This Saturday, August 3, The Korean Zombie Chan Sung Jung looks to become a real-life Rocky Balboa as he challenges Jose Aldo for the UFC Featherweight title in the main event of UFC 163. Join Bloody Elbow Saturday night and all week for UFC 163 coverage.
Zombie will be the clear-cut underdog against pound-for-pound great Aldo, but that's part of what makes this fight great. Ever since his 2010 WEC war with Leonard Garcia, TKZ has developed a huge cult following, largely thanks to his ability to defy the odds while entertaining fans. Here then is a look at a little-known corner of the Korean Zombie mythos - his 2010 professional kickboxing fight for It's Showtime.
At the time of this fight, Zombie had yet to make his WEC and US debut. He was 10-1 and coming off a run in Japan's Sengoku organization that earned him both his nickname and increased exposure. When Europe's top kickboxing organization It's Showtime needed a fighter to take on the highly decorated Muay Thai fighter Pajonsuk, Jung got the unlikely call up. This despite not having any high level pro kickboxing experience to his name, nor being a particularly notable stand-up MMA fighter. Fans expected a slaughter, but as seems to happen with Jung, things didn't go quite as planned.
Watch the full fight video above. Fight starts at the 5:50 mark. And also, consider this your spoiler warning for the rest of the article.
Zombie turned in a surprising performance against the heavily favored Pajonsuk, initially appearing to win the fight via spectacular, lights-out KO. Unfortunately, it was not to be, as the spinning back fist is not allowed under It's Showtime rules. Because Pajonsuk was unable to continue, Zombie was disqualified.
Tell me your thoughts on the KO of Pajonsuk in "It's Showtime"? Since you often throw the spinning backfist, did the technique just come naturally in the heat of battle?
CSJ: "It is something that I've practiced. Actually, I was talking to my friend Jeffrey, who had come to Prague for the fight, the night before the fight and I was telling him that the spinning backfist might be my only chance to win. I didn't realize that it was illegal at the time. Pajonsuk, is a full on stand-up guy, so I knew I had my hands full in a stand-up bout.
I think a lot of people realized, including myself, that this wasn't my forte. 'It's Showtime!' were for the strongest fighters from Korea at 70kg., but the K-1 tournament in Korea was scheduled for the next month, so most of the stronger stand-up guys were already slated to fight in K-1. I thought it might be a good experience for me, so Coach and I decided to go for it. I do have confidence in my stand-up and want to continue to refine it, so we thought it might be fun."
Though he ended his It's Showtime career just 0-1, this is still another great moment on the highlight reel of The Korean Zombie Chan Sung Jung. I can't wait to see if he creates another memorable moment Saturday night.
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