Dan Ige will have a lot on the line tomorrow night (Sat., June 19, 2021) at UFC Vegas 29 live on ESPN2/ESPN+ from inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, when the rising featherweight contender takes on “Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung in the main event. This will be just Ige’s second main event bid as a member of the promotion.
Ige, 29, just scored a massive 22-second knockout win over streaking prospect Gavin Tucker this past March (highlights HERE). The hard-hitting featherweight was coming off a decision loss to Calvin Kattar so the victory was much needed to stay afloat at the top of the 145-pound division. The win also allowed Ige to land a matchup with Korean Zombie, who will test Ige every second of their main event fight.
“Honestly, from day one, I’ve been preparing for this fight like I’m embracing zombie apocalypse mentality,” Ige told MMA Fighting. “I’m preparing myself every single day for the apocalypse, and the apocalypse is June 19. I’m 100 percent ready for it. I’m ready for it right now.
“He’s been through a lot of wars, he can take punishment. But there’s a difference, and I really think there’s a difference in my power and the way I can touch someone and put them out. I’ve always known I’ve had that ability. I’ve never gotten to show it except in my last fight.”
Korean Zombie, who is coming off a decision loss to Brian Ortega back in Oct. 2020, remains one of the most dangerous and durable fighters at 145 pounds today. His fighting style is a fan favorite and it often entices his opponents to exchange in an all-out brawl until someone drops. Ige understands this mentality that Korean Zombie brings to the Octagon and is ready to counter with his brutal knockout power.
“If he comes at me and fights me the way he does and wants to brawl the way he does, then he will get knocked out cold,” Ige said. “There’s no what if, can he take my punishment? No, he can’t take my punishment. I’m not going to fight a 50/50 fight with him. It’s going to be a fun fight, but it’s going to be a fun fight for me.
“It may be a war, but it may be a one-sided victory as well, because I’m just 100 percent prepared. I’m ready to go, and I’m going to take it to him.”
If Ige does in fact take Korean Zombie out it will leave him in a great position atop the featherweight division. A win would increase his overall UFC record to 8-2 and it should be enough momentum to land Ige a No. 1 contender’s bout his next time out.
“As much as this is the fight game, this is a business,” Ige explained. “The Korean Zombie is a big move in my business. Establishing myself as a top-five fighter in the world. Establishing myself as a title contender. You’re always one good fight away from a title shot or a No. 1 contender fight. This is it. This is my opportunity. I have to go out there and make a statement.
“I have to put on a performance, especially the fact that he went to a decision with Brian Ortega. That motivates me to go out there and put on an even greater performance. I want to get something exciting, a big finish, a KO, a submission or complete domination. That’s literally the only way I see this fight. No disrespect of course to him but he’s in the way of me obtaining my goal and my title. That’s all I have to do, go out there and win and then I’m established. I’m right there in the title picture with the other big names like Max [Holloway] and Yair [Rodriguez] and [Alexander] Volkanovski and [Brian] Ortega.”
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 29 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN2 / ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance on ESPN2 / ESPN+ at 7 p.m. ET.