More than three years after his last bout, “The Korean Zombie,” Chan Sung Jung, returned Saturday night and it was like he never left, as he knocked out No. 9-ranked featherweight contender Dennis Bermudez in the first round of their UFC Fight Night main event at Houston’s Toyota Center.
“I wasn’t really expecting it (the knockout),” Jung said. “It just happened.”
It was a stirring return for the Seoul action hero, whose last Octagon appearance was in an August 2013 title fight against Jose Aldo. Following the bout, Jung performed his mandatory two-year military service in South Korea, and once that was done, his comeback was a highly anticipated one, with many wondering what the layoff would do to him. Apparently, he’s come back better than ever.
“It definitely felt different from sparring, so when I got in here, it felt like this is the real thing, this is the Octagon,” Jung said, and he proved that in a division much different than the one he left in 2013, he’s still a major player.
The pace was fast from the start, with Bermudez drawing first blood with a right hand that rocked Jung. Bermudez’ wrestling wasn’t getting the fight to the mat, but his punches and kicks were sharp. Two minutes in, the forward moving Jung began dropping his hands to entice Bermudez into a brawl, and while the Long Islander didn’t bite, a few moments later, Jung landed a flush right uppercut that put Bermudez on the deck, with a quick follow-up attack prompting Herb Dean to wave the fight off at 2:49 mark of round one.
Jung improves to 14-4 with the win; Bermudez falls to 17-6.