A featherweight title hopeful is taking on one of the most exciting fighters in mixed martial arts, as Renato “Moicano” Carneiro matches up with “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung in the main event of UFC Fight Night 154 at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina on Saturday.
The UFC is making its first ever visit to South Carolina, and while the promotion is definitely putting on a second tier card, the headliner promises to give fans an exciting centerpiece for the night.
Jung Hopes to Rebound from Last-Second KO
Jung (14-5) is a former challenger for the UFC Featherweight Championship, and while he isn’t currently in the title picture, he’s still a ranked contender who is extraordinarily entertaining and nearly as talented. While he has lost two of his last three fights – including a heartbreaking, final second knockout loss to Yair Rodriguez in November – he remains one of the UFC’s most popular attractions outside of their superstar champions.
Jung has said on several occasions that the nature of that loss was embarrassing. But he’s looking to bounce back in a big way against Carneiro, and he says he remains grateful to the UFC for giving him the opportunity to fight another top contender.
“Despite the fact that I lost my previous fight against Yair, my initial reaction to that was appreciation towards [matchmaker Sean Shelby and UFC president Dana White],” Jung told MMA Junkie. “Because my opponent changed from Frankie [Edgar] to Yair, Sean and Dana both promised to match me with whichever opponent I wanted. Renato Moicano was one of the people in the rankings I wanted to face. I have nothing but appreciation towards them for keeping the promise.”
Impressive Win Could Earn Carneiro Title Shot
While Jung is looking for a win that will help him climb back up the rankings, Carneiro (13-2-1) thinks a win at UFC Fight Night 154 could put him immediately back in the title picture. Moicano is also coming off of a loss, having been stopped by Jose Aldo in the second round back in February.
UFC Fight Night 154: Main Card Odds (Via FanDuel Sportsbook)
- Renato Carneiro (-198) vs. Chan Sung Jung (+160)
- Bryan Barberena (-300) vs. Randy Brown (+230)
- Andre Ewell (-106) vs. Anderson dos Santos (-116)
- Andrea Lee (-205) vs. Montana De La Rosa (+166)
- Kevin Holland (-230) vs. Alessio Di Chirico (+184)
Despite that loss, Carneiro is still ranked as the No. 5 contender in the featherweight division, meaning he’s not too far off getting a desired shot at Max Holloway’s belt. Given Jung’s popularity and the fact that he is known to be a dangerous opponent, Moicano says that a victory on Saturday could be the ticket to that opportunity.
“[Jung’s] a tough guy. He’s not well ranked because he didn’t fight so much for the past three years, but he’s tough,” Carneiro told Combate. “I always ask the UFC for the best fighters, and I think he will help me get more recognition.”
It’s unlikely that this fight will lack for action, as Jung is known for his consistent aggression. Carneiro doesn’t spend quite as much time on the front foot, but he’s not afraid to strike, meaning there should be more than a few back-and-forth exchanges during the fight. But those are likely to be more dangerous for Jung, as Moicano will probably try to maintain some range and make Yung force the action.
Given those stylistic issues, it makes sense for Carneiro to be a slight favorite in what should be a competitive fight. Moicano is listed as a -198 pick at FanDuel Sportsbook, while Jung can be backed at +160 to win the fight.