03-27-2011, 02:45 PM
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| | For UFC Fight Night 24's Jung, time was right for historic submission, and pay raise
For UFC Fight Night 24's Jung, time was right for historic submission, instant pay raise | MMAjunkie.com
by John Morgan on Mar 27, 2011 at 4:30 am ET |
SEATTLE – UFC featherweight Chan Sung Jung (11-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) was already a legend in MMA circles prior to stepping into the cage at Saturday's UFC Fight Night 24 event.
The only problem was his contract didn't exactly reflect his reputation.
"I'm especially glad to finally get my pay above the $5,000 level since I was stuck there for so long," Jung told MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps | MMAjunkie.com) with a laugh. "I'm glad to finally move up in pay level."
Jung catapulted himself into fight-fan lore with a gutsy loss to Leonard Garcia (15-7-1 MMA, 2-4 UFC) at WEC 48 in April 2010. The $65,000 bonus that came along as the evening's "Fight of the Night" bonus was much appreciated, but it did little to up his guaranteed show money.
Ditto with his WEC 51 knockout loss to George Roop.
But when the WEC's talent was transferred to the sport's biggest promotion earlier this year, UFC brass had little question as to whether "The Korean Zombie" would get a shot in the octagon. In a twist of fate, Jung's opportunity came in the form of a short-notice rematch with Garcia at UFC Fight Night 24.
Jung admitted he worried about his future with the promotion should he come up short again, but UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby quelled his nerves just moments before he walked into the cage.
"Before the fight, Sean Shelby came up to me and told me that there was no pressure on me, so I kind of took that as a signal that I didn't have to worry – I think mainly because I took the fight on such short notice," Jung said through an interpreter. "He said not to feel too much pressure. That helped me relax a little bit."
So, too, Jung said, did Garcia's approach to the fight. Normally frantic in his pace and movement, Garcia appeared to desire a more moderately paced fight this time around, and the approach helped Jung remain calm.
"I did plan on trying to be a little bit calmer during this fight," Jung said. "Once the fight started, I actually did have the urge to just kind of go crazy and go for it, but responding to Leonard, he was actually very calm and very calculating, which he tends not to be during a fight. I actually played off that and continued to follow that pace."
Jung fought well in the opening frame, and his controlled striking, along with a late takedown, earned him the round on all three judges' cards. The second round saw more of the same, and it looked like the two would fight to a third round for the second time in as many meetings.
But suddenly, everything changed.
After kicking Garcia's legs out from under him, Jung pounced on his prone opponent and transitioned to the back. He initially sought a rear-naked choke, but Garcia defended well. "Bad Boy" didn't see what was coming next.
"When I started going in for the technique, I knew that there was less than 30 seconds left, so that's actually one of the reasons why I went for that move," Jung said. "If there was more than 30 seconds, I probably wouldn't have tried the move, but since there wasn't much time left, I just kind of went for it. Frankly, it worked out."
The move, the first example of the technique in the UFC, was a twister – a type of combination neck crank and body stretch made famous in MMA circles by Eddie Bravo (though also known in wrestling as a "guillotine" and in submission grappling as an "abdominal stretch" or "cobra twist"). The perfectly executed maneuver forced Garcia to tap with just one tick remaining in the second frame.
While the finish is the first example of the move earning a win in the UFC, Jung said it didn't happen by accident. In fact, the 24-year-old practically called his shot.
"It's something that I actually saw a long time ago on the Internet," Jung said. "It's one of Eddie Bravo's moves. It's something that I've practiced because it looks fun.
"I do it quite a bit in practice, and I always told people I'd try it some time in competition, and I wanted to do it in the UFC. I was able to, finally."
Jung said he was completely aware of the waning clock, and had there been more time left in the round, he probably wouldn't have tried the complex maneuver. However, with the opportunity in front of him, Jung seized the moment to write himself into the UFC's history books.
"I got his back, and I figured I would just try to do something," Jung said. "I didn't necessarily think I was going to try to go for the twister, but it just came out naturally, probably from doing it so much in practice."
The win netted Jung the evening's "Submission of the Night" award, as well as the hefty $55,000 check that accompanied the honor. More importantly to the Korean, his next appearance will include a pay raise.
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There are many paths to freedom....not all are peaceful.
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