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Morning Report: Alexander Volkanovski responds to Korean Zombie’s callout: ‘Maybe they need another good slapping to keep them quiet’

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

This past Saturday, Alexander Volkanovski successfully defended his featherweight title with a split-decision win over Max Holloway at UFC 251. It was a controversial outcome, with many, including UFC President Dana White, believing Holloway had done enough to avenge his loss to Volkanovski and reclaim the title. And that was a nicer interpretation of the fight.

Following the bout and controversial, fan favorite and contender Chan Sung Jung, known more commonly by is sobriquet “The Korean Zombie,” took to Instagram to decry Volkanovski’s performance, calling it “shameful that he is champion” and asking for the next title shot. It was harsh criticism and now Volkanovski has responded.

“I don’t know, maybe he’s got one of his boys writing some stuff for him again,” Volkanovski told ESPN on Tuesday. “Straight after my last fight, he started - or one of his teammates or manager - starting getting lippy, and started carrying on and then one of them got slapped for it and then they went quiet. Brian Ortega gave them a good slapping and they stopped talking for awhile. Maybe they need another good slapping to keep them quiet.”

Volkanovski is referring to an ongoing feud between Korean Zombie and Brian Ortega, which kicked off in March when Ortega slapped Zombie’s friend Jay Park during UFC 248. Since then, the two have been rumored to face each other but nothing official has been announced. But the featherweight champion thinks that fight would make perfect sense to establish the next contender.

“He’s probably just trying to hype the fight up but I think he needs to fight Brian Ortega,” Volkanovski said. “I think that’s what they plan on doing. And again, I want them number one contenders. You go out there and you take out Brian Ortega, I’m sure everyone’s gonna be screaming your name and I’m gonna be there waiting. 100 percent.

“I’m not scared of no one in the division. I’ll be honest when I tell you, Max Holloway is the hardest matchup out of everyone in our division. By far. And I was happy to take him back to back. . . I ain’t scared of nobody. I’ve already took out there hardest guys in my division. Back to back we’ve got Chad Mendes, Aldo, and Max. Stylistically, they were the three hardest fights. I’m not the cocky type but I’m confident in all the other matchups I see in the future.”

Ortega and Zombie are currently ranked Nos. 3 and 4 in the division, respectively. A fight between the two could make a lot of sense to establish a contender. However, second-ranked contender Zabit Magomedsharipov is set to face fifth-ranked contender Yair Rodriguez in another bout that could also serve that purpose. And then of course there’s Henry Cejudo. The former flyweight and bantamweight champion also called out Volkanovksi on Saturday and has bee lobbying publicly for a featherweight title shot for weeks. But the champion is not interested in that bout when there are so many other options available to him.

“I think he called out three people that night,” Volkanovski said. “It’s Henry Cejudo doing his thing. I’m not too bothered by it. I’m chasing my contenders. I’m talking about that GOAT status. I want to take out the best guys in my division. I want defenses. For me to go and fight Henry - again this ain’t a knock to him, he’s done great things, flyweight champion, bantamweight champion, Olympian. Mate, I’ve got a lot of respect for him as a fighter, but this is featherweight. Him just jumping the queue doesn’t put me anywhere. That won’t help me reach my GOAT status. I’m saying I want these No. 1 contenders, then I’m gonna be putting this division on hold and I’ve always said I didn’t want to do that. So it just does not make sense.”


Star. Dana White considers Jorge Masvidal a ‘massive star,’ credits entire UFC 251 event for huge PPV sales.

Rematch. Jorge Masvidal prefers immediate rematch vs. Kamaru Usman over money fight with Conor McGregor.

Backup. Dana White: Fight Island is backup plan if Nevada shuts down, ‘We might be living here

Tragedy. UFC fighter Devonte Smith’s sister, Dariene Smith, was shot and killed outside nightclub in Ohio.

Ratings. UFC 251 prelims finish at No. 1 in Saturday cable ratings.


UFC Fight Island 2 Preview Show.

Previewing Kattar and Ige.

Ahead of the rematch, here’s the first fight.

The BMF Ranch series continues.


The Bash. Recapping UFC 251 and an interview with Leon Edwards.

Anik & Florian. Recapping UFC 251 and looking at the upcoming cards on Fight Island.


Admitting when you’re wrong. Rose is a delight.

That’s a lot of abs.


Aljo knows his title shot is in jeopardy.

I don’t think they let you bring that into the cage.

Welterweight matchmaking.

Bisping stepping in for Din Thomas since he has COVID.

Conor celebrating his birthday.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on

I know this is not the real Chris Weidman, but it’s an excellent joke.


Sergio Pettis (19-5) vs. Ricky Bandejas (13-3); Bellator, July 24.

Michael Chandler (20-5) vs. Benson Henderson (28-8); Bellator, Aug. 7.


Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



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