UFC Fight Night: Korean Zombie vs. Rodriguez Preview
A preview of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night card, set to take place in Denver.
Updated: Nov. 8, 2018 • 4:32 PM ET
Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone is one of the most popular fighters in the UFC.
The UFC is heading back to Denver for UFC Fight Night this Saturday, featuring a featherweight main event between No. 10 ranked Chan Sung Jung and No. 15 Yair Rodriguez. The co-main event will be a welterweight fight between Denver native, fan favorite and No. 12 ranked welterweight Donald Cerrone and Mike Perry.
Jung, also known as “The Korean Zombie”, was originally scheduled to fight Frankie Edgar, but an injury forced Edgar to withdraw from the bout. The South Korea native is fighting for the first time since February 2017, when he won by first-round TKO over Dennis Bermudez. That was Jung’s first fight since unsuccessfully challenging Jose Aldo for the title in 2013.
Jung is 4-1 in his last five fights (14-4 overall), but has only fought twice since 2013, due to his serving two years of military service. He has victories over Bermudez, Leonard Garcia, Mark Hominick and Dustin Poirier. He’s known for having tremendous punching power and a great chin for the featherweight weight class, but he’ll have a different challenge on Saturday, fighting arguably the most diverse striker in the division.
Rodriguez will fight for the first time since losing to Edgar via doctor’s stoppage in May 2017. He had a contract dispute that almost forced him out of the UFC, but was able to settle and continue his rise in the UFC featherweight division.
The 26-year-old was 6-0 in the UFC before the loss to Edgar, gaining victories over Dan Hooker, Andre Fili, Alex Caceres and BJ Penn. Because of his diverse striking, the Taekwondo black belt causes trouble for fighters who choose to stand up with him. Edgar, though, was able to expose the holes in Rodriguez’s ground game, which is a place where Jung has shown he is comfortable.
A standup battle would be great for the fans and Rodriguez, while a victory would represent the signature victory he needs to be considered a title contender.
In Saturday’s co-main event, Donald Cerrone will try to rebound from a unanimous decision loss to Leon Edwards in June. Cerrone is 1-4 in his last five fights, but is a fan favorite due to how active he stays and his willingness to fight anyone, anywhere. He’s a Denver native and will no doubt have the support of the fans on Saturday.
Cerrone has victories over Yancy Medeiros, Matt Brown, Rick Story, Patrick Cote, Alex Oliveira, Benson Henderson, Eddie Alvarez, Jim Miller and Edson Barboza. The 35-year-old has been involved in many tough battles and if he hopes to have his hand raised on Saturday, he’ll likely be involved in another.
Perry is coming off a split-decision win over Paul Felder in July in a great back-and-forth affair; and after losing two straight, he needed the win. Perry is 3-2 in his last five fights and 5-3 overall in the UFC with victories over Felder, Jake Ellenberger and Alex Reyes.
The 27-year-old from Flint, Mich. is a brawler and known for giving fans a good show. He’s a perfect matchup for Cerrone, as both can be expected to trade blows in another back-and-forth fight.
The warmup to fight has developed a bit of bad blood, as both fighters once trained at the same camp with Perry staying on board over Cerrone. “Cowboy” was vocal about his displeasure with the camp sticking with Perry over him, which forced him to leave the gym.
The rest of the main card
Women's bantamweight fight - No. 4 Raquel Pennington vs. No. 5 Germaine de Randamie
Lightweight fight - Beneil Dariush vs. Thiago Moises
Women's strawweight fight - Maycee Barber vs. Hannah Cifers
Lightweight fight - Mike Trizano vs. Luis Peña
Women's strawweight fight - Ashley Yoder vs. Amanda Cooper
Featherweight fight - Chas Skelly vs. Bobby Moffett
Lightweight fight - Davi Ramos vs. John Gunther
Lightweight fight - Devonte Smith vs. Julian Erosa
UFC Fight Pass Prelims
Flyweight fight - Joseph Morales vs. Eric Shelton
Flyweight fight - Mark De La Rosa vs. Joby Sanchez
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