On paper, the UFC Fight Night main event between featherweights Brian Ortega and “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung was set to be one of the biggest action fights of the year. That thinking didn’t take into account a much improved Ortega coming off nearly two years out of the Octagon as “T-City” shut down Jung’s offense to take a wide unanimous decision victory on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.
From the opening round, it was clear Ortega was not the same fighter who went to war in a title shot against then-featherweight champion Max Holloway in December 2018. Ortega nullified the pressure and counterpunch-heavy game of Jung with constant footwork around the outside of the cage and a steady diet of leg kicks. Jung would try to step forward and cut off the cage only to be met by straight punches and leg kicks from Ortega, who would then slide back out of range.
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Jung started to come on a bit in Round 2, but he was caught with a back elbow from Ortega that dropped him to the canvas. While Jung tried to pop up and fire back with powerful combinations, Ortega again was the man getting in the better strikes.
The pattern would repeat throughout the fight. Jung would walk forward, only to see Ortega strike and slide out of danger before Jung could get off any meaningful strikes.
Jung never really got going offensively as Ortega simply put together a better gameplan that kept Jung from being able to sit down on counter shots and do any meaningful work.
“We got to work, man,” Ortega said after his victory. “Everybody thought I took time off. No, man. I had surgeries and got right back to work. I said, ‘you know what? I need everything new. I need to become a new guy and get better at MMA.’ I did the best I could to mix it up and show everyone that I’m back.”
By the end of five rounds, there was little doubt who had done enough to earn the victory. The official judges all turned in identical 50-45 scorecards, acknowledging the shutout pitched by Ortega.
Next up, according to all pre-fight talk, will be another shot at the featherweight championship, now held by Alexander Volkanovski. Ortega went to war with Holloway in his first shot at the belt before doctors stopped the fight due to swelling around his eye.
After his win, Ortega said there was only one way to find out if his fortunes would be better in his second shot at the belt.
“We’re going to find out if I’m ready, you know what I’m saying?” Ortega said. “In this game, you take chances. You don’t grow in the comfort zone. Alexander Volkanovski, you’re the champ. The thought of fighting you is an excitement. I’ve got a whole team and we’re ready, man.”
In the co-main event, Jessica Andrade looked every bit the part of flyweight contender in her debut at 125 pounds. Andrade snapped a heavy body shot on Katlyn Chookagian in the opening round that forced her to retreat and audibly scream in pain before Andrade was able to finish the fight. Andrade could be close to a title opportunity against Valentina Shevchenko after dropping her strawweight belt to Weili Zhang and then dropping her rematch with Rose Namajunas earlier this year.
CBS Sports was with you the entire way on Saturday bringing you all the results and highlights from the UFC Fight Night card.
UFC Fight Night card and results
- Brian Ortega def. Chan Sung Jung via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
- Jessica Andrade def. Katlyn Chookagian via first-round TKO (punches)
- Jimmy Crute def. Modestas Bukauskas via first-round TKO (punches)
- James Krause def. Claudio Silva via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Jonathan Martinez def. Thomas Almeida via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)