UFC Vegas 29 is upon us this Saturday night, a card that you can watch on ESPN+ and ESPN2 (inside the United States, check your local listings elsewhere), [the parent ESPN channel will begin its coverage of the College World Series on Saturday]. It’s a 12-fight MMA card, including the UFC Vegas 29 main event of the evening at featherweight.
As with all UFC headlining bouts, the UFC Vegas 29 main event will be a maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round, with its winner taking another step toward a shot at the 145-lb. championship, currently held by Alexander Volkanovski.
Going into Saturday night’s headlining bout at UFC Vegas 29, both Chan Sung Jung and Dan Ige stand level in height at 5-foot-7, with Korean Zombie holding a one-inch (73 inches to 72 inches) reach advantage and a half-inch (38 1/2 inches to 38 inches even) leg reach advantage over Ige in the UFC Vegas 29 main event.
Chan Sung Jung has posted a 3-2 record in his last five UFC appearances, most recently dropping a unanimous decision at the hands of current Ultimate Fighter coach Brian Ortega on March 21 during UFC Fight Island 6‘s main event on Oct. 17, 2020, in Abu Dhabi.
Mandatory Career Stopdown for Korean Zombie
From late summer 2013 to February of 2017, Chan Sung Jung’s MMA career was put on pause, with a scheduled fight against Akira Corrassani called off before its scheduled date of Oct. 4, 2014.
Per South Korean law, men aged 18 to 35 must serve a mandatory two years in the country’s military, a process known as conscription. Women in the same age bracket may option to volunteer for conscription, but this is not a requirement.
Since his UFC return, he has posted a record of 3-2, including a loss against Yair Rodriguez literally at the last second during UFC Fight Night Denver in November of 2018 (fifth-round knockout: elbow.)
End of the Road for Korean Zombie?
The UFC Vegas 29 main event may be Zombie’s final MMA appearance. In the run-up to UFC Vegas 29 on Saturday, Chan Sung Jung was quoted as saying:
“I figured out my weaknesses that Dan Ige thinks of myself and melted them into my training. I got hit with a lot of elbows. If I get hit with an elbow this time and I lose, I might have to consider retirement.”
Ige Anticipating Explosive Fight in UFC Vegas 29 Main Event… With Life-Changing Motivation in His Family
Dan Ige, who welcomed his first son into the world earlier this year, enters UFC Vegas 29 on a 4-1 clip in his last five UFC appearances, including a first-round knockout of Gavin Tucker due to a right cross on March 13 of this year during UFC Vegas 21, just 22 seconds into the fight.
If his recent interview with television station KHON in his native Honolulu is any indication, he’s hoping the UFC Vegas 29 main event will be one wild night. Ige said the following:
“I found out about my fight with the Korean Zombie literally two days before he was born and I remember the UFC called me and presented me with the opportunity. I was like, ‘Man, I’m about to be a dad any day now, I don’t know what my life’s going to be like.’ I remember the matchmaker, Sean Shelby, was like, ‘Man, it’s going to be crazy”.
Later on in the interview, Ige, who has gained newfound inspiration through this life-changing event, continued:
“But that being said, nothing’s going to slow down or stop for me so I saw it as a challenge and a big opportunity for me so I obviously took the opportunity and it’s been the best thing ever, to be honest. Taking that leap of faith and coming home from training every day, getting to hold my son and watch him grow, it’s just added motivation and he’s brought so much structure into my life. I want to be there for him and I want to be the best that I can as a fighter and as an athlete and he helps me with that. It’s been awesome.”
UFC Vegas 29 Main Event Analysis and Prediction
Stylistically, this main event looks to be quite the toss-up on Saturday night, with both men subscribing to MMA as their method of combat. At the same time, what may very well set Chan Sung Jung apart from Dan Ige on Saturday is his decorated background across multiple combat sports disciplines.
The Korean Zombie owns black belts in Hapkido, Taekwondo, and Judo, along with a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and has won 15 kickboxing matches, 11 by knockout. Thus, he can control the direction that this fight can go. Further, he’s one of only two UFC fighters to ever lock in a submission via twister.
If Korean Zombie mixes up his strikes against Ige, he can frustrate him and make the UFC Vegas 29 main event a long night on Saturday.
One constant throughout Dan Ige’s MMA career is his rate of stoppages by submission.
Throughout his 15 career victories, he’s stopped his opponents by submission one-third of the time, most recently against Danny Henry more than two years ago during UFC on ESPN+ 5 in London (first-round rear-naked choke), netting him the $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus.
Look for Dan Ige to counter Korean Zombie’s strikes and attempt to take Chan Sung Jung down during the UFC Vegas 29 main event on Saturday night to try to secure a top position on the ground and advance on it.
If Dan Ige can get Chan Sung Jung on the mat, he could gain leverage against him and look for submissions. Keep in mind that the elbow strike is the Achilles’ heel for Korean Zombie here, and it could be the decisive blow in the UFC Vegas 29 main event on Saturday night.
As a viewer, it would behoove you to make that all-important fridge run before the fight starts on Saturday. You won’t want to miss this one; as much like the co-headliner, the UFC Vegas 29 main event has serious Fight of the Night potential.
Prediction: Dan Ige by Unanimous Decision
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