Holloway notches KO of retiring Chan Sung Jung

Max Holloway picked up his 20th win in UFC’s featherweight division, and Chan Sung Jung exited the sport the only way he knew how — on his shield.

Holloway (24-7) knocked out Jung, aka Korean Zombie, at the 23-second mark of the third round at UFC Fight Night on Saturday. The featherweight bout headlined the event, which took place inside Singapore Indoor Stadium.

The victory further added to Holloway’s dominance of the UFC featherweight record book. He is first in the division’s history in fights (26), wins (20), finishes (11) and knockouts (9).

But in the moment, the bigger story might have been Jung (17-8), who announced his retirement from mixed martial arts at age 36.

“I’m going to step away from fighting,” Jung said through an interpreter. “I’ve always tried to become a champion, since I first started in the sport. I’m not here to be ranked No. 3, 4 or 5. I tried my absolute best to train for Holloway, and I ended up failing. I don’t think I have the opportunity [to be champion anymore], so I’m going to stop fighting.”

Holloway, who dedicated the win to his home state of Hawai’i in the wake of the devastating fires there recently, paid homage to Jung in his postfight interview.

“This man’s a f—ing legend,” Holloway said. “He’s Korean Zombie for a reason. The man is a myth, a legend. I’m just lucky my right hand landed before his.”

At the start of the third round, Jung, of South Korea, seemed to make a conscious decision to go for broke. He came out ultra-aggressive on the feet, marching forward with wild power punches in combinations. Holloway, a former champion, expertly evaded the shots and came back with a heavy right-hand counter that sent Jung to the canvas.

It was an impressive performance by Holloway from the start. Jung had his moments and was competitive in the first round, but Holloway was mostly in control. He hurt Jung with a left hook in the opening round and dropped him with a right hand in the second. He nearly finished the fight shortly after the knockdown with a d’Arce choke, but Jung survived.

Holloway has now won 18 of his past 21 fights at featherweight, with all three losses coming against the current champion and No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Alexander Volkanovski. The 31-year-old is in somewhat of a title fight limbo because of his 0-3 record against the champion, but he is clearly the top 145-pound fighter in the world outside of Volkanovski.

The final moments of this fight accurately symbolize Jung’s lasting legacy in the sport. He gained notoriety in 2010 with a Fight of the Year candidate against Leonard Garcia in his WEC debut. He was known for his excellent chin and aggressive style. He fought for the UFC championship twice, against Jose Aldo in 2013 and Volkanovski in 2022. He also lost four years of his career from 2013 to 2017 because of South Korea’s mandatory military service time.

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