Chan Sung Jung Believes Military Service Will Give Him Time To Heal


Top-ranked UFC featherweight Chan Sung Jung shocked the MMA world recently when news broke that he would miss the next two years while serving a mandatory tour of duty in the Korean military.

“The Korean Zombie” has been out of action since a fourth round TKO loss to champion Jose Aldo in the main event of August 2013’s UFC 163. Jung was slated to return to action at September’s UFC Fight Night 53 from Sweden, but a setback from his shoulder forced him to withdraw. Because of all the wear and tear on his body, Jung told MMA Fighting that he actually thinks that the time off, where he’ll be working an office job, will help him heal:

I’ll be working in my local district office. Because of several surgeries that I had, I was given a government office job. I’m not sure exactly what I’ll be doing there, though. I think this may extend my career, because it gives me some much-needed time to heal. I’ll have time to work on my skills without pushing myself to the limit, which is necessary when training for a fight.”

As for his shoulder, Jung contends that while it is feeling better, it is simply not fully healed quite yet. Doctors apparently told him he needed some time off after re-injuring it in the training camp leading up to his proposed bout with Corassani:

“It’s okay, but not 100 percent. As I was increasing the intensity of my training for the Corassani fight, I strained my shoulder. The doctors told me that if I didn’t let it heal completely, that the problems with my shoulder would continue. So, I had to pull out of the fight.”

So Jung is looking at the bright side of things, because with nearly 15 months away from the octagon, it’s clear that he needs some time to get his shoulder back to full health.

But that doesn’t mean he won’t pay attention to what’s going on in the crowded UFC 145-pound title scene. Jung offered his prediction (kind of) for this weekend’s UFC 179 rematch between Aldo and Chad Mendes, noting only that “Money” has the tools to dethrone the dominant king:

“I think he (Mendes) has all the tools to beat Aldo. I don’t have a prediction, though. I’m not great at predicting fights. In the UFC, the level is so high, anyone can beat anyone on a given night. Especially when you have two elite fighters like Chad and Jose, it’s tough to say who will win. Jose is a great champion, so it’s going to take a lot to beat him.”