On Saturday evening in the crowd at UFC 248, featherweight contender Brian Ortega confronted and slapped multi-platinum recording artist, and friend of Chan Sung Jung, Jay Park, in a move that few saw coming. Ortega was apparently mad because he views Park as the reason for ‘The Korean Zombie’ recently began trash talking, specifically, saying that Ortega “ducked” him when an ACL injury forced Ortega out of their planned fight at UFC Busan. But Jay Park says that’s patently untrue.
Speaking with ESPN yesterday, Park outlined his version of events from Saturday night and steadfastly refuted the notion that he was the instigator of the trash talk.
“To be honest, I don’t feel like I did anything wrong,” Park said. “I just translated. I’ve never put words in ‘Zombie’s’ mouth. I’ve never put up a caption for him. I’ve never told him to trash talk. I have a lot of respect for fighters. They put everything on the line, they train hard, the fight, and they put their bodies on the line, and fight for their families and stuff like that. So I was actually a fan of Brian Ortega. . .
“I don’t know what he was tripping about,” Park continued. “He was just mad for no reason. I didn’t pay no mind. He was there, I was cool. I was just chilling. I was jet-lagged, spacing out, and then when Zombie went to the bathroom all of a sudden I see someone pull up and he’s like, ‘Hey dog, are you Jay Park?’ And it kind of caught me by surprise, and I was like, ‘Yeah,’ and as I stood up, he like, smacked me. As I was standing up he smacked me. It was very narrow. It was very narrow. There was chairs behind me so I kind of fell back, then I got up, and I pushed him. Whatever, there was a little scuffle or whatever, and the people broke it up.
“It was just weird. It was just a weird, awkward – I really don’t know why he’s mad at me? He’s supposed to be fighting Zombie. I dunno, it was just weird. It was a weird situation.”
Weird indeed. In the aftermath, Ortega released a statement on Instagram (since removed) equivocating his actions outlining exactly why he believes Park is to blame for Zombie’s recent trash talk directed towards him, stating that he and Jung have spoken privately about the matter and that Jung essentially told him it was so.
But again, Park says that is simply not true. Park’s contention is that he and Jung’s management team have encouraged the Korean Zombie to be a more vocal fighter in an attempt to build his brand, but that does not mean they tell him what to say.
“We’re not puppet masters. We don’t ever want to put words in somebody’s mouth. We want him to be him. We want him to be authentic. We want him to be real. We don’t want him to be some kind of character. He doesn’t need to do that. Of course, he’s being more vocal now and he sees the reaction. . .
“[Ortega] has this false narrative in his mind that I’m the one on Zombie’s IG or I’m the one being the puppet master behind Zombie, but it’s not. It’s just weird. It’s very, very weird, very corny that he came out of nowhere and attacked me. It doesn’t make any sense at all.”
Sense or not, Park now finds himself in the middle of a full-blown MMA feud and his jaw is feeling the consequences. Park says that at the behest of Zombie and his team, he did file a police report on Saturday but is not sure about pressing charges going forward. He does maintain though that the entire situation is ridiculous for Ortega, top-ranked professional fighter, to assault him in public.
“I didn’t know he was going to actually try and cause physical harm to me,” Park said. “I’m a singer, bro. I weigh 143 pounds. I’m like 40 pounds lighter than you. He’s the number 2 UFC dude in the world. What are you doing? It doesn’t make you look tough. It was just weird. It was very, very weird.”
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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
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Angie is great.
Mike Perry talking out of both sides of his mouth.
As a pro fighter there is no excuse for hitting a punk ass trash talker @BrianTcity but in retrospect sometimes you gotta slap a bitch— Platinum Mike Perry (@PlatinumPerry) March 10, 2020
Seeing the future.
This is like Scorpion calling out Sub-Zero.
The GOAT is returning to MMA.
Michael Chandler (20-5) vs. Benson Henderson (28-8); Bellator 244, June 6.
Jay Park was definitely instigating a little and that’s fine. Ortega slapping him is completely ridiculous. Even if Park is feeding Zombie lines, your beef is with Zombie.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
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