“I had several injuries and surgeries because of MMA, so after basic training, I wasn’t in the regular army. Instead, I was given a government office job. I was able to commute from home and train in the afternoon, when my work for the day was done,” Jung told MMA Plus.
A whole new world for Jung, with USADA and New Unified Rules
Making his return to Octagon on February 4, “The Korean Zombie” will face The Ultimate Fighter Season 14 finalist Bermudez (16-5) in Houston, Texas. Jung expressed happiness ahead of his comeback and made comments about changes in the sport with New Unified Rules and USADA Anti-Doping Program.
“I’m really glad to finally be coming back. It was a long time to be out of the sport, but my mind was always in the Octagon. I’m glad that I was able to fulfill my national duty and I’m ready to fight again.
“[On USADA program] I think it’s good. With the new, stricter drug testing, it evens the playing field for those of us who never did any kind of doping. There have always been rumors that high percentages of the fighters in the UFC are, or were, using PEDs, but hopefully that has changed now,” analyzed Jung.
With 13 wins and four losses in MMA, the 29-year-old holds victories against top UFC fighters like Dustin Poirier, Leonard Garcia, Mark Hominick and Japanese Pancrase Champion, Shintaro Ishiwatari.
The rise of Conor McGregor in Jung’s absence
“The Korean Zombie” also talked about the rise of Conor McGregor – the former Featherweight champion – but expressed his focus is purely on Bermudez for the time being.
“I think that Conor did very well for himself. He used his strong points to get the fights that he wanted and to make a lot of money. I’m not really concerned about what happened with the title and the interim titles while I was gone. My main concern is to train, fight and win.
“Bermudez is an elite fighter, to be sure. His wrestling is excellent and he has very quick, powerful striking. I haven’t fought in three and a half years, so it’s a very tough match-up for me, but I always want to fight the best. To be the best, you have to beat the best. That’s always my goal. I’m not the kind of fighter that turns down fights.”
Doo Ho Choi as the latest Korean prospect
Once upon a time, Jung was the only South Korean name in the UFC, flying the flag for his nation on a solo mission. Now, with the introduction of featherweight favourite Doo Ho Choi in UFC, Jung revealed his countryman’s success helps keep him motivated.
“It’s great to see other Korean fighters doing well in the UFC, and in MMA in general. I had [trained] occasionally with Doo Ho Choi, so I knew that he was going to be a big star in the UFC. For myself, it helps keep me motivated to stay on top of my game,” he ended.