Chan Sung Jung didn’t stop fighting but comes back fresh to featherweight
By Owen Phillips 4/2/17 News
South Korean MMA hero Chan Sung Jung returns at UFC Fight Night 104 in Houston, Texas, after his spell in the military and finds his division similar to the way he left it.
All South Korean males have to do compulsory military service between the ages of 18 and 35.
‘The Korean Zombie’ Chan Sung Jung (13-4) has recently completed his and it put his MMA career on hold. This weekend he gets to restart his professional combat sports life against top featherweight Dennis ‘The Menace’ Bermudez (16-5) at UFC Fight Night 104. This certainly isn’t a warm-up fight for Sung Jung but the type of fight that will be put him back in the spotlight of title contention.
Having last fought against Jose Aldo back in 2013 for the UFC strap, the featherweight division has gone full circle as if nothing would have changed for Sung Jung.
Conor McGregor has come and gone, Aldo suffered a concussion along the way and Max Holloway has stood out like a lighthouse beacon.
Does the time off help or hinder Sung Jung? Other South Korean sporting stars have tried to go to court to try and avoid the compulsory service to their nation.
Olympic medallists are granted exemption from the duty. This puts extreme pressure on South Koreans every four years when they know what is at stake.
For a fighter, taking a break could heal up nagging injuries and give time for progression of skills. When on service, there is the added stress of being away from loved ones. That two years would feel like a lifetime.
For Chan Sung Jung, he was one of the luckier ones.
MMAjunkie reported he would be working in a government office due to his history of injuries and would be able to live at home with his family. He was also allowed to train MMA but not compete in professional competition.
These injuries have had time to heal and hopefully we will be seeing more excitement in the octagon from ‘The Korean Zombie’ for the rest of his career.
Video courtesy UFC Youtube channel