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‘I felt bad at that stage’ - Alexander Volkanovski reflects on ‘Korean Zombie’ stoppage at UFC 273

The ‘Great’ knew the ‘Korean Zombie’ was done before the referee stepped in during their fight last year. 

Alexander Volkanovski punches The Korean Zombie at UFC 273.
Alexander Volkanovski punches The Korean Zombie at UFC 273.
Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

Alexander Volkanovski was concerned for Chan Sung Jung by the end of their fight at UFC 273 this past April.

For the third defense of his UFC featherweight championship, Volkanovski turned in one of the most one-sided performances of his professional career against Jung. The ‘Great’ secured a fourth-round TKO of the ‘Korean Zombie,’ who was bruised and battered for the majority of the fight.

At one point, Volkanovski even checked in with Jung and asked if he wanted to continue, to which the UFC veteran responded with a nod. The champion asked again, Jung nodded and the fight continued. During a recent interview with John Hyon Ko of The AllStar, Volkanovski reflected on that brief interaction before the fight-ending sequence.

“I feel like I had this a bit in the [Brian] Ortega fight as well,” said Volkanovski. “We are fighters, we are warriors. You’re not going to sit there and be like, just tap on the floor [or] in between rounds tell your coaches like, ‘I’m done’. You ain’t going to do that. There’s no way ‘Korean Zombie’ is going to do that. There’s no way he’s even going to let off things. But I could see it in his eyes, even though he wasn’t trying to do that, I could see in his eyes he was done. He knew that he tried everything and it was just not going his way.

“He felt defeated,” continued Volkanovski. “So I felt bad at that stage because I felt like the ref could’ve just been like, ‘Alright, that’s it. He’s done.’ Because even when he was sitting there [between rounds three and four], it didn’t look like — it’s not like he didn’t want to be there, but he’s like, ‘There’s nothing I can do.’ So I felt like he looked defeated, so that’s why the ref didn’t give it to him.”

Following his loss to Volkanovski, Jung hinted at retirement in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. However, he has decided against it and expressed interest in fighting at an event in Seoul, South Korea.

A Fight Night in Seoul was scheduled but canceled after Jung suffered a shoulder injury and was forced to withdraw from the event. There is no word on when he expects to return to the Octagon.

As for Volkanovski, he is gearing up for a champ vs. champ fight with UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev at UFC 284 in February.