Korean Zombie vs Ige Analysis and Prediction

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Korean Zombie vs Ige Analysis and Prediction

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Chan Sung Jung (16-6) vs Dan Ige (15-3)

Featherweight (145)

Chan Sung Jung

Perhaps the only fight of worth on this UFC on ESPN 25 card, Jung returns after a five-round mauling. Ortega this, Ortega that. In the words of the great Max Holloway, “it is what it is”. Despite being battered for the better part of five rounds, TKZ remains a crafty counter-puncher with a great knack for timing. With a high-octane style that tends to see Jung absorb a lot of damage, his chin has almost always held up to the job. Late in the fights against Yair Rodriguez and Ortega, however, TKZ has started to show worrying signs of wear and tear. After an exhausting career length, a history of 50/50 wars, and a style that invites punishment – it more of a marvel that TKZ remains near the top of Featherweight.

Still, if Jung is to be believed, his poor performance during the Ortega bout was due to being knocked out on his feet by a massive elbow and cruised on autopilot for the remainder. Most of Jung’s troubles in his last outing stemmed from Ortega’s gangly length and patience which forced TKZ to initiate exchanges. While Jung possesses a crisp jab, and his clubbing power remains the same whether on the front or back foot, his timing is far more efficient when countering. Although the tale of the tape indicates Jung has a single inch of reach advantage over Ige, on the night the difference will be starkly visible. As Ige lunges in with one of his patent overhands into a takedown, Jung is primed to unleash his uppercuts. Moreover, Jung’s jab will keep his volume ticking over on the outside and secure rounds.

Perhaps most important of all for TKZ in this match-up, is his history of anti-grappling smaller opponents. An excellent scrambler, in the scenario that Ige decides to wrestle, Jung’s low hands are primed to snap in underhooks. Moreover, Ige’s lack of kicking will ensure Jung’s lead leg remains relatively unpeppered. Instead, TKZ needs to fire off his kicking barrage in order to take the steam out of Ige’s raging swarms.

Dan Ige

Dan Ige is an experiment on just how far a fighter can progress in the UFC when approaching every fight with the very worst game plan. Deciding to box with Calvin Kattar for five rounds, looking to stick and move against Edson Barboza, Dan Ige tests himself in every fight by fighting to his opponent’s strengths. Of course, 50K also came out last time and clubbed Gavin Tucker over the head for a twenty-two second knockout, so perhaps the Hawaiian has changed his ways?

On the feet, Ige covers huge distance with a ducking, lunging overhand, before landing far cleaner combinations in the pocket. Aside from the Kattar/Barboza affairs, Ige seeks to swarm opponents before man-handling them to the mat. While Ige’s wrestling has hit a ceiling as he has climbed up the rankings, once on the mat he is a serious grappling threat. Oh, and of course, Ige’s chin is made of titanium.

Although an Orthodox fighter, Ige is capable of fighting for extended periods out of Southpaw. After Ortega had TKZ in fits for five rounds due to his awkward Southpaw style, Ige should opt to fit out of his less comfortable stance. Moreover, despite living up to the swarming style that aims to secure his FOTN bonuses, Ige is also capable of fighting off the back-foot. While the Hawaiian isn’t likely to pull out a show-stopping spinning attack ala Rodriguez/Ortega, Ige can certainly land powerful shots that catch the eye.

Predicted Result: Jung Decision

Have no doubts, Korean Zombie vs Ige is the best fight you will find on UFC on ESPN 25. A lot has been made about a drastic decline in TKZ’s durability after the Brian Ortega fight, yet it could very well be true that Jung was fighting on autopilot from the second round onwards. TKZ remains a crafty counter-puncher with a great knack for timing, in addition to excellent anti-grappling against smaller opponents.

While Ige showcased his power last time out against Gavin Tucker, more often than not Ige breaks opponents with swarming volume and grinding wrestling. 50K also tends to enter the octagon with the worst available gameplan (see Edson Barboza, Calvin Kattar). Even though Ige could fight out of Southpaw on Saturday, and cause TKZ the same trouble that Ortega managed, it’s unlikely the Hawaiian will have matured. If, as is expected, Ige cannot get TKZ to the mat, Jung should still have more than enough in the locker to piece Ige apart with counters for twenty-five minutes.

Goodnight Gavin Tucker, courtesy of Dan Ige. | Korean Zombie vs Ige | Pintsized Interests
Goodnight Gavin Tucker, courtesy of Dan Ige. | Korean Zombie vs Ige

Want to view analysis and predictions for all the match-ups on UFC on ESPN 25?


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