Very few UFC fighters have lived up to their nickname more than Chan Sung Jung. Whenever “The Korean Zombie” seems to be down — one way or another — he comes storming back. In most cases, violently.
And so it was again Saturday night. Jung crushed Renato Moicano with an overhand right in the opening seconds, sending him crashing to the mat. Jung followed up on the ground, got Moicano’s back and earned a TKO finish with punches at 58 seconds of the first round in the main event of UFC Fight Night in Greenville, South Carolina.
Seven months after a heartbreaking loss in the final second of a fight with Yair Rodriguez, “The Korean Zombie” is back on the winning track.
“I know the right hand was there, it was just a matter of time of when it could come out,” Jung said afterward through a translator.
This was Jung’s ninth career first-round finish and the quickest stoppage he’s earned since a 6.2-second knockout of Mark Hominick at UFC 140 in 2011. Jung’s last eight victories have come via stoppage. On Saturday, Jung outlanded Moicano, 16-0, in significant strikes.
At UFC Denver in November, Jung was on his way to a decision win over Rodriguez when he got caught with an upward-moving elbow with one second remaining in the fifth round. It was one of the most stunning knockouts in MMA history. That was Jung’s return after nearly two years away due to a knee injury.
“The Korean Zombie” has made a career out of returns, though. In addition to his highly publicized ability to persevere through damage inside the cage, Jung (15-5) came back after nearly four years away from the Octagon due to injury and his Korean military obligations to knock out Dennis Bermudez in the first round in 2017. Jung, 32, challenged for the UFC featherweight title against Jose Aldo at UFC 163, suffering a TKO loss after he injured his shoulder.
Moicano (13-3-1) has lost two straight after being on a two-fight winning streak. The Brazilian fighter has been knocked out in all three of his career losses. Moicano, 30, came in at No. 7 in ESPN’s featherweight rankings, with Jung unranked.
In other action in Greenville:
Brown made his way into the UFC three years ago as a top prospect from Dana White’s “Lookin’ for a Fight” show. The New York resident had some moments early in his UFC run but never really showed all of the promise people thought he had coming into the promotion.
That all changed on this night. Brown was technical and precise with his striking in finishing the extremely durable Barberena at 2:54 of the third round. “Rude Boy” won the first two rounds, then poured it on in the third. He threw everything at Barberena, with a pair of body kicks doing the most damage. With Barberena reeling against the cage, Barberena landed a punch combination, finishing with a beautiful left hook to the liver. Barberena crumpled to the ground, and that was it.
“I’m slowly growing,” the 28-year-old Brown said. “I’m young. I’m learning on the job.”
This was the biggest win of Brown’s career, coming against the grizzled veteran Barberena. It also was his latest finish. Brown put forth a complete performance and looked far more confident in his striking than he had in the past. Brown’s body kicks impeded Barberena’s pressure in the first, when he showed off a nice jab. And in the third, Brown just landed everything.
Brown landed 89 significant strikes, a UFC career high for him, including 31 to Barberena’s body, per UFC Stats.
Brown (11-3) had lost two of three coming in and was knocked out by Niko Price in his last fight, at UFC Boise in July 2018. The native of Jamaica dedicated the victory to his grandmother, who died earlier this week in his home country, he said. Brown cashed as a +210 underdog here.
Barberena (14-7) has lost two in a row and three of his last four. The 30-year-old Tennessee resident is known for his exciting fights and toughness, but he has now been knocked out in his last two fights after not being knocked out in his first 19 career bouts.
Ewell looked like he could land his long jab and straight left hand from any angle. The rising bantamweight used his rangy striking at will when the fight was standing in a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27) victory over Dos Santos.
Dos Santos did well to finally put Ewell on his back in the third round, but it was too little, too late — Ewell had busted him up over the first 10 minutes. Ewell landed some lengthy combinations and had Dos Santos in trouble several times.
Ewell (15-5) has won six of his last seven fights and appears to be someone to watch in the 135-pound division. The 31-year-old California native has been very busy, fighting 13 times in the last two-plus years.
Dos Santos (20-8), a 33-year-old Brazilian, has lost two straight.
“KGB” is a legitimate women’s flyweight contender, proving that with a complete performance in a unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) win over fellow ranked 125er De La Rosa.
Lee rocked De La Rosa with a hard jab in the first, bloodied De La Rosa’s nose with punches in the second and landed big ground-and-pound in the third.
De La Rosa’s best moments came in the final round. The former standout amateur wrestler latched onto a modified ninja choke after Lee slipped following a head kick attempt. Lee managed to escape that and then an armbar attempt to hang on for the victory.
Lee (11-2) has won seven fights in a row overall. In the UFC, “KGB” has won three straight, which is tied with champion Valentina Shevchenko for the longest active winning streak in the women’s flyweight division. The 30-year-old Louisiana native has not lost since 2016.
De La Rosa (10-5) remains a top prospect in the weight class. The Texas resident, a past training partner of Lee’s, was on a four-fight winning streak coming in. De La Rosa is just 24 years old.
