In the history of the UFC’s Featherweight division, very few could match the level of excitement this man incited when he entered the cage. After nearly three years away from the sport, “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung is finally slated to make his emphatic return.
Announcing via Facebook, Jung not only teased fans with a hinted timetable for his return, he also made his desires known as to who he would like to face upon his return. None other than the former UFC Lightweight champion B.J Penn.
“For the past six months, there’s a fighter that I’ve been wanting to fight: B.J. Penn,” Jung said. “When the B.J. Penn vs. Lamas fight was announced, I thought I missed my chance. But, then I heard that B.J. Penn had a rib injury, so I kind of felt like maybe it was an opportunity for me. It would be great timing if B.J. Penn and I were ready to come back at the same time. Since he was at lightweight before, I never really thought about fighting him that much. But when he came down to featherweight, I would think that all of the fighters in the division would have liked to fight him. I’m one of them. Since I’m making my comeback, and B.J. is going to be coming back as well, I’d really like a chance to fight him.”
Jung (14-4, 3-1 in UFC) last competed at UFC 163 for the UFC Featherweight championship against then-champion Jose Aldo. Jung would dislocate his shoulder before Aldo would finish the bout via TKO. Prior to his title shot, Jung defeated Leonard Garcia via (the first ever) twister submission, Mark Hominick by knockout in seven seconds, and Dustin Poirier by darce choke submission 2012’s Fight of the Year.
In 2014, Jung said in an interview with MMA Fighting that he believed his military service would actually extend his MMA career, as it would allow him “some much-needed time to heal” and improve his abilities without focusing solely on training for a fight.
“I’m moving from my twenties to my thirties, from a youth to an old man,” Jung said on Tuesday. “I became a father. A lot of things have changed, so things seem very new to me. It feels like it’s a new beginning. I have to do my best and I think I’ll do well. I need to work even harder now. I don’t think there’s really any more to say than that. I just hope that the fans keep their eyes on me.
“It seemed like a really long time. A lot of fans have told me that, and it feels like it was a really long time to me, too. Now that I’m back in the UFC, I’ll try to put on even more exciting fights that the fans can get really excited about.”