‘Korean Zombie’ Earns Unanimous Decision Over Game Dan Ige at UFC on ESPN 25

By Tristen Critchfield Jun 19, 2021

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Once upon a time, Chan Sung Jung’s default mode was to brawl and throw caution to the wind.

On Saturday, “The Korean Zombie” displayed a different element to his game, as he incorporated timely grappling with his striking to capture a unanimous decision triumph over Dan Ige in the UFC on ESPN 25 headliner at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Jung received scorecards of 48-47, 49-46 and 49-46 to rebound from a loss to current No. 1 contender Brian Ortega this past October.

The 34-year-old South Korean appeared to be in typical form in Round 2, when he buckled Ige (15-4, 7-3 UFC) with a right hook. Jung wasn’t content to stay on the feet, however, as he ended the frame with a back take against his Hawaiian opponent.

That would turn out to be a prevailing theme in the fight. “The Korean Zombie” landed a takedown and took Ige’s back again with approximately 3:00 remaining in Round 3, where he would spend the rest of the period. Likely three rounds behind at that point, Ige came out with the appropriate sense of urgency in Round 4, landing punches to the head and body of his opponent to put Jung on the defensive. Jung put the brakes on Ige’s comeback in the final stanza, when he again got his opponent to the mat and spent the last two minutes of the fight on the Hawaiian's back.

Spivak Wears Down Oleynik

Sergey Spivak earned the most significant victory of his career thus far, pulling away from Alexey Oleynik down the stretch to garner a unanimous decision triumph at heavyweight in the UFC on ESPN 25 co-main event. All three judges struck 29-28 tallies for Spivak, who has been victorious in his last three Octagon appearances.

Oleynik was able to draw Spivak into his world in Round 1, when he landed a takedown and then threatened with a rear-naked choke before transitioning to full mount. It was downhill from there for the Russian veteran, however. Oleynik (59-16-1, 8-7 UFC) jumped guard early in the second stanza, but Spivak (13-2, 4-2 UFC) managed to maintain top position and spend the majority of the period landing ground-and-pound.

Spivak did some solid work standing in Round 3, when he opened a significant gash on the side of his opponent’s head with a punch. Later, “The Polar Bear” stuffed a shot from Oleynik and spent the waning moments of the period landing more punches from top position on his exhausted adversary.

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Vera Takes Entertaining War Over Grant

Marlon Vera avenged a previous loss to Davey Grant, taking a unanimous verdict in an entertaining bantamweight brawl. “Chito” received tallies of 29-27, 29-28 and 30-26 from the cageside judges, bringing Grant’s three-bout winning streak to an end. The Englishman bested Vera via unanimous decision in their first meeting at UFC Fight Night 84 in February 2016.

Grant (13-5, 4-4 UFC) set the tone early, attacking with strikes to all levels in an impressive opening round. Vera (17-7-1, 11-6 UFC) picked up the pace in Round 2, opening a cut on Grant’s forehead with a series of elbows in close quarters before ending the frame with ground-and-pound from top position.

Vera did his best work in Round 3, when he sprawled on a takedown from a fading Grant, took his man’s back and then transitioned from a rear-naked choke to an arm-triangle choke. Vera continued the assault on the feet, swarming with elbows, knees and punches to the body before ending the fight with a tight RNC attempt in the waning seconds.

Choi Wins Third Straight, Stops Erosa

South Korean prospect Seung Woo Choi won his third straight fight, defeating “The Ultimate Fighter 22” alum Julian Erosa via technical knockout in a featherweight tilt. Choi put Erosa away 1:37 into Round 1, ending his opponent’s three-bout winning streak.

Choi and Erosa (25-9, 3-5 UFC) traded willingly for the short time that the bout lasted. Choi floored Erosa with a left hook and then pounced for the finish, unloading with punches from top position until referee Mark Smith stepped in to halt the contest. Choi (10-3, 3-2 UFC) has earned six of his nine triumphs via KO or TKO.

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Silva Ground-and-Pound Mauls Turman

Brutal ground-and-pound made the difference for ex-M-1 Global champion Bruno Silva in a first-round stoppage of Wellington Turman at middleweight. The 31-year-old Evolucao Thai representative put Turman’s lights out with heavy punches from inside his opponent’s guard at the 4:45 mark of Round 1. “Blindado” has won five straight fights -- all via knockout or technical knockout.

Turman (16-5, 1-3 UFC) opted for a grappling-heavy approach to negate his foe’s knockout power. It worked for a while, especially when he jumped on Silva’s back and make his adversary carry his weight. Eventually, Silva (20-6, 1-0 UFC) was able to shake Turman off and assume top position. From there, Silva methodically dropped heavy shots on his foe before rendering Turman unconscious with a left hook from above. Turman has lost three of his four Octagon appearances.

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Brown Scores One-Punch KO Against Lima

Matt Brown showed he still has something left in the tank at 40 years old, as he earned a resounding knockout victory against Dhiego Lima in a welterweight clash. “The Immortal” brought the show to a close 3:02 into Round 2, tying Vitor Belfort and Derrick Lewis for the most KOs in promotion history with 12.

In a competitive opening stanza, Lima (15-9, 4-7 UFC) repeatedly battered Brown’s leg with calf kicks. Brown (23-18, 16-12 UFC) was able to absorb the assault, however, and he set up the finishing blow with a right hand to the body. From there, the Ohioan followed up a pinpoint right hand while taking his head off the center line, sending Lima face first to the canvas. No follow-up punches were necessary for Brown, who also secured his 14th finish overall in UFC competition -- a figure that ties him for third most all-time.

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