"The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung put an exclamation point on 2019 with a first-round TKO win over Frankie Edgar to close out the UFC's final show of the year in Busan, South Korea.
Edgar looked to get off to a fast start in the first round, but the Korean Zombie was ready with his counterpunching game. He wobbled the former lightweight champion as he was coming in with a well-timed right hand.
From then on, The Answer was in survival mode. Jung followed him to the ground, where he attempted to finish the fight with a rear-naked choke as well as strikes. While Edgar's veteran savvy kept him from getting finished then, it only prolonged the fight long enough for Zombie to add some more strikes to his highlight reel.
The 32-year-old Jung continues to be one of the most exciting fighters in the featherweight division. His record as a finisher is prolific, and a big win in front of the home crowd once again puts him in the running for title contention at 145 pounds.
The loss now drops Edgar to 1-3 in his last four fights and legitimizes questions about just how much longer he can hang around. He was a late replacement for Brian Ortega, who was forced to withdraw from the fight, but the 38-year-old doesn't seem to be able to hang with the top fighters in the division anymore.
The knockout victory closed out a card that was heavy on strong performances from Korean fighters. Volkan Oezdemir was also a big winner on the final card of 2019.
Main Card Results
- Chan Sung Jung def. Frankie Edgar via TKO (punches) in Round 1
- Volkan Oezdemir def. Aleksander Rakic by split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)
- Charles Jourdain def. Doo Ho Choi via TKO (punches) in Round 2
- Da Un Jung def. Mike Rodriguez via KO (punches) in Round 1
- Jun Yong Park def. Marc-Andre Barriault by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)
- Kyung Ho Kang def. Liu Pingyuan by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
- Ciryl Gane def. Tanner Boser by unanimous decision (30-26 x3)
- Seungwoo Choi def. Suman Mokhtarian by unanimous decision (29-26 x2, 29-25)
- Omar Morales def. Dong Hyun Ma by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 29-28)
- Alexandre Pantoja def. Matt Schnell via KO (punch) in Round 1
- Raoni Barcelos def. Said Nurmagomedov by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)
- Amanda Lemos def. Miranda Granger via submission (RNC) in Round 1
- Heili Alateng def. Ryan Benoit by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Aleksander Rakic vs. Volkan Oezdemir
He had to survive an early onslaught and an aggressive opponent, but Oezdemir successfully won back-to-back fights for the first time since 2017 with a split decision over Aleksander Rakic in the co-main event.
Rakic put the pressure on early, throwing wildly and looking for a standing guillotine as Oezdemir was overwhelmed early. Oezdemir stayed the course and played the long game, though.
He invested early and often in leg kicks and gave his opponent a third knee by battering the lead leg:
Still, Rakic didn't go away. The Austrian drew out the aggression from Oezdemir and was usually in the pocket to counter as the two engaged in an entertaining back-and-forth that put the judges in an unenviable spot.
In the end, two of the three judges were impressed enough by Oezdemir's leg kicks and aggression to give him the nod on their scorecards.
It's Rakic's first loss in the UFC and first loss overall since losing his professional debut in 2011.
Charles Jourdain vs. Doo Ho Choi
Doo Ho Choi was supposed to be one of the most sure things on the card. After suffering back-to-back losses, the Korean Super Boy was given a winnable matchup against a relative unknown in his home country.
Instead, Jourdain played the role of spoiler in the most exciting way.
This fight was fun from the outset. Choi was the more technically sound striker and appeared to be one step ahead in several exchanges:
However, Jourdain was willing to exchange and throw heavy leather, and it eventually paid off. He landed a left-right hook combination that floored Choi and cleared the way for the biggest win of his career.
Jourdain lost his UFC debut to Desmond Green via decision. Given his performance against Choi, that was clearly not an indicator of his ceiling. Jourdain is worth keeping an eye on moving forward in the featherweight division.
Mike Rodriguez vs. Da Un Jung
After two ho-hum decisions, Da Un Jung livened things up with a first-round knockout win over Mike Rodriguez.
Jung came out aggressive from the jump. He stalked his man down and found a home for a beautiful right hand on Rodriguez's chin, and it wasn't long until he picked up his second UFC win.
Jung has finished both of his UFC fights as he continues to extend a 12-fight win streak.
What's more interesting than the pure number of wins is the improvement and versatility that the Korean has shown. His first win came by submission in the third-round after a tight bout with Khadis Ibragimov.
The light heavyweight division is always in need of contenders and Jung is showing some promise as an international prospect. The 31-year-old is in a good spot to continue climbing the ladder at 205 pounds.
Jun Yong Park vs. Marc-Andre Barriault
In middleweight action, "The Iron Turtle" Jun Yong Park picked up his first UFC win via decision over Marc-Andre Barriault.
After losing by submission in his UFC debut against Anthony Hernandez in August, Park showcased a well-rounded game in picking up the decision win his second time out. He outpointed Barriault easily in the first two rounds with a combination of strong kickboxing, clinch skills and some takedowns.
Barriault mustered up a small comeback in the third round to make it competitive and take a round on some scorecards, but ultimately, it was a small blip in what was a good performance from Park.
Going forward, Park has a long way to go to prove himself someone worth watching, but the fact that cards in Asia are becoming a more common occurrence, he still holds value for the organization as someone to fill out those cards.
Barriault is still looking for his first UFC win. The Canadian is now 0-3 since coming to the promotion.
Kyung Ho Kang vs. Liu Pingyuan
Pressure was the name of the game for "Mr. Perfect" Kyung Ho Kang. Fighting in his hometown, he was in a pressure-filled situation and used the crowd's energy to beat Liu Pingyuan and kick off the main card.
The 32-year-old grappler constantly closed the distance with Pingyuan suffocating him for the better part of three rounds.
Pingyuan was all too happy to stay in bottom position. He chose to stay active on his back and bloodied Kang with elbows in the third round. His work from the bottom was enough to give him the nod on one of the judge's scorecards.
But as is usually the case, Kang's top position carried the day on the scorecards, and the Korean fighters got off to a 1-0 start for the night.