"The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung is officially back, and he has his eyes set on a big-name opponent for his return. In a promotional video released through Monsterzym, a Korean supplement manufacturer, Jung called out UFC legend BJ Penn for his return.
MMA Fighting's Shaun Al-Shatti gives a transcription:
For the past six months, there's a fighter that I've been wanting to fight: BJ Penn. When the BJ Penn (vs. Ricardo) Lamas fight was announced, I thought I missed my chance. But, then I heard that BJ Penn had a rib injury, so I kind of felt like maybe it was an opportunity for me. It would be great timing if BJ Penn and I were ready to come back at the same time.
While Jung may not be a household name at this point, he is one of the most universally beloved fighters among fans of the sport. A longtime featherweight contender, Jung became an overnight star at WEC 48 by putting on the 2010 Fight of the Year alongside Leonard Garcia.
He made his way to the UFC in 2011 with a rematch against Garcia and won that bout (and 2011 Submission of the Year honors) with his now-signature twister submission. From there, he cemented himself as one of the best action fighters in the history of the sport by tying the UFC record for fastest win with a seven-second knockout of Mark Hominick at UFC 140 and earning the award for 2012 Fight of the Year by defeating Dustin Poirier at UFC on Fuel TV 3.
Unfortunately, while he was as exciting as can be in the cage, he suffered numerous devastating injuries out of competition.
He was forced to take a year off following his bout with Poirier due to injuries and would be forced to take another year off after his 2013 bout with Jose Aldo. He was set to return at UFC Fight Night 53 opposite Akira Corassani in 2014, but he was forced to withdraw from the fight due to another injury, which was followed by his taking an indefinite leave from the sport to fulfill his mandatory service in the South Korean military.
Three years removed from his last fight, Jung will enter the cage a different man from when he left. "I'm moving from my twenties to my thirties, from a youth to an old man," he said. "I became a father. A lot of things have changed, so things seem very new to me. It feels like it's a new beginning."
While a Jung vs. Penn matchup makes a fair bit of sense, no details are set regarding The Korean Zombie's return. Hopefully an announcement will come soon.