After 16 years as a professional fighter, Chan-sung Jung, a.k.a the beloved ‘Korean Zombie,’ called it a career in Singapore two weekends ago. The 36-year-old faced former champion and once-consensus featherweight GOAT Max Holloway and lost heartbreakingly via third-round TKO.
Zombie was mostly grateful for the love and support he received from the MMA community. But he did address one disappointment towards some fan behavior that night.
Korean Zombie disheartened by unruly fan behavior
Jung released a video on his YouTube channel this past weekend, mostly expressing gratitude for the adulations thrown at him by supporters and some of his big-named peers.
“I’ve been thinking, ‘why do these people show so much love?’ All the fighters around the world, my favorite fighters, the fighters that I admire, were all leaving comments on my retirement. I am just so grateful,” he said.
But he did mention a moment that left him disappointed. It was during his walk towards the back, moments after leaving it all in the cage and announcing his retirement.
“So I took off my gloves in the Octagon, and I was walking backstage with my left hand. While I was high-fiving the audience during the walk back, I kept my left hand folded on purpose, because I had the gloves in my left hand,” the Korean Zombie recalled.
“But then someone held onto my wrists and took one of my gloves. Dude, seriously?
“I really wanted to keep those gloves, but one went missing. So I was, like, ‘whatever,’ and just threw the other one in the crowd.”
The unidentified individual from the crowd got to take home some precious keepsakes, but the Korean Zombie isn’t happy about it.
“Whoever took my glove, you crossed the line. Those were my last pair of gloves.”
The Korean Zombie, ‘former UFC fighter’
Jung got his shine and recognition from the rest of the MMA world when he entered the UFC in 2011 and scored the first-ever Twister submission in company history against Leonard Garcia. He also holds a notable submission win over Dustin Poirier, which earned him a title shot against Hall of Famer and former perennial champion José Aldo.
He continued putting on memorable performances in his succeeding fights, solidifying his reputation as a fan-favorite. But as he revealed in the video, one moment during the Holloway fight proved to be an eye-opener.
“When Max was helping me up, that was when I clearly realized that it was time for me to go.”
The most challenging part of retirement for the Korean Zombie is facing his new reality.
“Introducing myself as a ‘former UFC fighter’ feels a little funny. I’ve always introduced myself as a UFC fighter. Now, my retirement feels more real that I am not part of the UFC anymore.
“Earlier, I saw my name tweeted by UFC Roster Watch. I was looking at the tweet, and… the fact that ‘I’m not a UFC fighter anymore’ struck me hard.
“But the great thing about it is I’ve been on my phone for three days straight. It feels like everyone in Korea watched my last fight. A lot of people did actually watch the fight. So I feel grateful about that.”
The Korean Zombie’s UFC run and MMA record
The Korean Zombie bagged eight post-fight bonuses throughout his 12-year UFC run. One happened against another fan-favorite, former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, with whom he scored a first-round TKO win in 2019.
Chan-sung Jung retired with an MMA record of 17-8.
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