Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight finishers Chan Sung Jung and Brian Ortega will clash TONIGHT (Sat., Oct. 17, 2020) inside Flash Forum on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
This bout is being advertised as a title eliminator, so the stakes here are clear. For Jung, that’s a step that makes sense, as “Korean Zombie” has leveled up in the last couple years. He’s hitting harder and scoring knockouts with a viciousness that is rather intimidating, to the point that fans were already arguing he receive a title shot. Ortega is in something of an opposite situation, having sat on the sidelines for nearly two years following his beating at the hands of Max Holloway. Somehow, this may also be a title eliminator for “T-City” as well, which would be quite the reversal of fortunes.
Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:
Chan Sung Jung
Key Wins: Dustin Poirier (UFC on Fuel TV 3), Renato Moicano (UFC Fight Night 154), Frankie Edgar (UFC 231), Dennis Bermudez (UFC Fight Night 104), Mark Hominick (UFC 140), Leonard Garcia (UFC Fight Night 24)
Key Losses: Jose Aldo (UFC 163), Yair Rodriguez (UFC Fight Night 139), George Roop (WEC 51)
Keys to Victory: Jung has always been a crafty and dangerous kickboxer, but now he’s a knockout artist. In addition, Jung remains an underrated clinch wrestler with real skill on the mat.
Fourteen of his professional wins ended inside the distance.
Opposite Ortega, Jung wants a kickboxing match. He’s been putting opponents down hard with his hands, and Ortega is typically there to be hit. On paper, that sounds like a fantastic recipe for an early stoppage.
However, Ortega tends to thrive on opponents who plan on stopping him early. He’s inhumanly durable and mentally tough as they come. If Jung empties the gas tank smashing Ortega’s skull and does not produce the finish, he puts himself in position for one of those damnable third-round (or later in this 25 minute contest) finishes.
As such, I’d like to see Jung focus more on counter punching. Ortega can have the center, but Jung can still out-strike him from the back foot, sticking jabs and the occasional kick as Ortega stalks his foe. At some point, Ortega will walk into something major, and if it doesn’t produce the finish, Jung is less likely to exhaust himself or take lots of shots while being a bit more defensive.
Record: 14-1 (1)
Key Wins: Frankie Edgar (UFC 222), Cub Swanson (UFC Fight Night 123), Renato Moicano (UFC 214), Clay Guida (UFC 199), Thiago Tavares (UFC Fight Night 68)
Key Losses: Max Holloway (UFC 231)
Keys to Victory: Ortega is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert with some slickness to his boxing, but really, the man is a bruiser. He walks opponents down and forces them to make a mistake, attacking constantly and wearing them out until he’s able to capitalize with a big shot or by catching the neck.
Walking straight into Jung’s newfound knockout power is not the best idea, by it’s nearly impossible to see Ortega winning this fight without walking through some fire to do so. Still, there’s a difference between getting touched up early and getting absolutely demolished, and a big part of that has to do with feints and distance work.
First and foremost, Ortega doesn’t want to get Moicano’d. The Brazilian wanted to establish his jab early — smart! Unfortunately for him, Jung was well-aware of that concept, waiting on a hair trigger for that first jab then immediately smashing him with an overhand.
Sticking Jung with some long jabs would benefit Ortega too, but he has to feint and give different looks to avoid a similar fate. In general, I’d like to see Ortega more willing to fire body or low kicks will advancing on Jung. He loves to trade in the pocket, but really forcing that close in distance will get him punched. Jung will be looking to counter; let that be his entrance into close quarters.
A title shot is on the line.
Jung is riding a considerable wave of momentum. He may not be on an overly extended win streak, but he’s been demolishing his opposition. Plus, fans love “The Korean Zombie” — he’s on a hot streak, clearly just one step away from a second chance at UFC gold.
As for Ortega, the situation is less clear. Would a single victory really elevate him over the winner between Zabit Magomedsharipov and Yair Rodriguez? That doesn’t seem reasonable to me, but then, UFC’s matchmaking in title fights has been erratic in recent years, so who knows!
Title shot or no, Ortega hasn’t won a fight in quite some time. If he’s to remain a member of the Top 5, he has to return to the win column here, or at least remind the world of his fighting talent.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Island 6 fight card this weekend, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance at 7 p.m. ET (also on ESPN+).
To check out the latest and greatest UFC Fight Island 6: “Ortega vs. Korean Zombie” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.
At UFC Fight Island 6, Chan Sung Jung and Brian Ortega will duel in the main event. Which man will earn the victory?