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UFC eyes return to South Korea after Korean Zombie win



Last night’s return of “The Korean Zombie,” Chang Sung Jung, and more to the point, his amazing first round TKO over 9th ranked Dennis Bermudez after being away from the game for three and a half years, had a lot of people talking.

Chief among those was UFC president Dana White, who in a post fight interview for FS1  declared that he and Ari Emanuel had been thinking about going back to South Korea for an event and that this win convinced them to return – “Yeah, I don’t know if anybody in the history of the fight game has come back after a three-plus year layoff and looked as good as he did tonight. Very impressive. And he pumped some excitement into UFC Korea. Ari and I have been talking about going to Korea, so I think tonight he sealed the deal.”

The UFC seems primed to do so. Not only because of TKZ’s successful comeback, but they also have three other Korean natives they can highlight in such an event. Featherweight Doo Ho Choi and a couple of welterweights with the same name, Dong Hyun Kim.

“The Korean Superboy,” Doo Ho Choi (14-2) just came off a fight of the year candidate at UFC 206 against Cub Swanson. He arguably raised his stock more with that loss than the amazing 12 fight win streak he had coming into it. Currently ranked 11th in the UFC’s deep featherweight division, there are plenty of options for him to fight.

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“Stun Gun,” Dong Hyun Kim (22-3) is on a three fight win streak and ranked 6th in the division. Impressively his only three losses have come to UFC welterweight greats Demian Maia, Carlos Condit, and current champion Tyron Woodley. At age 35, this might be one of the last chances to make a run at the belt.

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“Maestro,” Dong Hyun Kim (14-8) is coming off his first UFC win in three attempts. While he still has a way to go before fighting highly ranked opposition, you can easily place him in an undercard slot to gain more experience in front of his hometown crowd.

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Moreover, these three competitors just fought last December. With Jung’s fight having only lasted a little under three minutes, it could be possible to have all four compete at the same time. The UFC only has one card announced for April (8th) and is looking to have three cards in Asia this year. Perhaps a mid-to-late April South Korea event could fit.

Barring any sort of injuries or prior commitments, a card with these fighters (throw Akiyama in there too for good measure) could really bolster the sport in South Korea, while at the same time give the core American audience some very compelling and relevant match ups.
This article comes to you via @GavelPro

Richmond, VA by way of San Juan, Puerto Rico. A long time combat sports fan, Felix has spent years covering the regional Virginia amateur and pro MMA scene. He now shifts his focus to writing about national MMA.

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