Over the weekend, as the WEC and Sengoku hosted a pair of elite MMA events, former Sengoku star Chan Sung "The Korean Zombie" Jung finalized a deal that will bring him to North America to compete in the WEC. The signing of the South Korean fighter was confirmed to Jordan Breen of Sherdog by Jun Choi, who is the lead agent for Korean Top Team, which is Jung’s camp and South Korea’s biggest MMA team.
The signing of Jung, comes two weeks after UFC president Dana White confirmed at the UFC 110 post-fight press conference in Australia that Zuffa (the parent company of the UFC and WEC) is currently targeting South Korea, as a country they hope to expand into within the next year. White also stated that Zuffa owner Lorenzo Fertitta had scheduled a trip to South Korea to help further along the process. The signing of Jung marks the first South Korean fighter signed by the WEC, while the UFC currently has welterweight Dong Hyun Kim and middleweight Yoshihiro Akiyama (who is fourth generation Korean-Japanese) highlighting their roster, as they prepare to expand into the MMA crazed Asian country, which currently airs the UFC on Korean cable television.
Jung, who is commonly referred to by his fans as "The Korean Zombie" made his MMA debut in June 2007 with an armbar victory over Hyung Geol Lee at the Super Sambo Festival in his native South Korea. He would finish up the year by winning the lightweight division at the Pancrase – 2007 Korea Neo-Blood Tournament. He won the tournament by defeating In Seok Yoo and his previous victim Lee in the same night. In May 2008, Jung’s stock continued to rise as he defeated Jung Beom Choi, Dae Han Choi, and Jung Hun Jo in the same night to win a 65 kg 8-man MMA tournament at the Korea FC – Tournament Series. He then finished off 2008 by racking up a pair of wins in the Japanese organization DEEP over two-time UFC veteran Michihiro Omigawa and Fanjin Son.
In March 2009, Jung burst on to the worldwide MMA scene, as he entered himself into the 2009 Sengoku Featherweight Grand Prix in Japan, which was promoted by World Victory Road and aired in North America on HDNet. He impressed many, as he dominated his first opponent Shintaro Ishiwatari standing up, before finishing him on the ground via Rear Naked Choke. He would then advance to the second round of the tournament in May 2009, but lost a controversial decision to eventual tournament champion Masanori Kanehara. However, Jung would return to the Sengoku tournament in August 2009 in a reserve bout against American fighter Matt Jaggers with the winner earning the right to step in as a replacement should one of the remaining fighters be unable to continue in the tournament. Jung submitted Jaggers via Triangle Choke, but was not required to step in as a replacement.
Now with over two and a half years of experience and a 10-1 MMA record under his belt, "The Korean Zombie" will look to feast on the resident WEC featherweights, who are currently competing in the world’s premier organization for 145-pound fighters. While his first opponent in the WEC has not been named yet, there is no doubt his first fight should be a "thriller" in the entertainment department, that would have made the late Michael Jackson proud. Complete with the original nickname, crowd pleasing moves, and ability to finish a fight standing or on the ground, "The Korean Zombie" is sure to strike terror into many on fight night. Why you might ask? Well in the words of Michael Jackson’s zombie-themed "Thriller": ‘Cause this is thriller, thriller night. And no one’s gonna save you from the beast about to strike!"