the round, but this was still a very clear round for Ryan Spann, who nearly finished the fight in the rounds opening minute. 19-19.

Smith continued to attack the left leg of Ryan Spann in the third round. Smith attempted to keep Spann at range with his jab, but Spann was doing his best to press through Smith’s attempt at keeping the distance to land his own combinations. This was a very close round, and with ninety seconds remaining, it still felt as though the round was up for grabs. Both fighters landed some hard shots in the fight’s final minute, but neither man generated that moment that could have clearly earned them the nod, and the fight went the distance. 29-28 Spann.

WINNER: Anthony Smith by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

This was a rather controversial decision, and while I personally scored the fight for Spann as well, I did not see what was so outrageous about Smith getting his arm raised in the end. The first two rounds were very clear for Smith and Spann respectively, so the bout came down to the final round, where the fighters seemed to trade strikes at a fairly even rate, with neither man having the other in any considerable spots of trouble throughout. I thought that Spann landed with a bit more power throughout, so I scored the round for him, but the round was about as close as it gets, and I took no issues with the decision. This was Smith’s first win since his last win over Spann in 2021, snapping a two-fight skid of losses.

MAX HOLLOWAY (24-7, 146) VS THE KOREAN ZOMBIE (17-7, 146) – FEATHERWEIGHT

The fighters touched gloves to start the main event. They traded jabs to the body early, as well as simultaneous leg kicks. Zombie went on the attack early after stunning Holloway with a jab, but Holloway countered with a left hook that rocked The Korean Zombie momentarily, putting him on the retreat. Holloway stepped in and a solid left hook, before catching Zombie with another solid left hand. Holloway’s speed was giving Zombie problems, and The Korean Zombie was lunging in on his attacks in response, leaving himself open to counters. In the round’s final minute, Zombie connected with a right hand that led to Holloway resetting, and he landed a heavier one right before the round’s conclusion.

Just seconds into the fight’s second round, Holloway dropped The Korean Zombie hard with a right hand, and he was ready to walk off, but The Korean Zombie rolled for a leg, attempting to keep himself in the fight. Holloway attempted to lock in a D’Arce choke, and the submission looked tight, but The Korean Zombie managed to escape the submission and returned to his feet, where he started throwing hard as he attempted to make up ground. Zombie was finding a home for some heavy shots, but Holloway’s chin was holding up well, while Holloway’s offense seemed to be hurting The Korean Zombie with regularity. The fighters traded heavy hooks as the round approached its final minute before Holloway went back to attacking the body in combination.

Zombie opted to start the third round brawling wildly, seemingly content to leave the fight in fate’s hands. Both fighters landed heavy shots, but the chin of Max Holloway remained unbeaten, and he dropped The Korean Zombie hard as he charged in with a right hand, knocking him unconscious.

WINNER: Max Holloway by KO at 0:23 of Round 3

Back in 2020, The Korean Zombie faced Brian Ortega in a bout to determine the division’s top contender for Alexander Volkanovski’s UFC Featherweight Championship. Ortega won the bout convincingly, and by this point, it was clear that The Korean Zombie’s best days in the sport were behind him. He was several steps slower than he had been, and his legendary chin had finally begun to fail him after years of relying on his remarkable resiliency. After an extremely one-sided loss to Alexander Volkanovski, the idea of retirement was floated around by Zombie, but the prospect of a fight against Max Holloway, the best featherweight that he had never faced, was enough to entice him to step into the octagon once again.

Holloway was clearly the quicker fighter, and his speed was an immediate concern for The Korean Zombie, who was unable to match Holloway’s output from the backfoot. Instead, he generated his own offense by flurrying forward without fear of the counter, in the fashion that earned him his nickname many years ago. While this led to genuine moments of success against Holloway, it also allowed Holloway to respond with counters of his own as The Korean Zombie lunged forward, and while this was not an uncompetitive fight, it was clear that Holloway was doing significant damage whenever he was landing, and was consistently a step ahead of The Korean Zombie. Going into round three, it seemed as though The Korean Zombie realized that he was not going to beat Holloway in a level striking match, and came out brawling like the man who fought Leonard Garcia in 2010, throwing shots wildly at Holloway, knowing that a wild brawl was Zombie’s best chance at catching him. Instead, it was Holloway who caught Zombie’s chin as he pressed forward, and Max Holloway recorded his first finish since 2018 here, before jumping into the crowd to celebrate with his wife. After his win, Holloway gave an emotional interview, encouraging all to donate to charities dedicated to the ongoing wildfire crisis in Hawaii.

After the fight, The Korean Zombie was interviewed in the cage, and he confirmed his retirement from the sport of mixed martial arts, leaving his gloves in the cage. The crowd voiced their appreciation for the beloved fighter, and as the arena began to play his trademark theme of “Zombie” by The Cranberries, those in attendance started to sing along to the song, serenading The Korean Zombie as he left the cage for the final time. While The Korean Zombie never won the UFC Featherweight Championship, it barely seems to matter when reflecting upon his legacy in the sport, because his popularity was never reliant upon wins or losses. The Korean Zombie was a fighter who fought with such remarkable courage and heart, that he quickly found a place for himself in the hearts of MMA fans, a spot in which he always remained throughout the ups and downs of his sixteen-fight career. Chan Sung Jung was one of the most well-marketed fighters in the sport, shedding his actual name to simply go by his earned nickname of “The Korean Zombie”, a nickname in which he took great pride in, preferring it to be used over his real name even on the official UFC broadcast. It was an element of showmanship that very few fighters have utilized in the sport, and it generated results for him, as he became a genuine star to fight fans at featherweight, being utilized in a headlining position for the final ten fights of his career. While the Korean Zombie will always be remembered for his unique style, entertaining fights, and highlight finishes, he accumulated an impressive resume of wins over the years as well, defeating the likes of Dustin Poirier, Frankie Edgar, Renato Moicano, Leonard Garica, Dan Ige, and Dennis Bermudez. If this indeed marked Chan Sung Jung’s final fight in the sport, The Korean Zombie will retire with a professional record of 17-8.

1 Like