“The Korean Zombie,” Chan Sung Jung, will look to claw his way further up the featherweight rankings as he takes on Frankie Edgar in the main event at UFC Fight Night 165 in South Korea on Saturday.
Edgar (23-7-1) is a last-minute replacement for Brian Ortega, who partially tore his ACL in a training accident earlier this month. Jung has been installed as a -174 favorite over Edgar (+142) by FanDuel Sportsbook.
Edgar Delays Planned Move to Bantamweight
Ortega says he won’t need surgery, and he’d like to fight Jung once he’s recovered from his rehab. In the meantime, Edgar makes an interesting replacement. Currently the No. 5 featherweight in the UFC rankings, he’s scheduled to move down to bantamweight, likely making this his last fight at 145 pounds, win or lose.
Still, Edgar took the fight, finding the opportunity to fight the Korean Zombie on short notice intriguing.
“I heard that Ortega was hurt and I went to my team and I touched base, and I said if you need someone, I’m available,” Edgar told MMA Fighting. “I feel like I was ready. My team liked the fight. Lately, I’m just about experiences and this is a good experience to have in my life. I’ve done a lot in this career. I’ve never taken a fight on two weeks’ notice … so why not add that to the repertoire.”
Edgar and Jung were expected to fight last year, but an Edgar injury scrapped that encounter, providing even more incentive for him to take this opportunity.
Younger Korean Zombie Has Power Advantage
Jung (15-5) is currently ranked as the No. 7 featherweight contender, and has established himself as a legitimate threat in the division. His last three fights include two, first-round knockout wins, sandwiched between an incredible, last-second knockout loss in the fifth round to Yair Rodriguez. He’s won five of his last seven fights, with his two losses coming to Rodriguez and Jose Aldo, and with none of the contests going the distance.
UFC Fight Night 165 Odds
- Frankie Edgar (+142) vs. Chan Sung Jung (-174)
- Volkan Oezdemir (+130) vs. Aleksandar Rakic (-160)
- Doo Ho Choi (-300) vs. Charles Jourdain (+230)
- Da Un Jung (-104) vs. Mike Rodriguez (-118)
- Jun Yong Park (-106) vs. Marc-Andre Barriault (-116)
- Kyung Ho Kang (-260) vs. Liu Pingyuan (+205)
Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook
The 38-year-old Edgar challenged Max Holloway for the featherweight title in July, losing a one-sided decision. That makes two losses in his last three fights, leaving his career at something of a crossroads. At his age, it’s unclear if Edgar will ever be explosive enough to truly challenge for a world championship, but at the same time, he remains one of the best featherweights in the game, and could pose problems at bantamweight if he does eventually move down to that division.
All things considered, this is a difficult fight to call. Edgar has all the tools to beat Jung, but the Korean Zombie has looked better in his most recent fights – albeit against a lower level of competition. Jung is a heavy hitter who may be able to neutralize Edgar’s takedowns and versatility, or at least end the fight before those become important factors.
The UFC Fight Night 165 co-main event pits light heavyweight contenders Aleksandar Rakic (-160) and Volkan Oezdemir (+130) against each other, while local fighter Doo Ho Choi (-300) takes on Charles Jourdain (+230) in a featured featherweight bout.