Chan Sung Jung wants another shot at the UFC featherweight title, and he’s convinced he’s capable of stopping the new champion’s reign.
“The Korean Zombie” took care of business in his native South Korea, needing a little more than three minutes at UFC Busan to become just the second fighter to finish former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar with strikes. Edgar has been a staple in the top-5 rankings at 145 pounds, and Jung not only claimed his spot, he immediately called for a bout with Alexander Volkanovski afterwards.
Volkanovski is fresh off of dethroning longtime featherweight king Max Holloway at UFC 245, which has made him a marked man heading into 2020. Whenever Volkanovski recovers from hand surgery, Jung wants to be the first one in line to challenge him.
“I’m eager to know when he will be back,” Jung told MMA Fighting. “I think I’d be able to beat Volkanovski easier than Holloway could.”
Unsurprisingly, Jung escaped his bout with Edgar mostly unscathed. However, he announced afterwards that he has had an ongoing eye condition that requires treatment and that could keep him on the shelf until the second quarter of 2020.
Ahead of the Busan bout, Jung spoke to the UFC officials about his condition and was told by physicians that it would not prevent him from competing nor would it be expected to impact his performance.
“During my stay in the States, my eye condition became worse, and in order to treat it as soon as possible, I had no choice but to let the UFC know,” Jung said. “Fortunately, I was told that there wasn’t any harm to my eye, it was just the double vision, so I had to choose whether to fight or not.
“If the doctors told me it was going to get worse if I get hit in the eye, I would’ve gave it another thought, but they told me it was okay to be hit, and I was glad that I was able to stay in this sport.”
Jung’s plan is to undergo surgery in early January.
Knowing he could be missing time after his most recent fight, win or lose, Jung had not made any concrete plans to call for a title shot. It was only after dispatching of Edgar in such impressive fashion that he decided to seize the moment.
“I had this thought in the back of my head where, ‘If I were to knock Frankie out, I’d have the right to call Volkanovski out.’ Then it happened way too soon during the first round, and without hesitation, I called him out,” Jung said.
The 32-year-old has now won three of his last four fights, with first-round knockouts of Edgar, Renato Moicano, and Dennis Bermudez. He’s aware that the featherweight contenders’ line is currently in flux and is open to adding one more signature win to his resume to cement his spot as the No. 1 contender.
With that in mind, he named Holloway, Zabit Magomedsharipov, and Brian Ortega as potential opponents. Ortega was originally scheduled to fight Jung in Busan before being forced to withdraw due to a knee injury.
“I do kind of think that I may have to fight once more [before the title shot],” Jung said. “If I have to face another opponent, I’ll go for it.”