May 15, 2012; Fairfax, VA, USA; The Korean Zombie celebrates his submission win over Dustin Poirier during the Korean zombie vs Poirier event at Patriot Center. Mandatory Credit: Rafael Suanes-US PRESSWIRE
Due to some kind of snarky collective unconscious, countless mixed martial arts (MMA) fans took to various avenues of social media to post the same thing following Chan Sung Jung's particularly brutal knockout at the hands -- or rather, foot -- of George Roop.
"It takes a head shot to kill a zombie."
I'll be here all weekend, don't forget to tip your waitress.
Making his second appearance for World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC), Jung was coming off a "Fight of the Year" performance against Leonard Garcia at WEC 48. And while it earned the Korean export thousands of new fans, he came up short on the judges' scorecards, suffering only the second loss of his career.
Five months later, a perfectly placed head kick from Roop knocked the "Korean Zombie" out cold, sending his skull crashing into his own knee on the way down and busting his forehead open.
It seemed the promise laid out after three back and forth rounds with "Bad Boy" would go unfulfilled.
But like his moniker's namesake, Jung has resurrected his career in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) since then, capping off a three-fight win streak last night (May 15, 2012) with an absolutely remarkable performance against Dustin Poirier in the UFC on FUEL TV 3 main event from the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia.
The other two wins? Just a never-before-seen submission and the fastest knockout in the promotion's history.
So yeah, they were equally as impressive.
After his loss to Roop, Jung was paired off against his old rival, Garcia. Despite how impressive his performance was the first time they tangled, a third consecutive loss would have likely meant the end of the Korean's UFC stint.
His career in the UFC, seemingly on life support, suddenly came back to life after locking "Bad Boy" in a submission move ever before seen inside the Octagon. The twister, a spinal lock popularized by Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) wizard Eddie Bravo, forced Garcia to tap out with a second remaining in the second round.
Jung needed the win and got it. The manner in which he actually attained it was simply a cherry on top.
Nine months later, "Korean Zombie" stepped inside the cage opposite Mark Hominick at UFC 140 in front of over 18,000 of his opponent's countrymen. Seven seconds later, he had earned his second UFC win in as many fights.
In a blink and you'll miss it moment, Jung opened the pay-per-view by connecting with a perfectly placed punch to "The Machine's" jaw which sent the Canadian crumbling to the mat. Suddenly, a fighter who was in danger of losing his job just a couple of fights ago was en route to a title shot.
All that stood between him and the opportunity to challenge for the featherweight championship was Poirier, another young fighter with equally impressive wins over the likes of Josh Grispi and Pablo Garza. An underdog going into the UFC on FUEL TV 3 main event, "Korean Zombie" earned some risk-taking gamblers a lot of money while cashing in a 145-pound title shot for himself.
The first two rounds were a whirling dervish of action with Jung often ending up getting the better of the exchanges. From the stand-up to takedowns to submission attempts, the Korean fighter seemingly fed off the energy of his countrymen in attendance in Fairfax and took the fight to his opponent.
The third round saw Jung slower in pace than the 10 minutes previous. "The Diamond" made the most of this and likely came away the winner of the stanza on the judges' scorecards. Six months ago, the fight would have ended right then and there with Jung being awarded the fight, probably with a 29-28 score across the board. But now, since all main events are five round fights, fans were treated to more action and a definitive winner.
It was in the fourth round where "Korean Zombie" shone brightest.
A nasty uppercut staggered Poirier back and was followed up by an equally devastating knee. Hurt, "The Diamond" dove in for a takedown which was defended perfectly and promptly used to help sink in the fight ending D'arce choke.
Eighteen months is essentially a lifetime in the fight game. It's the difference between Chuck Liddell going toe to toe with Wanderlei Silva for 15 minutes and getting knocked out by Rich Franklin. It's the difference between Brock Lesnar's MMA debut and his coronation as UFC heavyweight kingpin.
For Chan Sung Jung, it's the difference between facing unemployment and facing his destiny.