For Chan Sung Jung, the videos he found online of Eddie Bravo's unconventional twister submission helped him defeat Leonard Garcia at UFC Fight Night 24 and add an extra $55,000 to his bank account in the process.
"It's something that I saw a long time ago on the internet on video," Jung said via a translator during Saturday night's post-fight press conference. "It's one of Eddie Bravo's techniques. It's something I practiced because it just looks fun, and so I do it quite a bit in practice. I always told people I was going to try it some time in competition and I wanted to do it in the UFC and I was able to."
With just seconds left in the second round, "The Korean Zombie" slipped off to the side of Garcia and applied the rarely-seen submission, which involves controlling an opponent's opposite side leg and arm and cranking on the neck to put pressure on the spine. The move is incredibly painful, and Garcia couldn't stand much of it before he was forced to tap out with just one second remaining in the round.
"With twenty seconds left in the second round, I got his back and I just figured I would try to do something. I didn't necessarily think that I was going to go for the twister, but it just came out naturally from doing it so much in practice," said Jung.
The finish was the first successful twister ever pulled off in the UFC, and it earned Jung the bonus for Submission of the Night. It was a risky maneuver that he almost didn't go for, Jung said, because he was worried he might be losing the second round on points.
"When I started going in for the technique I knew there was less than thirty seconds left. That's actually one of the reasons why I went for that move. If it was more than thirty seconds I probably wouldn't have tried the move, but since there wasn't much time left I kind of went for it and thankfully it worked out."
In addition to helping him move past the bittersweet memory of the split decision loss in his legendary first fight with Garcia, the win was also Jung's first victory since competing in the U.S. and in Zuffa promotions.
Jung went 0-2 in the WEC before Zuffa merged the organization with the UFC, prompting some to wonder how long the "Zombie" might last in MMA's big leagues. But Jung said he wasn't worried about that status of his job going into Saturday's fight, thanks to a pre-fight conversation with former WEC matchmaker Sean Shelby.
"Before the fight actually Sean Shelby had come up to me and told me that there was no pressure on me, so I sort of took that as a signal that I didn't have to worry, I think mainly because I took the fight on such short notice. But he said not to feel too much pressure, so that helped me relax a little bit. I'm glad to get that first win. It definitely takes some of the pressure off me, especially for my first fight in the UFC. I'm especially glad to get my pay above the $5,000 level, since I was stuck there for so long."
Asked what he planned to do with that hefty sum, Jung replied simply, "Invest."
Perhaps he owes a small kickback to Bravo for posting the videos of his move online in the first place. Or maybe he could buy dinner for the teammates whose spines he's wrenched in the process of learning it. Just a thought.
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