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UFC Fight Night 165 card: Frankie Edgar vs Korean Zombie full fight preview

UFC Fight Night Edgar v The Korean Zombie: Ultimate Media Day Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight talents Frankie Edgar and Chan Sung Jung will go to war early this morning (Sat., Dec. 21, 2019) at UFC Fight Night 165 from inside Sajik Arena in Busan, South Korea.

Edgar is just about as game as they come. The former Lightweight champ was in the midst of a long-awaited move down to Bantamweight when Brian Ortega injured his knee (details), forcing him to withdraw from his main event slot opposite “Korean Zombie.” Despite the bout really doing nothing to move him forward at 135 pounds, Edgar immediately jumped at the chance to get back in the cage. Meanwhile, Jung is deceptively close to a Featherweight title shot. Technically, Jung has won two of his last three and is just 1-1 in 2019, but the South Korean has undoubtedly proved himself one of the division’s best in that span regardless.

Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:

Frankie Edgar

Record: 23-7-1
Key Wins: Cub Swanson (UFC Fight Night 128, UFC Fight Night 57), B.J. Penn (TUF 19 Finale, UFC 118, UFC 112), Chad Mendes (TUF 22 Finale), Urijah Faber (UFC Fight Night 66), Gray Maynard (UFC 136), Jeremy Stephens (UFC 205)
Key Losses: Jose Aldo (UFC 200, UFC 156), Max Holloway (UFC 240), Brian Ortega (UFC 222), Ben Henderson (UFC 144, UFC 150)
Keys to Victory: One of the toughest men to ever step into the Octagon, Edgar’s unique blend of movement, wrestling, and boxing has made him a champion or contender for about decade now.

This is a really interesting challenge for Edgar, namely because I can’t remember the last time someone really tried to wrestle Jung down to the mat. Was it Aldo back in 2013? It’s hard to put much stock in a six-year-old fight. Since then, Jung has been able to deny attempts outright or pop back up quickly.

Edgar is without a doubt the most accomplished wrestler Jung has faced yet, however. For that reason, I’d like to see Edgar really double down on his takedown attempts and focus on chaining his shots until completion. Edgar may be tough enough to throw down with anyone, but Jung has huge power, and I’d like to see Edgar really make sure that wrestling isn’t an option before he chooses to strike.


Chan Sung Jung

Record: 15-5
Key Wins: Dustin Poirier (UFC on Fuel TV 3), Renato Moicano (UFC Fight Night 154), 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 is a creative and opportunistic finisher. An explosive striker with crafty submissions, Jung can fight hard for five rounds while constantly looking to end the fight.

There are strategies proven to work against Frankie Edgar’s movement-based kickboxing, and Jung has the tools to employ them. Jung may not fight like the distance kickboxers that historically trouble Edgar, but “Korean Zombie” has a real stiff dipping jab and experience as a kickboxer.

He can probably pair up a sharp jab and low kick.

In addition, Jung’s right hand — which is analyzed in the video above — is likely to find a home against Edgar. Jung does well to explode forward with a long cross, which will land if his foe underestimates the distance covered, and his ability to instead fire an uppercut will really help deter Edgar’s wrestling.


Bottom Line

It’s a risky fight for each man, but it should prove a lot of fun.

Since Edgar still intends on dropping down to 135 pounds, victory doesn’t do much for him, as he simply isn’t chasing the Featherweight crown anymore. There is a bright side of entering the Bantamweight title hunt on a victory, but Edgar was already set to jump into the deep end against a top contender anyway. Meanwhile, dropping a division after consecutive losses would not be a good look for the former champion.

As for Jung, another win reaffirms his position as an elite Featherweight, likely setting him up for a title eliminator match up next. There’s definitely a lot to be gained for the South Korean if he can pick up a victory in his home country. At the same time, a loss to Edgar would effectively derail Jung’s current momentum, as Featherweight is a hotbed of talent ready to take any fallen fighter’s position.

Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 165 fight card this weekend, starting with the ESPN+“Prelims” that are scheduled to begin at 2 a.m. ET, then the main card portion that will also stream on ESPN+ at 5 a.m. ET.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Fight Night 165: “Edgar vs. Korean Zombie” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

At UFC Fight Night 165, Frankie Edgar and Chan Sung Jung will clash in the main event. Which man will earn the victory?