The MMA leader previously announced that it’s set return to South Korea for the first time since 2018 next year. If that happens, it’ll do so without one of its featherweight mainstays and the nation’s most prominent name in mixed martial arts.
The last time the UFC staged an event in the Asian nation, “The Korean Zombie” headlined opposite Frankie Edgar in Busan. The home favorite stopped the former lightweight champion in one round, earning his second consecutive Performance of the Night bonus.
Unfortunately, the two-time 145-pound title challenger won’t have the opportunity to recreate that memorable performance in early 2023. By all accounts, Jung was set to mark the main attraction at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena on February 4, searching for a rebound from the devastating defeat he suffered against Alexander Volkanovski.
But on Friday, the 35-year-old took to Instagram to share the news that he’s no longer able to compete. “The Korean Zombie” confirmed that after a long search for a worthy opponent, which even saw him offer to fight at lightweight, an exciting pairing had finally been set.
Sadly, a severe shoulder injury in training has denied the fan favorite the opportunity to make the walk in front of his compatriots once again.
“As me, who has always said that it’s a skill to not be good at injury management.. I feel like I’m still not good enough,” the post read (translated by Instagram). “I dislocated my shoulder ligament during wrestling training on December 7. The only thing I can say is sorry to everyone other than explaining the past. I don’t know what’s the point of saying this in the injured yard, but I’m a fan of martial arts deeply, but I wanted to let fans like me know the truth rather than making them believe contradictory or exaggerated words.”
Jung went on to express concern about the possibility of the entire card being shelved following his forced withdrawal, apologising to the other fighters set to compete should they also lose the opportunity to fight at home.
“And even if the Korean (card) is cancelled due to my injury, I’m really sorry for the Korean (fighters) who lost the opportunity to play in front of their family and friends.”
UFC Seoul Absent From Q1 Schedule As News Of Korean Zombie’s Injury Emerges
It’s not just Chan Sung Jung’s recent post that has thrown doubt over the UFC Seoul card going ahead.
Ahead of its final pay-per-view of 2022 this weekend, the promotion released its schedule for the first quarter of next year, featuring events in Brazil, Australia, and England. However, one notable absence was the planned South Korea-held event on February 4.
With that, the current timeline sees a three-week gap between UFC 283 and UFC 284, with no UFC Fight Night event confirmed for the opening weekend of February.
While it may be a case of the organization awaiting confirmation of a new worthy main event matchup, given Jung’s Friday statement and the revelation of his absence, it appears that the wait for Korean fans to witness UFC action in the flesh again may go on.
Would it make sense to postpone the UFC’s return to South Korea given Chan Sung Jung’s injury?