When it comes to stardom in MMA...it sometimes seems random. Why are some guys who aren't that great popular with fans while champions with very high TKO and/or submission rates can't bring in a solid PPV buyrate?
In my opinion, some people have it, and some don't. Sometimes one good performance, or wild finish can get EVERYONE talking about you.
I believe Chan Sung Jung has taken great steps so far to become a big star in the world of MMA
1. A crazy war - Jung vs Garcia 1 was one of the craziest and wildest fights ever. It's ratings went pretty crazy and you started hearing stories about people who weren't really MMA fans wearing Korean Zombie T-shirts. The only bad point about it was that practically everyone thought Jung should have got the decision...which really only made people talk about it MORE. Either way, the battle was both Fight of the Night and it won Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Fight of the Year for 2010.
2. A vicious submission - The Korean Zombie had a lot of his hype deflated when he was KO'd by George Roop after his first Garcia fight....but he lucked out in getting a chance to rematch Leonard Garcia. Jung didn't fight nearly as wild, and in the closing seconds of the 2nd round, he submitted Garcia with the first ever Twister submission. It's a submission that got everyone talking. He avenged his controversial loss, got submission of the night and won submission of the year at the 2011 World MMA awards.
I have a friend who is a more casual fan than I am...he didn't know who I was talking about when I first mentioned the Korean Zombie, until I reminded him that 'He was the guy that had the twister submission'
3. A brutal, lightning fast knockout - Mark Hominick missed, Jung countered, Hominick went down, Jung pounced, and the fight was over. 7 seconds, tied for the 'Official' record for fastest knockout in the UFC. There is no doubt that a lot of people will be talking about his quick finish over such a high level opponent...especially one that just went the distance with the Featherweight champion.
Some fighters become budding stars with just any one of these occurances being part of their careers. Chan Sung Jung has pretty much completed the hat trick, an amazing back and forth fight, a memorable submission that hadn't been done before, and an insanely fast knockout over a top 10 fighter.
Throw in the fact that he is 24 and has plenty of room to improve, the fact that he just has a badass nickname, topped off with the fact that he walks out to "Zombie" By Cranberries....and I think there is a lot of potential for Jung to be one of the few lower weight fighters that can really draw a crowd.
Is he automatically there right now after last night? I don't think so...but I think it's fair to say that he is quite conceivably on his way.
How can you NOT like called The Korean Zombie who performs like he does?