Chang Sung Jung Takes Mandatory Military Service
The UFC’s #5 ranked featherweight Chang Sung Jung announced on Monday that he will be taking a two year leave of absence from the UFC to fulfill mandatory military services for his native South Korea.
Obligated to serve country
As required by their government, all male South Koreans are required to render two years of military service. In the case of Chang Sung Jung, his obligation begins later this month.
According to Brian Rhee, Jung’s manager, his fighter will be “working in the Seocho District administrative office”. Although Jung will be allowed to live at home and commute to the government office, he will not be allowed to participate in any competition for the duration of his military service. Rhee added that Jung will only be allowed “to train around his job.”
Wants to fight as soon as possible
Despite the long absence, Jung intends to return to the UFC upon the completion of his military service. He has not fought since losing to UFC Featherweight champion Jose Aldo at UFC 163 last August of 2013 in his first ever world title fight. Jung burst onto the American scene in 2010 following his split decision victory over Leonard Garcia at WEC 48. Since moving to the UFC, Jung is 3-1 with three stoppages.
He is known in the American circles as the Korean Zombie for his fighting style wherein he is still able to move forward aggressively despite taking so many heavy blows. As the Korean Zombie, he is a fan favorite who owns two Fight of the Year awards. But the Korean Zombie isn’t just a fighter who is hard to put down. Chang Sung Jung is a Hapkido and Taekwondo black belt who also has solid judo and jiu jitsu background. In fact, 8 of his 13 wins have been via submission.
The problem with the Korean Zombie is that he has been injury prone as of late. During his 4th round KO loss to Aldo, he dislocated his right shoulder while throwing an overhand right. Jung was next scheduled to fight Akira Corrassani at UFC Fight Night 53 but had to pull-out of that bout after re-injuring the shoulder. Chang Sung Jung should have more than enough time to recuperate and heal that right shoulder with two years off. The danger of a long absence however is how to stay in shape and remain competitive without fighting, but the comeback of former UFC bantamweight king Dominick Cruz proved that wrong last month.
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