Analyzing Awesome: Breaking Down The Korean Zombie/Corgi/Chan Sung Jung

A GIF-aided look at the nuts and bolts of what makes Chan Sung Jung cooler, and more like a Corgi, than you might think.
Share |

I just can’t help it.

When I watch Chan Sung Jung fight, I don’t see the “Korean Zombie” character with which he is now synonymous. I can sort of get that—Jung is Korean, he is scary and persistent, it's all sort of there. But what I really see is a Corgi, and a particularly adorable one at that. No small feat given that Corgis, by default, are impossibly adorable.

Maybe it’s the perma-smile Jung and his canine avatar share. You’re never quite sure what it is they’re smiling about, which sort of calls for the Cheshire Cat comparison, but there's something altogether more innocent about this particular grin: it may just be an outward acknowledgement of an eternal bemusement at life and the fact that it’s a real thing we’re all experiencing for real.

The straight physical comparison ends there since a Corgi is short and stubby while Jung is long and lean, but nature has played the same practical joke on both by giving them limbs they’re not quite sure how to handle. Still, they get by with a natural stick-to-it-iveness that screams, “I know I look janky, but this is what I’m working with and I will make it work because I’M A GOOD BOY.”

For a while, that attitude served Jung well, at least insofar as he became a cult figure beloved for creating the sort of shambolic scraps the UFC and a vocal portion of its fans crave. This was a frustrating path to watch Jung take for those who had followed him since his days in the wild east of the Asian MMA circuit. The Korean Zombie was content to remain a zombie, gutting out wins by absorbing punishment until—finally—putting hands on his prey and feasting on sweet, delicious brains. That is until his two ill-fated bouts in the WEC, the UFC’s since-assimilated cousin.

First came a rightly maligned split-decision loss to proto-brawler Leonard Garcia and then came a knockout loss to proto-tall-dude George Roop. Luckily for Jung, his devoted fan base and Korean heritage—the UFC would love to establish a foothold in Asia—guaranteed him a UFC deal post-WEC assimilation. By then, the consensus was that he would chug along as a reliably entertaining fighter with something like a 50/50 shot at clinging onto a roster spot. The zombie would make a living, but probably just that.

What followed and continues to follow is not so much a shocking revival as it is a long overdue confirmation. The gangly Korean kid in the fuzzy pirated videos that built his cult showed not just heart, but undeniable talent and skill. So it's exciting to watch that same kid become what he was meant to be: A fucking kick-ass Corgi.

***

The Korean Corgi’s renaissance began where it had to begin, with a rematch of his contested loss to Leonard Garcia. While their first fight was on some Roadhouse outtakes slobber-knocker steez, the return encounter provided the first hint of the fighter Jung had resolved to become. That is a fighter who does all sorts of cool shit, e.g. lacing a twister all casual like.

The twister aka guillotine aka spinal lock is a wrestling move as horrifyingly painful as it is impossible to lock up. Once the hold became a chic thing to try on the mats, its applicability in an MMA context has been understandably downplayed, mostly because once you subtract the relative safety of the grappling world and add the very real prospect of getting your face blasted off in MMA, novelty tends to be set aside in favor of reliability. However, Corgi don't care.

You can feel the realness.

The sequence starts with Garcia in turtle position and Jung having secured back control with both hooks secured inside the thighs. What Jung is trying to do here is use his leverage to flatten Garcia out and sit down on his mid-section, which makes for a more dominant position. In response, Garcia rolls over and Jung makes what appears to be a mistake by letting his left hook come loose. However, as Garcia tries to finish the roll and gain top position, Jung deftly figure-fours his left leg and pins it to the mat. Because the figure-four is high and tight, Garcia’s only counter would be to push down on the hold to free his leg, but that would leave his neck exposed to a rear-naked choke. With the round nearing its end, Garcia appears content to wait out either the clock or a more favorable escape opportunity.

He still has no idea how FUBAR this is about to get.

By now, Jung is almost perpendicular to Garcia who is trying to sit up and gain the leverage he needs to bail on the figure-four. In doing so, he leaves his head out there like some nuts … just some nuts on a fuckin’ dresser blissfully unaware of the spiked bat about to crash down on them. Jung slips his left arm behind Garcia’s head, locks up the hold using a palm-on-palm Gable grip and violently twists Garcia’s neck. The pain kicks in when the figure-four keeps Garcia from rolling his hips inward and alleviating the pressure. In effect, Jung is twisting dude’s spine up like the front end of an artisanal blunt.

