It was as if Chan Sung Jung never left.
In his first Ultimate Fighting Championship appearance in more than three years, “The Korean Zombie” knocked out Dennis Bermudez with a right uppercut and follow-up punches in the UFC Fight Night 104 “Korean Zombie vs. Bermudez” headliner on Saturday at the Toyota Center in Houston. Bermudez (16-6, 9-3 UFC) crashed and burned 2:49 into Round 1, the loss snapping his modest two-fight winning streak.
Jung (14-4, 4-1 UFC), who last fought on Aug. 3, 2013, did not find smooth sailing initially. Bermudez rattled him with an overhand right inside the first minute and made his move on a potential finish. Jung stood his ground, kept punching and waited for an opening to present itself. He slipped a Bermudez jab and cut down the Long Island MMA standout with a beautifully timed uppercut. Jung cleaned up the rest with unanswered rights on the ground.
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Herrig Hands Grasso First Loss
Felice Herrig recorded the most significant victory of her eight-year career, as she claimed a unanimous decision over previously undefeated Lobo Gym prospect Alexa Grasso in the women’s strawweight co-main event. Herrig (12-6, 3-1 UFC) swept the scorecards with 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27 nods from the judges.
Grasso (9-1, 1-1 UFC) was stuck in neutral for much of the 15-minute confrontation. Herrig pressured her with punches, often pairing left hooks to the body with clubbing rights upstairs. Grasso was uncharacteristically tentative, perhaps caught off-guard by the veteran’s aggression on the feet. Herrig struck for a takedown in the third round and briefly achieved full mount before getting back to work in the standup. Grasso buckled the Jeff Curran protégé with a late flurry but did not do enough to author the finish she needed.
Herrig, 32, has quietly won seven of her past nine bouts.
Vick Choke Submits Trujillo
“The Ultimate Fighter 15” semifinalist James Vick submitted Abel Trujillo with a brabo choke in the third round of their lightweight feature. Trujillo (15-7, 6-3 UFC) conceded defeat 49 seconds into Round 3, his run of three consecutive victories at an end.
Vick (10-1, 6-1 UFC) staggered the Greensboro, North Carolina, native with a straight right hand in the first round and hit his stride in the second. There, he walked through a rolling overhand right and a few lunging left hooks from Trujillo, executed a takedown and clamped down on a brabo choke. Vick later bailed on the attempt, but it was a harbinger of what was to come. He dazed Trujillo with a jumping knee at the start of the third round, drove him to the mat and cinched another d’arce for the tap.
Replacement Oezdemir Upsets Favored St. Preux
Bellator MMA alum Volkan Oezdemir refused to play the role of wide-eyed Octagon rookie, as he sprang the upset with a split decision over Ovince St. Preux in a featured attraction at 205 pounds. All three judges scored it 29-28: J.J. Ferraro and Joe Soliz for Oezdemir, Sal D’Amato for St. Preux.
A short-notice fill-in for the injured Jan Blachowicz, Oezdemir (13-1, 1-0 UFC) set the tone with an aggressive first round. The 27-year-old chewed up the inside of St. Preux’s lead leg with kicks and backed him to the fence with heavy punching bursts. Oezdemir’s pace slowed in Round 2, but he remained committed to his assault on the former University of Tennessee football player’s lower extremities. St. Preux made his move in the third, where he moved forward with body-head punching combinations. He had Oezdemir teetering on the brink with a blistering volley of punches in the closing seconds but could not force the stoppage.
St. Preux (19-10, 7-5 UFC) has lost three fights in a row.
Newcomer Fortuna KOs Hamilton
Marcel Fortuna cut down former Maximum Fighting Championship titleholder Anthony Hamilton with an overhand right in the first round of their heavyweight showcase. Hamilton (15-7, 3-5 UFC) hit the deck 3:10 into Round 1, losing for the fifth time in eight appearances.
Fortuna dealt with significant adversity in his Octagon debut, as an accidental clash of heads resulted in a nasty gash on his right eyelid. Referee Herb Dean asked for the cut to be examined, but the cageside physician gave the Brazilian the go-ahead to continue. Soon after, Fortuna fired a short jab and followed it with a downward overhand right to the temple that left Hamilton splattered on the canvas.
The 31-year-old Fortuna (9-1, 1-0 UFC) has pieced together a six-fight winning streak and plans to downshift to 205 pounds.
Andrade Outguns Game Hill
Jessica Andrade continued her rapid rise on the women’s strawweight ladder, as she overcame a game but outmatched Angela Hill in a three-round feature at 115 pounds. Andrade (16-5, 7-3 UFC) was awarded 30-27 marks by all three cageside judges.
Hill (6-3, 1-3 UFC) withstood a ferocious and sustained offensive barrage from the Brazilian. Andrade peppered the reigning Invicta Fighting Championships titleholder with savage punches to the body and head, crashing forward with no apparent regard for her own well-being. The nails-tough Hill had her moments -- she opened a cut under the Parana Vale Tudo rep’s right eye with a second-round knee strike -- but lacked the firepower she needed to give the surging contender real pause despite obliging her with a number of wild standup exchanges.
Andrade, 25, has rattled off three straight wins and appears to be on the fast track to a title shot.