UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Korean Zombie Preview
A preview of Saturday’s UFC Fight Island 6 card, set to take place in Abu Dhabi.
Updated: Oct. 16, 2020 • 5:30 AM ET
Brian Ortega is looking for his first win following a devastating loss.
A main event long in the making with major title implications in the UFC’s featherweight division will headline the promotion’s return to Yas Island in Abu Dhabi this Saturday, as former title challenger Brian Ortega will face fellow former title challenger Chan Sung Jung.
The fight featuring the “Korean Zombie” and Ortega was originally scheduled to take place in December 2019, but a knee injury forced Ortega to withdraw from the bout. As a rivalry between the two combatants formed, the tension only increased when Ortega was involved in a public scuffle with one of Jung’s friends at UFC 248 in March. Named a title eliminator fight by UFC President Dana White, the two top contenders will finally settle the score at UFC Fight Island 6 this weekend.
Ortega hasn’t fought since December 2018, losing to Max Holloway for the title by fourth-round TKO. The loss to Holloway was the first in Ortega’s career, but he proved he can withstand considerable punishment. He will try to regroup against a surging veteran in Jung and doesn’t believe he should have taken an easier fight after such a long layoff.
“This was all about coming back, taking a fight that’s not easy, because everyone knows when something like this happens, they’re like, ‘Oh, lets rebuild him again or do something.'” Ortega recently told reporters at a pre-fight media scrum on Wednesday. “I was like, I don’t need rebuilding in the fight world, I need rebuilding in the training world. I got my rebuilding in the training in the world.
“I’m in this sport to fight the best; that’s why I love this (explicit). Let’s test your world against mine. Let’s test your chess pieces against mine. Let’s go to war. Ultimately the fans win. Everyone wins. Fighters can tell you: We that (expletive). We love going in there, we love testing our will against each other, we love fighting and we get paid for it. So this is beautiful.”
Hoping to fix the holes he saw in his game after the fight with Holloway, Ortega says he is prepared for whatever Jung throws at him.
“I will take whatever I can get, obviously,” Ortega explained. “If I get a quick knockout or a quick submission, the name of the game is win. Obviously, you can tell I’m emotional, so it might go to a war. I might piss my team off, but (expletive) it.”
Ortega (14-1, 1 NC) has key victories over Clay Guida, Renato Moicano, Cub Swanson and Frankie Edgar. With a win on Saturday, he would be a logical choice to be the next to challenge Alexander Volkanovski for the featherweight title.
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Meanwhile, Jung is coming off a first-round TKO of Edgar (who stepped in for Ortega) last December, giving him two straight wins since a devastating loss to Yair Rodriguez in 2018. The 33-year-old spent nearly four years away from the Octagon from August 2013 through February 2017, during which he performed mandatory military service for the South Korean army. Jung has fought four times since his return in 2017 (3-1) with the only loss coming to Rodriguez.
After a TKO title loss to Jose Aldo in 2013, Jung hasn’t lost a step since his return in 2017. Despite the loss to Rodriguez, a fight he was winning but was caught by a last second elbow, Jung has responded with TKO victories over Renato Moicano and Edgar. He doesn’t expect an easy finish on Saturday and knows he’ll have to work hard for a victory over Ortega.
“Ortega’s a tough guy to knock out,” Jung told reporters through an interpreter at Wednesday’s UFC on ESPN+ 38 media day. “He’s got an unbelievable chin. He’s never been knocked out or knocked down.
He got hit about 300 times against (Max) Holloway, and he still didn’t get dropped. That kind of adversary is going to be a tough guy to knock out. He’s ready to go five rounds and at the end of the day, I want to just get that ‘W.'”
The rest of the main card on ESPN+ at 7 p.m. EST
Women’s flyweight bout - No. 1 Katlyn Chookagian vs. No. 2 Jessica Andrade
Light heavyweight bout - Jim Crute vs. Modestas Bukauskas
Welterweight bout - Claudio Silva vs. James Krause
Featherweight bout - Thomas Almeida vs. Jonathan Martinez
ESPN+ Prelims at 4 p.m. EST
Lightweight bout - Mateusz Gamrot vs. Guram Kutateladze
Women’s flyweight bout - No. 15 Gillian Robertson vs. Poliana Botelho
Middleweight bout - Jun Yong Park vs. John Phillips
Lightweight bout - Jamie Mullarkey vs. Fares Ziam
Light heavyweight bout - Gadzhimurad Antigulov vs. Maxim Grishin
Bantamweight bout - Said Nurmagomedov vs. Mark Striegl