That Jung had the good sense to rediscover his grappling chops was one thing. That he did it against someone who so readily indulges his love affair with the Backyard Juggalo Fights aesthetic was another altogether. The hope was that this stylistic pivot would continue against nonpareil rib-roaster Mark Hominick. This was hope rooted in good reason, since Hominick’s vaunted mid-range boxing game is especially devastating when delivered via 4 oz. gloves.

So Jung's fans prayed, they hoped, they begged and they pleaded with whatever deities they could to ensure Jung would chase the takedown and expose Hominick’s routinely faulty grappling game. Unfortunately for those fans, Jung never got a chance to answer their prayers. He knocked Hominick out in seven seconds flat.

A seven-second knockout typically involves one fighter making a dumbass mistake and the other fighter responding with the physical equivalent of “Dude, that was a dumbass mistake and, I’m sorry, but I kinda have to do this to you now.” Here, Hominick goes for the somewhat underhanded tactic of a quick glove-tap followed by a scythe of a left hook. Besides the karmic debt inherent in that tactic, Hominick fails in an area where he usually excels: measuring his punches. By blindly stepping in with no setup, he’s utterly defenseless when his hook flies past Jung and sends a calming breeze into the crowd.

More important than Hominick’s whiff is Jung’s anticipation of said whiff. He knows the left hook is Hominick’s money punch and stays out of its range. By calmly giving ground while keeping his right hand cocked, Jung is ready to counter as soon as the anticipated left hook whizzes by. He does so by planting on his rear foot and jamming a coffin nail into the point where Hominick’s jaw and ear meet.

The constant back-and-forth from defense to offense and back again is one of the most challenging aspects of MMA, but Jung handles it beautifully by anticipating his opponent’s actions, preparing a counter and setting it loose at the perfect moment; this knockout is that whole slow pendulum swing rendered in brutal miniature. Beyond the cerebral aspect, bonus dap is due to Jung’s display of raw athleticism in reversing his body’s momentum from full retreat to forward assault with nothing more than a shift of the hips and a plant of the foot.

Now, the matter of finishing off a dude already imitating a failed field sobriety test seems simple enough at first blush. However, it’s an area where MMA fighters consistently fail—mostly because they tend to turn into finely calibrated flail-bots at the first sight of a possible finish. Jung ain’t about that life though. He’s all about flexing the cocaine biceps and cracking the galaxy knuckles and other cool-sounding Ghostface-ian word jumbles.

Ouch, dude, that is my face.

With Hominick dazed and supine, Jung flexes some legit finishing instincts by avoiding the guard and instead sitting down on Hominick’s right leg. What this does is provide a base for Jung’s hips while robbing Hominick of the ability to push off or establish a defensive guard. By keeping the center of his body balanced on the leg, Jung is able to swivel into his punches—thus generating more power without losing his balance. This is fancy talk for Jung hurt him real bad with physics.

So: our dude was doing all right for himself. However, the good vibes got curb-stomped when news broke that he was lined up to face Dustin Poirier. The response from the MMA world was uniform. Fans noted Poirier’s undefeated record at featherweight. Media pointed to his versatility and cage smarts. Bookies tabbed him a -350 favorite.

One important fact that was forgotten in all this pre-fight hypothesizing and oddsmaking was that Jung had run out of fucks to give. Telling him he’s an underdog in a fight is no different than telling a Corgi that an especially steep set of stairs is favored to keep it down. All you’ll get is a quizzical look before it’s off to face down that windmill. Corgis don't understand what you're saying.

And so Jung posted a dominating first two rounds laden with general “Oh, DIP" pyrotechnics. However, the third round saw Poirier putting together his punches while containing the Korean Corgi’s previously brilliant offense. With neither fighter having ever competed in a five round fight, no one had a clue what to expect. Mostly because no one could have predicted just how much Jung had left to give.

Poirier opened the door to his own defeat by repeating a mistake he made all night long. By surrendering the center of the cage, Poirier allowed Jung to measure and time the unpredictable power combos that put him in the lead to begin with. Here, Jung is on some real next-level business with an unorthodox lead-rear-uppercut-to-left-hook combo that he sets up with a sneaky feint to the body. The feint breaks Poirier’s ankles and disguises the uppercut just long enough for it to land square on the jaw. Jung somehow has the physical coordination to slip in a left hook that finds the same mark and sends Poirier into an involuntary retreat.

