Chan Sung Jung, the guy with the best nickname in mixed martial arts, wants to add a moniker alongside his name that might be a bit more prestigious than being known as "The Korean Zombie:" UFC featherweight champion.
And Jung earned a shot at the title on Tuesday with an impressive D'Arce choke submission victory over highly regarded Dustin Poirier at UFC on Fuel 3 at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va.
Jung, who became the first man in MMA history to complete a Twister submission last year, will now fight the winner of the title match between champion Jose Aldo and Erik Koch at UFC 149 in Calgary, Alberta, in July.
He won in typically entertaining fashion, earning a Fight of the Night bonus of $40,000 by rallying after getting fatigued in the third. Jung was also awarded another $40,000 for Submission of the Night and has now won fight night bonuses in his last three bouts and in four of his last five.
That will earn him the championship shot, but it wasn't without anxious moments.
"He had me in trouble there at the beginning of the third round," Jung said of Poirier. "The thought of giving up was in my head, but I kept going and came up with the win."
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After the bout, he left no mistake about his intentions. Interviewed by UFC broadcaster Jon Anik in the cage, Jung spoke in Korean for most of the interview. But when asked who he wants to fight next, Jung made certain the crowd knew who he wanted.
He spoke in halting English, but the message was clear: Get me the champion.
"I want Jose Aldo," he said, beaming.
Not long after the fight, UFC president Dana White confirmed that Jung would, indeed, get the next crack at the title. He might wind up facing Koch, but he'll definitely get his shot at the title.
Aldo is one of the elite fighters in the world, and would likely be a heavy favorite over Jung were the fight to occur. But given Jung's accomplishments – a seven-second knockout of Mark Hominick, the Twister submission of Leonard Garcia, the Fight of the Night win over Poirier – he can't be counted out.
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Jung finished the bout by landing a crunching right uppercut on Poirier followed by a left that sent Poirier back to the cage. He then landed a knee behind that. When Poirier went for Jung's legs, Jung quickly maneuvered for the D'Arce and it was all over.
It capped a brilliant fight and a terrific night of fights. Poirier had been as hot as anyone in the division and had won his last five and put up a great test.
Jung, though, is next to impossible to finish and seems to find a way to win. Poirier was a big favorite, but Jung sloughed that off.
"Actually, every time I am an underdog, it gives me more motivation to do well," Jung told Fuel TV's Ariel Helwani after the bout. "I think this time, I was really able to showcase my abilities."
And for doing that, he's now on the verge of a championship.
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