Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight warriors Renato Moicano and Chan Sung Jung will clash TONIGHT (Sat., June 22, 2019) at UFC Fight Night 154 from inside Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina.
Moicano jumped into the deep end of the Featherweight talent pool early, quickly proving himself one of the best in the world. Since moving to American Top Team, Moicano has only grown more into his status as a contender, though a title shot still eludes him. Meanwhile, Jung has been rather inactive over the past few years, but “The Korean Zombie” has remained a ranked and relevant Featherweight nonetheless. More than that, Jung is forever a fan favorite.
With both men entering this main event status coming off a defeat, the stakes are quite high, so let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man.
Record: 13-2 (1)
Key Wins: Jeremy Stephens (UFC on FOX 24), Cub Swanson (UFC 227), Calvin Kattar (UFC 223), Zubair Tukhugov (UFC 198)
Key Losses: Jose Aldo (UFC Fight Night 144), Brian Ortega (UFC 214)
Keys to Victory: Moicano is a nasty Muay Thai striker with great jiu-jitsu. The Brazilian has a piston of a jab, thigh-shredding low kicks, and given the slightest opportunity will jump on the back and strangle his foe.
Distance is going to be key in this fight. Moicano wants to kickbox, while Jung wants to surge forward and overwhelm his foe with combinations from the pocket. One man is going to get his wish, and he’s very likely going to be the victor.
To ensure that he’s the man dictating range, landing the jab early will be quite important for Moicano. Feinting and doubling up on the jab will help him do so. If the jab is landing early, Moicano will be able to interrupt Jung’s combinations with that weapon, which will help keep the Brazilian safe.
In general, Moicano is willing to plant his feet and trade wildly or more conservatively circle away and reset depending on the situation. Against the crafty and powerful combinations of Jung, the more conservative approach would be wise. Let Jung run into the jab a few times, but overall Jung is too slick a kickboxer — he will capitalize if Moicano plants and throws counter hooks every time Jung advances.
Chan Sung Jung
Key Wins: Dustin Poirier (UFC on Fuel TV 3), 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 one of the most fun fighters to watch of all time. After his loss to George Roop many years ago, Jung promised his wild brawling days were over, but that adjustment did nothing to diminish his performances. The modern “Korean Zombie” is still a very aggressive kickboxer with knockout power, and his trickiness on the mat is not to be underestimated.
Jung’s obstacles against Moicano are clear: the Brazilian is going to try to keep him back with the jab, kicks, and maybe occasional reactive takedown. That’s a difficult wall to summit, but Jung can do so if he stays technical rather than attempting to simply push through those blows.
As mentioned, Moicano is trying to deter Jung from advancing, so it’s up to the South Korean to keep his foot on the gas. One of the best ways to do so is simple on paper, but difficult in execution: always counter back. Every time Moicano fires a distance-keeping jab or kick, Jung needs to answer back with a combination, even if it’s unlikely to land.
Give the Brazilian no free strikes.
If Jung can accomplish that strategy, things get interesting, as Moicano himself is very good at always firing back, but he does so by standing too tall and firing predictable (though dangerous) counter hooks. This is an opportunity for Jung, as “The Korean Zombie” possesses a mean rolling hook that would be perfect for cracking Moicano if Jung can convince his foe to plant his feet and swing back.
Bottom Line: Recent losses or no, this is excellent main event.
This bout is also a pretty significant moment in the careers of each man. Both Moicano and Jung are in their prime with previous experience against the highest level of opposition. Both athletes have proven themselves top-notch Featherweights with the talent to make a run at gold. Yet for the defeated man, that run seems decidedly less likely, as an 0-2 streak would be a considerable setback that takes several victories to amend.
The victor can breathe a sigh of relief. While he may not earn a title shot, the winning man is right back in the title mix where he’d like to be, primed for another main event slot or similarly high-profile match up that could earn him the desired shot at gold.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 154 fight card TONIGHT (click here), starting with the ESPN2 “Prelims” undercard bouts at 4 p.m. ET, followed by the ESPN+ main card start time of 7 p.m. ET.
At UFC Fight Night 154, Renato Moicano and Chan Sung Jung will meet in the main event. Which man leaves the cage with his hand raised?