Just as in his two prior fights, Jung coolly sets himself to the task of ending matters by bringing extreme levels of bold flavor. As Poirier tries to gather his senses, he manages to get his hands up in time to block a flying knee to the dome and dive for a double leg takedown. The key word here is “dive”, which is one letter short of “drive” and makes all the difference. Rather than drive into Jung’s hips and force him back, Poirier dives low for the knees hoping to catch him off-balance. It’s a desperate move that Jung shuts down with ease. He begins by sprawling his legs back and wide while securing a waistlock. This keeps Poirier from getting a solid grip on Jung’s legs while halting his forward momentum. From there, Jung shifts his hips, uses the waistlock as leverage to drop his body weight down on Poirier’s head and slams the door on any of this silly takedown business.

Of course, just as a jolly rancher is not a sprinkle, a stuffed takedown is not a finish. Jung gets to work on that situation immediately.

Sure, diving for a sloppy double leg was a mistake on Poirier’s part, but at least he tried something. Here, he commits the cardinal sin of MMA: doing nothing. When another man/zombie/Corgi wants to hurt you, doing nothing is not the solution. Here, the penance for sloth is swift as Jung circles to create the perfect angle for slipping his right arm through Poirier’s armpit and into a brabo choke.

Again, Poirier does nothing and pays for it. Jung circles further inside which tightens the choke while allowing him to get the palm-on-bicep grip necessary to locking the choke in. Once secured, he drives his right shoulder forward, forcing Poirier to roll even further into the hold. A few moments pass until Poirier’s inevitable surrender puts the stamp on a thrilling display of technique covering every facet of MMA. Also, it was dope.

Really, though, and at the risk of forfeiting whatever analytical objectivity might be left on my part, everything about Jung is dope. At a time when the UFC is trying to square every one of their fighters with a preconceived notion of how a fighter should act, look, feel and fight, Jung is stubbornly, brilliantly doing Jung. You won’t hear him trying to talk half-hearted smack handed to him by an incompetent copywriter and you sure as hell won’t see him trying to emulate the childish big-dick pseudo-swagger of his own employer.

What you will get is a guy who smiles at the absurdity and wonder of the world around him and goes about his work with a joy detached from the grueling realities of the work itself. If MMA were a bigger sport, he’d be starring in twee Apple commercials that follow him and an actual Corgi as they plan an Afro-Cuban jazz-themed birthday party for the Chicano girl across the street who only wears zoot suits. Zooey Deschanel would be out of work and make headlines some years later as the anime-eyed culprit behind a not-dull murder spree. The world would be a better place.

For the time being, we have to settle for Jung making the MMA world a better place. It's a pretty good deal for all of us.

"Zombie Corgi" illustration by Brandy Jefferys.


Share |

Comments

Keep it up on nice working, and I hope soon you will place some more information here, I’ll wait for that.
fashion

I read your complete survey. It's really great & amazing presentation. Thanks a lot for providing this marvelous information which i need so much
Corporate Gifts Singapore

I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work.

Singapore Corporate Gift

I had been trying for the good information and having come to your blog I have found everything which I wanted.
type my essay

You guys abolish it real straightforward for all the oldsters out there.
essay writer cheap

I think I have really come on the right place for getting the perfect info.
best paper writing website

Your dazzling work has won my heart. I’ll come soon to your site with new hope.
Chris Walker - top SEO consultant

Very good points you wrote here..Great stuff...I think you've made some truly interesting points.Keep up the good work. Quadrocopter Versicherung

This blog is truly extraordinary in all aspects.
academic writing services

There is such a great amount in this article I would never have considered all alone. Your substance gives perusers things to consider in a fascinating way. Much obliged to you for your reasonable data. inbox blueprint

That’s really amazing and extraordinary blogs & can help those who get issues in searching this type of information.
estate planning attorney tysons corner va

In this period, Barcelona gained their motto Més que un club (English: More than a club) because of its alleged connection to Catalan nationalist as well as to progressivebeliefs. Barcelona Real Madrid Live Stream

This blog is so nice to me. I will keep on coming here again and again. Visit my link as well..
smith

Calls outside of the inclusive call package are charged at 4 pence per minute. *Calls to mobile phones are charged at 12 pence per minute. Voicemail to email calls are charged at 4.25 pence per recorded minute. 0800 numbers

Truly superb blog, I don’t have actual words to praise in regards for this.
write essays for money

Your blogs and every other content are thus interesting and helpful it makes me return back again.
health plan enrollment 2017

Much thanks to you for the redesign, extremely pleasant site.. new casino 2017

Excellent post! I had been fed up for a long time searching lots of sites, but now I have come on the right place. Thanks
Web 2.0

Thanks for sharing nice information with us. i like your post and all you share with us is uptodate and quite informative, i would like to bookmark the page so i can come here again to read you, as you have done a wonderful job..!