Holland injured and possibly dislocated his shoulder in the second round, but he still did enough to pick up the win by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) in a close fight. Di Chirico rocked Holland with a hard elbow out of a clinch in the first, but Holland was the aggressor from them on. Holland kept Di Chirico at bay with punches in the second, even with a bad right shoulder. In the third, Holland landed a head kick to Di Chirico’s face.
Holland said afterward that the injury happened on a takedown attempt in the second round.
“He’s got a tough body, bro,” Holland said. “He’s built like steel. When we hit the floor, it feel like it popped.”
Holland added: “I’m a G, baby. I’ll be all right.”
Holland (15-4) has won three straight after losing his UFC debut to Thiago Santos. The 26-year-old Texas native has won six of seven overall. Di Chirico (12-3), a 29-year-old Italy native, had a two-fight winning streak snapped.
It wasn’t a first-round finish, like Ige earned in two of his last three fights. But in some ways, this one was as impressive. Admittedly tired heading into a decisive third round, Ige gutted it out — and nearly finished Aguilar — in what ended up being a unanimous decision victory (29-28, 29-28, 29-27).
Ige bloodied Aguilar up in the first round but ended up on the bottom in the second, eating Aguilar’s ground-and-pound. In the third, where Ige afterward said he showed the “heart of a champion,” he landed a huge left hook, a flying knee and another big knee to Aguilar, nearly putting him down. Aguilar survived, but Ige did enough to win in the feature bout of the ESPN prelims.
Ige (12-2) has won four in a row, the fifth-longest active winning streak in the UFC featherweight division. The 27-year old Hawaii native asked for a top-15 fighter next or Bryce Mitchell, with whom he’s gone back and forth on social media.
Aguilar (17-2), a 30-year-old Texan, had a nine-fight winning streak snapped.
In by far the best performance of her UFC career, Yoder dominated with her grappling, leading to a unanimous decision victory (30-26, 30-25, 30-24). Yoder had ground control throughout the three rounds, working for armbars and getting Kondo’s back. Kondo posed very little resistance once Yoder got things to the mat, leading to those lopsided scores. All Kondo could do was defend submission attempts.
Kondo went for a guillotine on the feet in the third, her lone significant offense outside of some strikes in the second. But Yoder countered into a takedown, and that basically wrapped up the win.
Yoder (7-4) has won two in a row after beginning her UFC career 0-3. The 31-year-old California resident is a veteran of “The Ultimate Fighter,” competing on Season 23. Kondo (6-3), a 30-year-old Japanese fighter, has lost three straight after winning her UFC debut.
“Violent Bob Ross” had no mercy in welcoming Wiman back to the UFC. Peña dominated Wiman from the start, opening a gnarly cut on Wiman’s left eyebrow in the opening seconds. Finally, in the third, Peña took advantage of a Wiman slip and poured it on with ground-and-pound until referee Dan Miragliotta stepped in at the 1:14 mark.
Peña (7-1) has won two straight. This was the 25-year-old Arkansas native’s first KO/TKO finish since his MMA debut in 2016.
Wiman (16-8) had not fought for more than four years, since a unanimous decision win over Isaac Vallie-Flagg at UFC Austin in November 2014. Wiman, a 35-year-old Colorado native, had won three of four before taking the lengthy break from the Octagon.
Peña was complimentary of the 15-year veteran’s toughness. “Even when I hurt him,” he said, “I felt like I was fighting a zombie, man.”
Rozenstruik dropped Crowder with the first punch of the fight, a jab. The second and third punches to Crowder, on the ground, ended the fight. Rozenstruik knocked Crowder clean out in just 9 seconds — the second quickest KO in UFC heavyweight history.
Rozenstruik (7-0) has won both of his UFC fights by stoppage. The 31-year-old Suriname native trains with elite kickboxer and countryman Tyrone Spong at Hard Knocks 365 in Florida.
Crowder (10-4) was coming off a disqualification win over Greg Hardy at UFC Brooklyn in January.
Sure, Lipski is nicknamed “The Violence Queen.” But few in the women’s flyweight division enjoy a good brawl more than McCann. “Meatball” was able to get within range and land big right hands and left hooks in each round en route to a unanimous decision victory (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
With 10 seconds remaining in the bout, her forehead bleeding from an elbow, McCann pointed to the ground and asked for a haymaker battle. Lipski obliged, and McCann got the better of the exchange to potentially seal the round.
McCann (9-2) has won two in a row. The 29-year-old England native has won eight of her last nine. Lipski (11-5), a 25-year-old Brazilian, has lost two straight.
Daniel Cormier‘s protégé got a win in his UFC debut, but it didn’t come easily. Winn blasted Spicely with combos in a brawl of a middleweight bout over the first two rounds, only for Spicely to come back and bust open Winn’s left eye with knees in the third. It was a wild Fight of the Night candidate in which Winn ultimately did enough to win by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Winn (6-0) is a 30-year-old former standout amateur wrestler who trains out of American Kickboxing Academy with Cormier. Spicely (12-5), a 32-year-old Massachusetts native, was on a two-fight winning streak on the regional circuit before getting the call for his UFC return on five days’ notice. Winn’s previous opponent, Bruno Silva, tested positive for a prohibited substance in a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency test.