"The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung came back into the spotlight in a big way with a first-round TKO victory over Renato Moicano to close out UFC Fight Night 154 at Bon Secours Wellness Arena on Saturday.
Moicano went to throw an innocuous jab when the Zombie slipped the punch and unfurled a massive right hand that floored him. The Brazilian desperately tried to extend the fight on the ground, but Jung continued with ground-and-pound until the fight came to a close.
It took him less than a minute to get the finish.
The win is huge for the comeback of The Korean Zombie. The exciting featherweight has finished fights fast in the past before; he once finished Mark Hominick in seven seconds.
Jung has been one of the most exciting fighters in the division when he's been active in the cage. He last fought for the title in August 2013 before taking a long hiatus to serve in the military in his native South Korea.
After going 1-1 in his two fights since coming back, this performance reminded fans just how good he can be.
It was a busy night for the judges before the explosive finish. Seven of the 10 fights prior to the main event went to a decision as fans in Greenville, South Carolina, were treated to a series of close bouts with some strong performances from the prospects on the card.
ESPN+ Main Card
- Chan Sung Jung defeats Renato Moicano via TKO (0:58 of Round 1)
- Randy Brown defeats Bryan Barberena via TKO (2:54 of Round 3)
- Andre Ewell defeats Anderson dos Santos via unanimous decision (29-28 x2, 29-27)
- Andrea Lee defeats Montana De La Rosa via unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28)
- Kevin Holland defeats Alessio Di Chirico via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
- Dan Ige defeats Kevin Aguilar via unanimous decision (29-28 x2, 29-27)
- Ashley Yoder defeats Syuri Kondo via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-25, 30-24)
- Luis Pena defeats Matt Wiman via TKO (1:14 of Round 3)
- Jairzinho Rozenstruik defeats Allen Crowder via KO (0:09 of Round 1)
- Molly McCann defeats Ariane Lipski via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
- Deron Winn defeats Eric Spicely via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Randy Brown vs. Bryan Barberena
Randy Brown finally gave the judges a break with a third-round TKO win over Bryan Barberena in the co-main event.
Brown proved that he deserved to be in the cage with Bam Bam from the outset. Barberena looked to close the distance and apply his signature pressure in the fight, but Brown was able to keep him at bay with his jab and low kicks.
Barberena came out in the second round and was able to get the clinch more often, but Brown showed he could hang in the clinch. He rained down some elbows in response to Bareberena's salvo and made it another tough round to score.
The score wouldn't be necessary, though. In the third round, Brown poured on some pressure of his own and crumpled Barberena to draw the fight to a close.
This is easily the biggest win of Brown's career. Barberena is a tough out for a young prospect in this division, and he beat him in impressive fashion. This should be a momentum creator for the 28-year-old.
A fight against ranked competition should be forthcoming.
Andre Ewell vs. Anderson dos Santos
Andre Ewell and Anderson dos Santos kicked the intensity up a notch when the two engaged in a battle that ended with Ewell winning via unanimous decision.
Mr. Highlight certainly added some new footage to his reel. He was able to land some bombs from distance as he tagged a tough dos Santos with multiple punches throughout the first two rounds. Dos Santos came back with hooks of his own in plenty of exchanges to give the fans a fast-paced brawl.
The third round showed signs of trouble for Ewell. Dos Santos finally opted to grapple after getting beat in the stand-up for two rounds. He had top position on his opponent and did some damage on the ground, but he wasn't able to come close to stopping the fight and simply made the inevitable a little more interesting.
Ewell moves to 2-1 in the UFC with his other win coming over former champion Renan Barao. The potential is clear to see, and this was a big win for his progression after losing to Nathaniel Wood by last-minute submission his last time out.
Andrea Lee vs. Montana De La Rosa
Montana De La Rosa might one day be a legitimate UFC contender. But the time is not now for the 24-year-old. The young submission specialist tried to get her fight with Andrea Lee to the ground, but by the time she actually got it there, she had already been soundly defeated.
Lee utilized her clean and crisp boxing to keep De La Rosa at bay. Her jab was a consistent factor, as every time De La Rosa attempted to close distance, she was met with a jab from Lee and follow-up strikes.
De La Rosa did flash some skills in the fight. Early on she was able to compete in the stand-up exchanges, and she threatened submissions in the third round but was simply too exhausted to get anything locked in as Lee got the unanimous nod.
The victory gives Lee three wins in the women's flyweight division and seven consecutive wins going back to her days in Invicta and Legacy.
De La Rosa gets her first loss in the Octagon. After winning three straight fights by submission against lesser competition, this may have been a little too much for the young fighter.
Kevin Holland vs. Alessio Di Chirico
Kevin Holland kicked off the card with a somewhat controversial decision victory over Alessio Di Chirico in middleweight action.
Holland's volume set the pace, but Di Chirico was able to land some blows that changed the direction of the fight, such as this massive elbow off the break:
In the second round, Holland's volume slowed a bit, as he appeared to have injured his shoulder. The corner was icing the apparent injury between the second and third rounds, leading some pundits to call for his coaches to call the fight.
However, their choice to let the fighter continue on paid off. Holland went out and sealed the fight on all three judges' cards, 29-28.
This is the second consecutive close fight that Holland has eked out. He scored a narrow split decision against Gerald Meerschaert his last time out. He'll need to start showing a bit more urgency if he wants to climb the middleweight ladder.