Asia is the birthplace of many forms of martial arts and is home to some of the most legendary names in the sport’s history.
Currently, names like Cung Le, Dong Hyun Kim and Chan Sung Jung grace the UFC with their skill and competitive spirit. They are top guys in their divisions and represent the Asian continent.
Here are the best Asian MMA prospects by division.
The 28-year-old Japanese fighter owns four knockouts and two submissions in his four-year career. He has great power for a 125-pound fighter and good grappling ability.
Japan should provide some solid flyweights as the division grows, and Ochi should find his way over to the UFC.
Runners-up: Kentaro Watanabe (Japan) and Mikihito Yamagami (Japan)
Maeda is a WEC, Dream and Deep veteran who always found himself in the middle. He has great kicks and respectable submissions, owning 14 knockouts and six submission wins.
Maeda is only 30 years old, so it is possible he could earn his way to the UFC.
Runners-up: Motonobu Tezuka (Japan) and Kyoji Horiguchi (Japan)
Origin: South Korea
Only 21 years old, Choi owns six knockouts and a submission. The Sengoku and Deep veteran has dynamic striking skills and an exciting style that American fans are not familiar with yet.
Letting him develop more may be smart, but one has to think he will grace the UFC in the future.
Runners-up: Shintaro Ishiwatari (Japan) and Joe Taimanglo (Guam)
Despite that number, Narantungalag is highly skilled and a solid prospect.
The Mongolian has finished five opponents, four of which were by submission. He holds a notable win against Australian lightweight staple Adrian Pang, in which he showed his toughness.
There are no Mongolians in the UFC (Tiequan Zhang is from Outer Mongolia, China), so Narantungalag could give that nation someone to root for.
Runners-up: Takasuke Kume (Japan) and Isao Kobayashi (Japan)
Although Keita Nakamura is a UFC veteran, he is still a top prospect from Asia. His UFC debut came at the age of 22, showing he may have been too young and inexperienced to take that step up.
Nakamura owns 11 submission wins along with four knockouts. He has tapped out Yasubey Enomoto, knocked out Omar de la Cruz, won a decision over Adriano Martins and choked out Ronald Jhun.
With a resume like that, it seems that Nakamura deserves another chance to prove his first run was chalked up to inexperience.
Runners-up: Myung Ho Bae (South Korea) and Hyun Gyu Lim (South Korea)
Origin: South Korea
Whi has never been finished, but owns six of his wins by knockout. His latest win saw him knock out Pride and UFC veteran Denis Kang with brutal knees.
South Korea is starting to provide the UFC with solid fighters, and Whi would definitely be another guy of that caliber.
Runners-up: Riki Fukuda (Japan) and Asif Tagiev (Kazakhstan)
The most intriguing might be Yoshiyuki Nakanishi.
While he may be better suited as a middleweight, the 27-year-old constantly fights at 205.
Nakanishi owns six knockouts and two submissions. He has beat Bellator champ Christian M’Pumbu and knocked out Ivorian kickboxer Bernard Ackah with a head kick in the past.
Runners-up: Hiroshi Izumi (Japan) and Shinsho Anzai (Japan)
Despite losing by knockout to Fedor Emelianenko in his most recent outing, Ishii has notably beaten Ikuhisa Minowa and Jerome La Banner. He owns two wins by submission, a product of his Olympic-level judo game.
Ishii needs a win or two before he can earn a call from the UFC, but he definitely has the talent to make it there.
Runners-up: Levan Razmadze (Georgia) and Guram Gugenishvili (Georgia)
The Korean Zombie called out his next desired opponent on Friday and it’s none other than UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo. “I want Jose Aldo,” Chan Sung Jung Tweeted. “I will end his reign as a champion.”
Jung, 25, most recently competed at UFC on FUEL TV 3 where he bested fellow contender Dustin Poirier in one of the best fights of the year at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va. UFC President Dana White initially suggested Jung was potentially in the running for a title shot against Aldo, but later stated he was the clear cut top contender. Even if Jung gets his desired match-up with Aldo for a UFC title, there are two clear obstacles in his way.
Aldo, 25, was originally scheduled to face Erik Koch at UFC 149 next month in Calgary, Canada, but was forced to withdraw from the bout due to injury. However, the fight itself has not been scrapped. Aldo is still expected to face Koch at an undetermined date in the future. Aldo last competed at UFC 142 in January of this year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he defeated Chad Mendes in the first round of their bout by TKO.
If Jung were to receive a title shot without taking an additional bout between now, and whenever Aldo and Koch eventually face one another, he will be the first fighter to earn the opportunity based on a win from a main event on the UFC on FUEL TV series.
Chan Sung Jung may just be “The Korean Zombie” for real. In his most recent win over Dustin Poirier, Jung let it be known that he earned the victory with a torn rotator cuff that will require surgery.”I finally had an MRI and the doctors verdict is that I have a tear in my rotator cuff,” said Jung, in a recent interview with BloodyElbow.com.
