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Frankie Edgar decided to take a fight with Chan Sung Jung on short notice when Brian Ortega pulled out due to a shredded knee, but in the main event of UFC Fight Night 165 in Busan, South Korea, Edgar didn’t have an answer to the local hero’s approach.
Jung (16-5) wasted no time in forcing Edgar into a striking match and he wobbled the New Jersey native with a short left hook to the jaw. Edgar (23-8-1) recovered quickly, per the norm, but “The Korean Zombie” didn’t allow him to breathe and clocked him with another left hook. Edgar’s legs rubberized and he was eventually felled against the cage from follow-up punches.
Jung immediately pounced on Edgar, seized his back and flattened him out. For roughly 90 seconds, the Seoul native alternated between dozens of punches to the American’s head and threatening him with a rear-naked choke. Referee Marc Goddard continuously yelled at Edgar to improve, and the former UFC lightweight champion eventually — and somehow — escaped to his feet.
Unfortunately for Edgar, “The Korean Zombie” was in the zone and delivered a perfect right uppercut-left hook combo to the jaw. Edgar’s equilibrium was shattered even more and as he collapsed to the canvas for the final time, Jung was landing follow-up punches. Finally, Goddard had seen enough and rescued Edgar, officially ending the fight at 3:18 of the first, giving Jung the biggest win of his career.
Light heavyweight contender Volkan Oezdemir survived an early scare against Aleksandar Rakic to eke past him via split decision. Rakic (12-2) exploded out of his corner with a pair of flying knees that forced “No Time” into the cage. Rakic locked on a standing guillotine, but Oezdemir (17-4) was patient and eventually freed himself of the choke. After a few briefs spurts of toe-to-toe action, the 205-pounders settled in and Oezdemir slowly took over the contest. The Swiss fighter landed the better strikes and outgrappled the Austrian down the stretch and while one judge had it 29-28 for Rakic, the other two officials turned in the same score for Oezdemir, who called out Dominick Reyes after his win.
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Canada’s Charles Jourdain was a +325 underdog coming into his featherweight encounter with Doo Ho Choi, but that didn’t matter to him. After taking dozens of clean punches in the first and most of the second, Jourdain (10-2) never stopped trying to turn the tables. “Air” tossed out a plethora of spinning backfists and kicks, but it was a simple left hook that ended it. Choi (14-4) was in control of the action, but when Jourdain forced “The Korean Super Boy” into a slugfest late in the second, he ended it. Jourdain’s left hook exploded on the South Korean’s jaw, dropping him to the canvas unconscious. The end came at 4:32 of the second, giving Jourdain his biggest win to date.
Rising light heavyweight Da Un Jung proved that he is a genuine threat as he torched Mike Rodriguez (10-5) in the first round. After the two felt each other out, Jung (13-2) slammed a straight right onto Rodriguez’s jaw, dropping him to his knees. But as “Slow” tried climbing back to his feet, the South Korean was already on him, slamming follow-up punches to his head, knocking him out. The end came officially in just 64 seconds, giving Jung his second win in the UFC and first Octagon-based knockout.
Middleweight contender Jun Yong Park used a better overall striking game and four timely takedowns to outpoint Canada’s Marc-Andre Barriault (11-4) over three rounds. “The Iron Turtle” bloodied Barriault’s nose and mouth in the contest and though he worked hard, Park (11-4) won rather handily. One judge had it 30-27 and the other two saw it 29-28 for Park, who walked away with a unanimous decision win, the South Korean’s first in the UFC.
Kyung Ho Kang was dominant against fellow bantamweight Pingyuan Liu, but when their three rounds were completed, one of the judges apparently watched a different battle. Kang (17-8, 1 NC) out-struck Liu on the feet, took the Chinese fighter down repeatedly and dished out plenty of ground-and-pound on the canvas. However, one official scored it 29-28 for Liu (15-6) but thankfully the other two judges turned in scores of 29-28 and 30-27 to allow “Mr. Perfect” to win via split nod.
Ciryl Gane (6-0) remained undefeated in his blossoming MMA career as he bested Canada’s Tanner Boser via unanimous decision. “Bon Gamin” never trailed in the heavyweight affair and he rocked Boser (17-6-1) repeatedly with hooks and uppercuts, but the Frenchman couldn’t put him away. Instead, Gane won easily via tallies of 30-26 across the board in the featured preliminary bout.
Alexandre Pantoja clobbered Matt Schnell (14-5) in a flyweight encounter, crushing him with punches late in the opening frame. Both men launched vicious shots at each other and they stood toe-to-toe on numerous occasions while the fight lasted, but “The Cannibal” proved to have too much punching power in this matchup of The Ultimate Fighter Season 24 alums. Pantoja (22-4) dropped “Danger” with a right hook and then finished him off with follow-up punches on the canvas, knocking him out at the 4:17 mark.
In the lone women’s bout, Amanda Lemos (7-1-1) put Miranda Granger to sleep in the first round. After the strawweights traded strikes, Lemos took advantage of the Washington fighter once the tussle hit the deck. The Brazilian seized Granger’s back and locked in a rear-naked choke, though she didn’t have both hooks in. “Danger” tried fighting through it, but Lemos’ choke was too deep and tight, eventually forcing Granger (7-1) to sleep. The technical submission officially came at 3:43 of the first.
In other prelim action, featherweight Seung Woo Choi (8-3) outpointed Suman Mokhtarian (8-2) via unanimous decision (29-26, 29-26, 29-25); Omar Antonio Morales Ferrer (9-0) toppled fellow lightweight Dong Hyun Ma (16-11-3) via unanimous nod (30-27, 30-26, 29-28); Raoni Barcelos (15-1) did the same to Said Nurmagomedov (13-2) at bantamweight via scores of 30-27 and 29-28 (twice); and Heili Alateng (14-7-1) got past Ryan Benoit (10-6) via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) in a 135-pound battle.