weight loss

This is an excellent post I seen thanks to share it. It is really what I wanted to see hope in future you will continue for sharing such a excellent post.

phenq reviews

Yes, great US Military force. Also, in his post you have given a chance to listen about US Military. I really appreciate your work. Thanks for sharing it.

exercise tips

Their faces often have a drawn appearance with sunken cheeks. Much of this is caused by the loss of the underlying bone. McD Health

I have really seen a number of crappy posts but this is the special one for me because it has really favorably influenced me. Good luck….
Chris Walker - SEO companies

Although many of them do many valid points, they are often too quick to dismiss the hidden value of buying plays.  buyscplays

The armrests can be adjusted in height and precisely adapted to the individual body size with a simple push of a button. Which looks like my DXRACER F-Series test , although this is certainly to be regarded as positive! The backrest can bring the players almost to the horizontal, so you can if necessary also sleep on his PC chair. http://gamingstuhl-vergleich.de/dxracer-gaming-stuhl

Players are free to explore the space, check out the views, interact with one another's "virtual presences" and of course, play the games, which have been rendered in stunning 3D VR. vr casino

Hey what a splendid post I have run over and trust me I have been scanning out for this comparative sort of post for recent week and scarcely ran over this. Much thanks and will search for more postings from you. nutrition

Pleasant post mate, keep up the colossal work, simply imparted this to my friendz health advice

This is a decent post. This post gives genuinely quality data. I'm unquestionably going to investigate it. Truly exceptionally helpful tips are given here. Much thanks to you to such an extent. Keep up the acts of kindness. skin care

A debt of gratitude is in order For sharing this Superb article.I utilize this Article to demonstrate my task in college.it is helpful For me Great Work. mikrowelle tests

During your roofing consultation, we provide a detailed free estimate so you have some idea how much you will have to spend on your roof repairs. Frederick Roofing

Thanks for writing such a good article, I stumbled onto your blog and read a few post. I like your style of writing..
babysitting cream

i was simply skimming along and happened upon your web journal. simply needed to say great web journal and this article truly helped me. chicago heating and air conditioning services

Aqua Lab Technologies offers a large selection of cheap hand pipes in many styles for you to choose from. Made from either quality glass or durable, medical grade silicone, cheap pipes are a great way to smoke while traveling. cheap oil rigs

The piece is fully programmable and also has its own internal memory. altomgaming.dk

Dropbox mastermind began making something for his ain use, but then realized that it could aid others with the synoptic problems justcloud

This written piece gives fastidious understanding yet.zero up review

Depositing through phone bill has been verified to be the simplest, most convenient and quickest way to maintain ones account, and when players are happy, top online casinos do better business so it’s a win all around! See our Slots pay by phone new page right now! pay by phone casino

A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing this data. I truly like your blog entry all that much. You have truly shared a useful and intriguing blog entry with individuals.. healthy tips

This was truly a fascinating point and I kinda concur with what you have said here! nutrition information

Somebody Sometimes with visits your web journal consistently and prescribed it I would say to peruse also. The method for composing is phenomenal furthermore the substance is first rate. A debt of gratitude is in order for that understanding you give the perusers! fitness tips

On the off chance that you set out to make me think today; mission achieved! I truly like you're composing style and how you express your thoughts. Much obliged to you. skin health

Most likely this is a fantastic post I got a great deal of learning subsequent to perusing good fortunes. Topic of web journal is incredible there is very nearly everything to peruse, Brilliant post. aging

This sort of message continually rousing and I want to peruse quality substance, so cheerful to discover great spot to numerous here in the post, the composition is simply extraordinary, a debt of gratitude is in order for the post. look younger

Although he believes most that they would try to deposit maybe 40 percent of the waste illegally and so provides documentation on the rest. Dit nedbrydningsfirma finder du her

The Lexus marque is marketed in over 70 countries and territories worldwide, has become Japan's largest-selling make of premium cars, and has ranked among the ten largest Japanese global brands in market value. Lexus

Awesome things you've generally imparted to us. Simply continue written work this sort of posts.The time which was squandered in going for educational cost now it can be utilized for studies.Thanks car cover

I might want to thank you for the endeavors you have made in composing this article. I am trusting the same best work from you later on too.. real psychics

I spend time people's writing. It has the excellent to consider you demonstrate around thoughts together with the intellect and also res while doing this very important topic is sometimes successfully deemed. do my speech

Very useful post. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. Really its great article. Keep it up.

رجيم اللقيمات