The 29-year-old Ortega (14-1) hasn’t fought since dropping a lopsided fourth-round TKO almost two years ago to Max Holloway.
Saturday’s UFC Fight Island 6 will be headlined by a featherweight bout between former title contenders Brian Ortega and Chan Sung Jung (better known as the Korean Zombie).
This fight was originally scheduled for last December before a knee injury forced Ortega to withdraw and ultimately miss 22 months of action between now and his last fight. With the American Ortega ranked as the No. 2 contender in the division and the South Korean Jung ranked No. 4, this is a huge fight as the winner will likely get a title shot against division-champion Alexander Volkanovski sometime next year. Jung comes into this fight as a -185 favourite on the MMA odds with Ortega at +145.
Brian Ortega UFC Fight Night Odds
The 29-year-old Ortega (14-1) hasn’t fought since dropping a lopsided fourth-round TKO almost two years ago to Max Holloway in the featherweight title fight at UFC 231. The loss to Holloway was the first of Ortega’s career, as he won his first 14 professional fights, including six-straight wins in the UFC.
The main concern for Ortega should be the amount of significant strikes he absorbs. Ortega absorbs 7.36 significant strikes per minute, compared to just 3.77 for Jung. Ortega relies on his grappling and submission game, with half of his wins coming by submission, averaging 0.51 takedowns per 15 minutes on 16 per cent accuracy and he has a 56 per cent takedown defense. Ortega will need to step up his defensive game against the Korean Zombie because his tendency to start slow while taking many hits early is a recipe for disaster against a fighter like the Korean Zombie who is coming off two first-round KOs.
Chan Sung Jung UFC Fight Night Odds
The 33-year-old “Korean Zombie” (16-5) is a veteran fighter coming off dominating first-round KO wins over Renato Moicano and Frankie Edgar. Since returning from his mandatory military service in 2017, Jung boats a 3-1 record with all of those fights ending in a KO or TKO.
The Korean Zombie has a three-inch reach advantage over Ortega and lands more significant strikes per minute (4.25 for Jung, 4.07 for Ortega), has a better takedown accuracy (41 per cent for Jung, 16 per cent for Ortega) and has a better takedown defense (75 per cent for Jung, 56 per cent for Ortega). Dana White has already promised the winner of this fight a title shot and as the better overall fighter, the Korean Zombie will likely come hard early and often against an opponent who hasn’t fought in two years.
UFC Fight Night Predictions: Ortega vs. Korean Zombie
Ortega is already a notoriously slow starter and a 22-month layoff likely won’t change that. The Korean Zombie is a veteran fighter who is a substantially better striker than Ortega and can also win on the ground. Don’t expect this fight to go the distance as a Korean Zombie KO or TKO win is the most likely outcome.