The Korean Zombie is back in the win column after Chan Sung Jung managed to grind out a decision victory over Dan Ige in the featherweight main event of UFC Fight Night from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Jung has developed a reputation as a wild brawler, churning out bonus-winning performances with regularity in his career. However, it was a return to his impressive grappling and a more measured approach to the striking game to nullify Ige's offense for much of the fight.
Jung showed early that he was focused on avoiding extended striking exchanges with Ige, scoring a takedown in the first round and immediately beginning to dominate the position battle on the ground. At several points during the fight, Jung took Ige's back, locking in a body triangle and holding the position to grind out rounds.
"I wanted to show all my skills and the capabilities of me being a champion, so I wanted to show everything and bring everything to this fight," Jung said after his victory.
The win was the first by decision for Jung since 2008. While he went for submissions on the ground, including rear-naked choke attempts and an attempt at a rare chicken wing, Ige was able to survive the worst threats Jung could offer. In the end, Jung managed to take all three judges scorecards by scores of 48-47, 49-46 and 49-46.
"In the fifth round, I wanted to do some sort of submission before going all the way," Jung said. "I do feel a little bit upset about that, but I wanted to bring everything and all the qualities of the champion."
The win improved Jung to 4-2 since returning from a near four-year hiatus for mandatory military service in his home country of South Korea.
Having established himself as a contender again after suffering a decision loss to Brian Ortega in his previous fight, Jung made it clear that he was focused on the upcoming title match between Ortega and champion Alexander Volkanovski, saying, "I'm not No. 4 anymore, now I'm No. 3."