UFC Fight Night 139 main-event breakdown: How will layoffs affect 'Korean Zombie' vs. Rodriguez

MMAjunkie Radio co-host and MMAjunkie contributor Dan Tom breaks down the UFC’s top bouts. Today, we look at the co-main event for UFC Fight Night 139.

UFC Fight Night 139 takes place Saturday at Pepsi Center in Denver. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Chan Sung Jung (14-4 MMA, 3-0 UFC)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’7″ Age: 31 Weight: 145 lbs. Reach: 72″
  • Last fight: Knockout win over Dennis Bermudez (February 4, 2017)
  • Camp: Korean Zombie MMA (South Korea)
  • Stance/striking style: Orthodox/kickboxing
  • Risk management: Fair

Supplemental info:

+ Kickboxing experience

^ Pro record of 15-6 with 11 KO’s

+ 4 KO victories

+ 8 submission wins

+ 8 first-round finishes

+ KO power

+ Relentless pace and pressure

+ Effective combination striker

^ Often shifts stances on attack

+ Catches kicks and counters well

+ Underrated wrestling ability

+ Superb transitional grappler

^ Works well from front-headlock

– Coming off of 21-month layoff

^ 1 fight in the last 5 years

Yair Rodriguez (10-2 MMA, 6-1 UFC)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’11” Age: 26 Weight: 145 lbs. Reach: 71″
  • Last fight: TKO loss to Frankie Edgar(May 13, 2017)
  • Camp: 10th Planet Jiu-jitsu (California)
  • Stance/striking style: Switch-stance/kickboxing
  • Risk management: Fair

Supplemental info:

+ “The Ultimate Fightr: Latin Americas” season-one winner

+ Tae kwon do black belt

+ 4 KO victories

+ 1 submission wins

+ 3 first-round finishes

+ KO power

+ Relentless pace and pressure

+ Athletic and explosive mover

+ Dynamic kicking attacks

^ Variates stance and style

+ Serviceable wrestling and scrambling

+ Active and attacking guard

^ Excellent leg dexterity

– Coming off of 18-month layoff

^ Fighting on short notice

Point of interest: Layoffs and lingering intangibles

The main event in Denver features a fight between two men who have not stepped inside the octagon for some time.

Chan Sung Jung, who is coming off a 21-month layoff, has only fought once in the last five years.

After sustaining a shoulder injury at the hands of Jose Aldo in his 2013 bid for the featherweight title, mandatory military service (for the South Korean army) would sideline Jung’s mixed martial arts career for just over three years. And in February of 2017, Jung returned to action without missing a beat, displaying superb timing and arguable improvements – defying the tropes of a long layoff.

Since then, the Korean fan favorite sustained a serious knee injury that has kept him out of competition until this year. Now, Jung will tempt fate twice, taking on the task of stepping right back into the main-event spotlight.

Standing in his way is Yair Rodriguez, another crowd-pleasing talent who is looking to get his sea legs back beneath him.

We have not seen the Mexican prospect since May 2017, when he suffered a humbling loss to Frankie Edgar – the kind of defeat that had many interested in seeing how Rodriguez would bounce back. However, Rodriguez has been out of action due to a mix of injury withdrawals and contract disputes that almost saw the Season 1 winner of “The Ultimate Fighter: Latin Americas” look for work elsewhere.

Rodriguez has since stayed relatively low key on social media, as well as shifting around his training scenery, at least from the looks of things. But considering Rodriguez seems to always stay in shape and seldom tires, then perhaps it’s not a surprise that he took a five-round fight at elevation on short notice.

Still, regardless of what either man claims, the fighter who can be least affected by said intangibles will probably be the person who is sitting pretty early.

Next point of interest: Striking in space

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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