You go to a UFC event, you expect to see some fights ... maybe even in the stands from time to time. But who’d have imagined a near brawl would break out at UFC 248 in the seating section reserved for UFC fighters and celebrities? Even stranger is who was involved: Brian Ortega and “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung.
Jung had brought Korean rapper Jay Park with him to the fights, and Ortega approached the two just as Joanna Jedrzejczyk was making her walk to the cage for her title fight with Zhang Weili. According to multiple witnesses, Ortega and Park started arguing over some trash talk Jung had engaged in recently, ending with Ortega slapping Park and getting escorted from the venue.
Brian Ortega getting escorted after trying to start a fight with Zombie pic.twitter.com/21FmOsZB8E— /\/\ (@MirccMMA) March 8, 2020
It’s already strange that two fighters with a rep for being chill like Ortega and Jung got into it. Even stranger was Ortega taking things up with Jung, who had merely been Jung’s translator when “The Korean Zombie” accused Ortega of ducking him on an episode Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.
Park told me Ortega went up to him while Korean Zombie went to the bathroom and asked if he was Jay Park. Park said yes and, according to Park, Ortega slapped open palm slapped him.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) March 8, 2020
“It was weird,” UFC president Dana White said at the UFC 248 post-fight press conference. “[Ortega] and The Zombie got in a fight which is completely unlike both of their personalities. Zombie doesn’t even speak English so I don’t know what the hell he could have said to get Ortega to start going crazy but yeah, it was weird. It happened right over in the fighters’ section. It wasn’t backstage. It was in the fighters section and it happened right during the fight.”
This did not sit well with Park’s many fans in the K-Pop scene.
I didn’t know Jay Park was attacked at UFC 248 by some butthurt idiot MMA fighter Brian Ortega for translating but this is him and me afterwards and he seemed in good spirits. #jaypark #박재범 pic.twitter.com/ffWecQx5dL— 문 松平氏 (@MisterBadMoon) March 8, 2020
I speak Korean & English. At that time, Jay Park was nothing to add but only translated exactly what the Korean Zombie said. If Ortega has someone to get angry with, it's the Korean Zombie, not his translator. And it is not fair for a player to assault a non-player.— ... (@theJ_Effect) March 8, 2020
BRIAN ORTEGA PUT HIS HANDS ON JAY PARK FOR NO REASON. LEAVE MY BOY ALONE. I AM HEATED. pic.twitter.com/kfSbUziHAI— Redheaded Nat (@RedheadedNat) March 8, 2020
An unrepentant “T-City” took to his Instagram to double down on the assault.
“Jay Park welcome to the fight game,” Ortega wrote. “Don’t be surprised if I slap the (expletive) out of you when I see you.”
No charges are expected to be pressed at this time (although you’d hope the UFC will finally do something about the rising trend on outside the cage violence from their fighters (and towards a non-fighter, no less).