Max Holloway knocks out Korean Zombie into retirement
Former featherweight champion Max Holloway knocked out Chan Sung Jung in the third round of last weekend's UFC Fight Night's main event in Singapore.
Holloway stepped into the arena just weeks after wildfires wreaked havoc on his native Maui in Hawaii. On the other side, the matchup was rumored to mark the end of Jung's career.
While it was Jung who called out Holloway, he just came out of a defeat at the hands of Alexander Volkanovski. Predictions leaned heavily in favor of Holloway. Fans and sportsbooks alike considered him the favorite, with odds surpassing seven-to-one.
Holloway engaged in an all-out war with Jung from the opening seconds of the fight. The pace was frantic, with both fighters trading blows and refusing to back down.
Throughout the fight, Jung displayed his trademark aggression, constantly stepping into the pocket and launching powerful strikes at Holloway.
The first round was closely contested, but Holloway gained momentum in the second round when he landed a hard shot that sent Jung sprawling to the floor. Holloway had an opportunity to finish the fight with a submission, applying a D'arce choke, but Jung survived and managed to get back to his feet.
The fighters engaged in a wild brawl in the third round, exchanging heavy punches. However, it was Holloway's right hand that ended the fight. The "Korean Zombie" faceplanted onto the canvas, where Referee Marc Goddard swiftly stepped in to stop the fight, declaring "Blessed" the victor just 23 seconds into the round.
After the knockout, Holloway showed respect for his opponent, praising Jung as a legend.
"Give it up for 'Korean Zombie,' this guy's a f*****n legend!" Holloway said. "He's 'The Korean Zombie' for a reason. I'm just lucky my right hand landed before his."
Following the fight, Jung made a surprising announcement. Through a translator, he declared his retirement from the sport, ending his career with a record of 17-8.
"I'm going to stop fighting," Jung said. "I've always aimed to become a champion when I first started the sport. I'm not here to be ranked third, fourth, or fifth.
"I tried my absolute best to prepare for Max Holloway. I really, really believed I could beat him, but I ended up failing, so I don't think I have the opportunity anymore. I think I'm going to stop fighting."
As Jung left the octagon, the song "Zombie" by The Cranberries played. Tears streamed down his face as he greeted his loved ones waiting for him.
Holloway, too, was overwhelmed with emotion after the fight. He dedicated his victory to the people of Hawaii.
"I can't even talk about the fight right now," Holloway said. "The only thing on my mind is Lahaina, Maui. This one is for you guys. If you guys can, please on Instagram, share to the world and help my fellow Hawaiians. It really means a lot."
The devastation caused by the wildfires prompted the UFC to contribute to relief efforts, and Holloway took the opportunity to raise further awareness.
His Instagram posts consistently directed followers to @lahaina_ohana_venmo, a platform aimed at aiding those affected by the tragedy. A symbolic gesture was made by Holloway as he donned red shorts for the first time in his career.