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By In Mixed Martial Arts

Korean Zombie in Context

“By the time he steps into the Octagon against Dennis Bermudez at UFC Fight Night 104 on Saturday in Houston, exactly 1,281 days will have transpired since Chan Sung Jung’s last Ultimate Fighting Championship appearance. A lot has changed since then. When Jung fought last, George St. Pierre was still the welterweight champion, gearing up for his next title defense against up-and-coming contender Johny Hendricks, while Chris Weidman was fresh off his upset win over longtime middleweight king Anderson Silva. Current light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier was 1-0 in the UFC, as was a young Irishman by the name of Conor McGregor, who was two weeks out from fighting fellow prospect Max Holloway. Weigh-ins were still the night before the fight, before-and-after United States Anti-Doping Agency memes had not yet come into existence and the UFC was still in the firm clutches of Zuffa.

When Jung returns, the sport will be a completely different place. Yet unlike most prolonged absences, his three and a half years away from the sport had little to do with injury. Rather, it was the result of a government policy that mandates all South Korean men serve in the military. This makes it hard to assess how he will look upon his return…”


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