Ring rust? That obviously doesn’t apply to zombies.
Chan Sung Jung has not fought more than years due to injuries and a mandatory two-year period serving in the military for his home country of South Korea. No matter.
“The Korean Zombie” made quick work of featherweight contender Dennis Bermudez via knockout at 2:49 of the first round of his comeback fight in the main event of UFC Fight Night 104 on Saturday night in Houston. Bermudez landed some big shots early, but Jung walked through them — that’s how he got his nickname, after all — and finished with a massive uppercut and punches on the ground.
Jung (15-4) had not fought since a loss to Jose Aldo in a UFC featherweight title fight at UFC 163 in August 2013. “Zombie” injured his shoulder in that bout and then chose to do his mandatory two years of military service thereafter. The UFC certainly didn’t do him any favors by giving him Bermudez, a hard-hitting wrestler, in his first fight back, but it hardly fazed him. Jung, 29, is right back in place as one of the best featherweights in the world.
Bermudez (16-6) won two straight coming into this fight and was the favorite against Jung. The Long Island resident had only two losses in the last five years and owns a win over Max Holloway. Bermudez, 30, was ranked No. 9 in the UFC’s official featherweight rankings.
In the co-main event, Felice Herrig put together her best performance in years, signaling career resurgence. The popular strawweight fighter beat Alexa Grasso to the punch at every turn and won a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27) against the top prospect. Herrig landed a counter right hand regularly and combination after combination. She was the faster fighter with the better timing throughout.
Afterward, Herrig (12-6) said she wanted a rematch with Paige VanZant, because the first fight she said she was falling apart. New training methods and nutrition, Herrig said, have given her a new start. The Illinois native has now won two straight since the VanZant loss in 2015. Herrig, 32, also called out Michelle Waterson.
Grasso (9-1), who came in undefeated, was a heavy favorite against Herrig. The 23-year-old Mexican prospect was fairly dominant in most of her previous fights and defeated Heather Jo Clark by unanimous decision in her UFC debut back in November.
James Vick worked hard for a d’arce choke twice in the second round and didn’t get it. All it took was a flying knee in the third to make it work. Vick defeated Abel Trujillo via submission with that d’arce choke at 49 seconds of the third round in a sterling performance.
Vick (9-1) bounced back from the first loss of his career, a knockout defeat against Beneil Dariush at UFC 199 last June. The 29-year-old said he wants to fight next at UFC 211 in Dallas in May, which is near his hometown. Trujillo (15-7, 1 NC) came in on a three-fight winning streak.
In one of the best fights of the early year, Jessica Andrade outslugged Angela Hill to win a unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) and put herself in line for a potential women’s strawweight title shot. Hill absorbed every thing Andrade drew and landed some bombs of her own, but the Brazilian still won every round.
Andrade (16-5) has won all three of her fights since dropping from bantamweight to strawweight. Her previous two victories were by finish. Andrade, 25, has the whirlwind style of a John Lineker or Wanderlei Silva. Hill (6-3) was making her return to the UFC after four straight wins — including a strawweight title victory — for Invicta.
Marcel Fortuna came in on two weeks notice, was giving up more than 40 pounds in size, but still knocked out Anthony Hamilton in a heavyweight bout at 3:10 of the first round. Fortuna (9-1), who was making his UFC debut, usually fights at light heavyweight. Hamilton (15-7) has now lost two straight.
Also on the main card, Volkan Oezdemir pulled off an upset of light heavyweight contender Ovince Saint Preux in his UFC debut. It was a close fight, but Oezdemir was given the nod via split decision. Oezdemir (13-1) was supposed to fight for Titan FC two weeks ago, but Titan allowed him to bolt to the UFC to fight Saint Preux, whose original opponent Jan Blachowicz pulled out due to injury. OSP (19-10) has lost two straight.
Curtis Blaydes beat Adam Milstead by TKO at :59 of the second round after Milstead’s right leg gave out. Milstead appeared to be in a ton of pain. The leg seemed to be injured in a dominant first round from Blaydes. Blaydes (7-1) has now won two straight.
Chas Skelly picked up the first submission of the night with a crushing jaw crank on Chris Gruetzemacher at 2:01 of the second round. Skelly (17-2) has won two in a row and six of seven.
Also on the prelims, Tecia Torres outpointed Bec Rawlings via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) and 21-year-old prospect Ricardo Ramos won his UFC debut by unanimous decision over Michinori Tanaka (29-28, 30-27, 29-28).
On the early prelims, Khalil Rountree started off the event with a bang, knocking out Daniel Jolly with a vicious knee in just 51 seconds. Also from the early undercard, Niko Price beat Alex Morono via knockout right at the buzzer to end the second round.