“He recommended immediate surgery, but I wasnt about to let some skinny-necked doctors stand between me and my goal, so I played it down and trained through the pain.”Jung said that the injury kept him from building muscle mass, and that he was nowhere near his peak physically heading into the fight with Poirier.
With the win, Jung likely secured himself a future title shot in the UFCs featherweight division.”It definitely put a crimp in my training style because I didnt get to do a lot of things I wanted to do,” Jung said. “And the things that I did do, I didnt do them to the degree that I would have liked to.”
Chan Sung Jung Knows He Made a Statement at UFC on FUEL TV 3 – could become first full-blooded asian UFC champion
Considered to be a wide underdog against Poirier, Jung defied expectations by submitting the 23-year-old prospect in the fourth round. And The Korean Zombie dominated most all of the action preceding that point, looking in the best technical form he has yet. The win caps off a three-fight streak that features his 2011 Submission of the Year (twister) win over Leonard Garcia and his seven-second knockout of Mark Hominick.
Considering this, UFC officials announced two nights ago that Jung was next in line for the belt. Speaking at the post-fight press conference, Jung said that the shot feels deserved.
“I think that I definitely made a statement about being able to go into the title match this year,” Jung said. “Honestly, if the fight had gone to a decision, I probably wouldn’t have been saying that as definitively. But I think I made the statement.”
Aldo and Koch are scheduled to meet at UFC 149 this July 21 in Calgary; Jung presumably awaits the winner.
Korean Zombie Chan Sung Jung Vs. Dustin Poirier Fight Video Highlights From UFC On Fuel 3 Main Event
Chan Sung Jung vs. Dustin Poirier – Round 1 – Leg kick by Jung and Poirier lands a left hand. Jung catches a kick and gets a takedown, Poirier turns and looks for his own takedown as they stand up. Body shot by Poirier. Jung gets the fight to the ground again and hes on top. Poirier turns away from the cage. Jung with some good elbows. Poirier bleeding from the forehead already. Poirier with a nice reversal and hes on top now. Jung 10-9 round.
Round 2 – Poirier throws a kick but is slow with it and Jung takes him down with ease. Jung on top landing very nice shots again. Big left by Jung lands. They get to the feet and Jung lands a flying knee. Hes pouring on the big shots, Poirier witha big takedown but Jung sweeps right through into the mount. Hes on top firing away. Poirier ends up sweeping and spending time on top. I didnt type much that round because I was amazed with how great it was. Great, great fight. 10-9 Jung.
Round 3 – Poirier lands a bit, Jung firing back hard. Poirier looking to land haymakers now, not really setting up his shots. Jung traps him against the cage and flurries hard. Poirier was doing well in the stand-up for a bit before a huge takedown by Jung, but Poirier gets up quickly. Poirier using a good jab. Knee by Jung and some punches, Poirier comes back hard with shots of his own. Good left hand by Poirier. Good body kick by Jung and now he flurries hard coming forward and a big knee to the body. Big left by Poirier again. 10-9 Jung.
Round 4 – Poirier landing some good shots early, Jung with a knee to the body. Theyre exchanging and Jung lands a hard uppercut and Poirier stumbles backward. Hes hurt! Poirier looking for a desperation takedown and he gets caught in a deep choke and Poirier has to submit. What a tremendous performance by Chan Sung Jung! Chan Sung Jung wins by submission darce choke, 1:07 of round 4.
Title shots in the UFC don’t come easy, but adding things like the first “twister” submission in the Octagon and a seven-second knockout over an opponent in the top 10 to one’s resume sure helps. Featherweight contender Chan Sung Jung looks to keep the momentum going Tuesday night, when he meets the highly touted Dustin Poirier in the main event of the UFC on Fuel TV 3 card.
Following a disappointing 0-2 showing in the WEC in 2010, Jung was one of the more memorable figures of the sport in 2011. After avenging a previous loss to Leonard Garcia in March, Jung made quick work of Mark Hominick in December, shocking the Canadian fan base with an early knockout at UFC 140. While Poirier (12-1) is the one attracting attention as a future dance partner to current champion Jose Aldo,
Jung (12-3) would have a case of his own for that opportunity with a win Tuesday. ESPN.com spoke with the man they call the Korean Zombie in the buildup to the fight.
ESPN.com: Is there any difference to your approach for this fight, considering you’re on a two-fight win streak and have the makings of a run at the title?
Jung: This is my dream. Winning the title is my dream. As I get closer to…
Before the first UFC on Fuel TV event takes place next Wednesday in Omaha, the third installment, UFC on Fuel TV 3 on May 15th, 2012, now has a main event, as rising featherweights Dustin Poirier and Chan Sung Jung will battle in the main event of the May 15 card in Fairfax, Virginia.
