Chung “If Holloway wins, world No. 1 will be in Korea…Korean players should follow my path”
August 26, 2023 | by cabarettoenennu.com
‘Korean Zombie’ Chan Sung Jung, 36, is reminded of what it means to fight Max Holloway (31-USA) and vows to “win”.
The No. 8-ranked UFC featherweight fights the No. 1-ranked Holloway at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Nov. 26. Speaking at the media day on April 24 (KST), two days before the fight, Chung said, “I’ve watched Holloway for a long time, so I knew it was going to be a fun fight. “Holloway is a good fighter, I think, and I think he’s a good fighter. I think it’s going to come down to who has the physical advantage. I prepared more physically this time around. I prepared in a way that I would be less tired.”
The Holloway match is very special for Chung. After losing his title fight to Alexander Volkanovsky (AUS) in April last year, a victory over Holloway would put him back on the throne. It would also change the way he is perceived.
“If I win, it will mean that the world number one is in Korea. I think it will be a good motivation for Korean players,” he said, “I’ll be honest without sugarcoating it. I think all Korean players should follow my path, and I think that’s undeniable. I’m not saying they should be like me, but I think they should have a career like me, be under pressure, and go through all of that. If I make a path to a certain point, I think it will be a good goal for the juniors,” he emphasized.
The following is a one-liner.
-Holloway seems to be looking forward to a brawl. What kind of game plan have you prepared for this time?
I’ve known him for a long time, so I knew it was going to be a good match. I’m expecting a match where we’re both going to give it everything we’ve got.
-What’s the next step after winning this match?
Right after that fight. I don’t know. It’s not easy for every player to accept that I’m done. We’ll see how I play this time. I prepared too much and I’m confident, but I think I need to go up there and play well. I’ll go up there and see how I play and think about it.
-How has your mindset changed over the years as you’ve been preparing for this match since it was first announced?
At first, I liked him, I respected him, he’s a legend. I’ve fought Jose Aldo, I’ve fought Volkanovski, but I’ve never fought Holloway, and I thought it was such an honor. But now he’s no different than any of my previous opponents. He’s a guy I want to beat no matter what. I’m not going to lose just because I’m fighting a legend.
-How are you going to beat Holloway? We both have good hands.
Holloway is the bigger fighter, as people ask me. I think it’s going to come down to who has the physical advantage. I prepared more physically this time around. I prepared in a way that I was less tired.
-This is my 10th consecutive main event. I wonder if there’s any pressure. How is it different now than when you played your first main event?
This is something I talked about with (Choi) Seung-woo while signing autographs the other day. When I played my first main event, I collected posters and kept everything. Now, I’m very nostalgic. Of course, it would be very awkward if my name wasn’t on the poster. But when Seungwoo told me about it, I realized that I was a happy person. Looking back, I realize that this is history, and I feel honored. I hope there will be more Korean players like this.
-What would a win against Holloway mean for you and Korea?
If I win, it means that the No. 1 player in the world is in Korea. I think it will be a good motivation for Korean players. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. I think all Korean players should follow my path, I don’t think you can deny that. I’m not saying they should be like me, but I think they should have the same career, the same pressure, the same things. If I can pave the way, I think it will be a good goal for the younger guys.
-I also asked Holloway, and Dan Igeon said “Holloway doesn’t have punching power, I do”. I wonder if he still feels that way.
Actually, I feel my punches in sparring and in fights, but it’s more about timing than power. But I wanted to fight Holloway so badly that the only way I could provoke him was to put him on the ground. So I improvised.
-Earlier in your career, being nicknamed Zombie was a great tribute to your toughness. Who do you think currently competes in the UFC that deserves the name Zombie?
The guy who deserves that nickname the most is Max Holloway. He’s never been knocked out, he’s never even been taken down. So I think it fits him well. 바카라사이트
-Do you have a Fight of the Year prediction?
If the fight goes the way I think it will, 100%.
-Ki talked to Chikaze and heard that they had a problem with a fake tweet, but now they’ve resolved everything. Are they okay with each other now?
I met Kiga and told him right away. I told him to trust me. I didn’t send that tweet, it was a parent bashing and stuff like that, and it was so elaborate that I thought it was a trick. I’m not the kind of person to do that.
-The same Max Holloway fighter keeps getting title fights. If Algermain Sterling said he was moving from bantamweight to featherweight, would you welcome a new face?
Right now, I honestly don’t see anyone who can beat Volkanovski. As someone who’s been toe-to-toe with him, I can only think of one fighter that I thought was really good in person. At the end of the day, Volkanovski is getting old, and there are younger guys coming up, like Ilya Topuria. You don’t know until you’re in the ring. So I don’t think it will take too long.
-I have to focus, but ROAD TO UFC is on Sunday. What should up-and-comers not only in Korea but across Asia focus on to grow?
I always say that there is no right answer in mixed martial arts. I think I’m actually a little bit more advanced in the West than I am in Asia, and I hope that fighters can learn that and be open-minded, whether they’re training in their own country or doing what they’ve learned. If you look at Japan, Korea, China, they’re all locked in. I think that’s the biggest problem. I’m not saying go to America and do it, but if you learn from there and develop as an athlete, not a fighter, I think Asia is possible.