Poirier (12-1) picked up his fourth consecutive UFC victory this past Saturday at UFC 143, defeating Max Holloway via first-round submission. The former lightweight remains undefeated at featherweight after making the move to 145 pounds in January 2011. He was set to take on another top contender in Eric Koch at UFC 143, but Koch withdrew due to injury.
Following his win over Holloway, Poirier called out “The Korean Zombie” and mentioned how exciting a fight the two could put on.
Chan Sung Jung (12-3) was last seen in the Octagon at UFC 140 in December, nearly setting a record for fastest knockout in UFC history. Although he narrowly missed out on the record by just a few tenths of a second, his 7-second knockout of Mark Hominick was still the biggest win of his career. After a successful 2011, which also saw him pull of an unprecedented submission, the Twister, the “Korean Zombie” has made it known he wants a title shot in 2012.
This will be the first main event for both fighters.
TORONTO – Chan Sung Jung knocks out the Canadian Mark Hominick in just seven seconds. Hominick started with wild swing which Chan was able to dodge then countered with a right hand punch to the head that knocked Hominick to the ground. This is the fastest knockout in UFC history.
Chan Sung Jung was in an apologetic mood for the post-match interview. “I love Canadians. Hopefully I can come back again” – Chan Sung Jung saying to the canadian audience in Toronto.
Two of the most talented and entertaining featherweights on the planet will collide this Saturday night (December 10, 2011) when Chan Sung Jung takes on former featherweight title challenger Mark Hominick in the opening bout of the UFC 140 main card.
Chan Sung Jung has exploded in popularity with American fans, partly because of his wild fighting style that saw him earn “Fight of the Year” in his debut on US soil and partly because of his awesome nickname and stylish T-shirts. He’s now coming off a “Submission of the Year”-winner in his UFC debut and is looking to build on that momentum against one of the best featherweights on the planet.
Mark Hominick gave Jose Aldo his toughest test to date in his title fight at UFC 129, surviving some heavy punishment and coming back to dominate in a fifth round that had his native Canadian crowd in a full-on frenzy. He’s back in front of his hometown fans once more and does not want to let them down.
Will “The Korean Zombie” feast on some of Hominick’s limbs with his aggressive submission skills?? Will Hominick’s boxing be enough to keep Jung at bay? What’s the best gameplan for each fighter to earn a victory in the opening bout of the UFC 140 main card?
Let’s find out”
Chan Sung Jung
Record: 11-3 overall, 1-0 in the UFC
Key Wins: Leonard Garcia (UFC Fight Night 24), Michihiro Omigawa (Deep: Gladiator)
Key Losses: George Roop (WEC 51)
How he got here: Hailing from Korea, Chan Sung Jung made a huge splash in the MMA landscape when he made his professional debut in 2007. With a strong background in taekwondo, kickboxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and even Russian combat sambo, he had the skills to dominate lesser foes.
He quickly earned a reputation for his constant aggression and his mentality of taking a punch to give one, earning the nickname “The Korean Zombie.” After a run in Sengoku where he was robbed of a victory by biased judges who favored Japanese fighters of Koreans, he was signed by the WEC and made his debut on Spike TV prelims against Leonard Garcia.
We all know how that turned out, one of the wildest sloppiest and most entertaining fights in the history of the sport, although he would one again lose a controversial decision. The talented Korean would learn a rough lesson in his next fight against George Roop when his style played right into the hands of the lanky American who knocked him out with a vicious head kick.
In his last bout, Jung earned his revenge against Leonard Garcia with a “Submission of the Year”-winning twister and he’s ready for another major step up in competition, taking on Hominick on his home turf.
How he gets it done: Jung has strong striking skills, but his natural, crazy aggressive style will play right into Hominick’s terrific boxing. He would be keen to be more patient, keep it on the outside and utilize some of his kicks or other unorthodox attacks.
When the time is right, Jung should work for a takedown and try to utilize his terrific ground skills. Hominick has been prone to aggressive submission fighters in the past as evidenced by his losses to Josh Grispi, Rani Yahya and Hatsu Hioki, although he’s definitely improving.
A key for “The Korean Zombie” will be to try to remain on top of Hominick, avoid his sweeps and work from there. “The Machine” has a solid top game of his own and is very difficult to submit from bottom, as he showed against Jose Aldo earlier this year.
In my opinion, Jung needs to get this fight to the ground if he wants to win.
by Brian Hemminger via UFC 140 fight card: Chan Sung Jung vs Mark Hominick preview – MMAmania.com.
Chan Sung Jung, aka The Korean Zombie, finally got on the right track in his first UFC fight, defeating Leonard Garcia back in March. Jung needed that victory badly after losing back-to-back bouts under the WEC banner.
He heads back to the Octagon on Dec. 10 at UFC 140 in Toronto to face Mark Hominick on the Canadian’s home turf.
Zombie took some time to speak to MMAWeekly.com’s Conner Cordova recently, talking about the upcoming fight with Hominick and more.
Posted by MMAWeekly.com Staff