The UFC will return to Canada, arguably the place where its most ravenous fans reside, to present UFC 140: Jones vs. Machida, headlined by the seemingly unstoppable UFC Light Heavyweight Champion “Bones” Jon Jones (14-1) and the man many experts feel is his biggest threat in the division, former champion “The Dragon” Lyoto Machida (17-2). Shoring up the card is a pair of bouts featuring old guard fighters in battles to remain part of the title contention pictures of their weight classes as Frank Mir (15-5) rematches fellow former heavyweight king “Minotauro” Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (33-6-1) and “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz (16-9-1) faces the aforementioned Nogueira’s twin brother “Little Nog” Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (18-5). Brian Ebersole (43-14-1) will help fill in the middle of the event with a bout against rising Canadian star Claude Patrick (14-1), and two former WEC fan favorites will open the night as “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung (11-3) pits his iron chin against the devastating power of “The Machine” Mark Hominick (19-8). The two featherweights are known for their exciting styles and willingness to stand in the pocket and throw leather and will certainly open the Pay-Per-View card with a bang.
At First Glance: Right off the bat, it is fairly obvious from a career standpoint that this fight means a lot more to “The Korean Zombie” than it does to the former ISKA Canadian Super Welterweight Champion. While a loss would mean two straight defeats and a 1-2 UFC record for Hominick, he is coming off dropping a narrow decision to current champion “Junior” Jose Aldo (19-1) and isn’t likely to fall too far out of contention with a second defeat. Jung, however, will sit 3-1 in his last four should he lose, a fact which may leave him lost in the obscurity of gatekeeper-dom or worse, cut from the UFC. In his last fight against “Bad Boy” Leonard Garcia (15-8-1), Jung showed just how dangerous a motivated “Korean Zombie” can be, finishing the slugger with an advanced level spine crank submission in the second.
In Depth: Of the two fighters, Chan Sung Jung is easily the more well-rounded. He has a solid ground game and has finished seven opponents with submission locks, including a recent victory via the Guillotine Neck Crank also known as the Twister. However, both men prefer to do their fighting not only on the feet, but in the pocket and there, “The Machine” reigns supreme. While Jung earned his moniker from his seemingly inhuman ability to absorb punishment with no apparent effect, Mark Hominick’s world class kickboxing is several levels above the kin of the kind of slugfests that “The Korean Zombie” shines in. If Jung decides to plod forward and trade punches with “The Machine”, Hominick will pick him apart and outland him in the order of six or seven heavy blows for every one of Jung’s which make contact. His iron jaw may well be able to absorb the punishment, but judges don’t often award winning scores to fighters whose most significant blows are head butts to their opponent’s fists.
Wild Card: The biggest question in this fight is the deceptively simple fight IQ of “The Korean Zombie”. Jung is known for his willingness to brawl and ability to continue head hunting despite taking tons of punishment. No one ever expects him to do anything except trade heavy leather in the pocket. This was a fight-ending mistake for Leonard Garcia in their second fight as he was caught like a deer in headlights when Jung took him down, took his back, and slapped an extremely advanced, low percentage submission on him to finish the fight. His ground game is the rattlesnake in the grass for Hominick, especially considering that he has suffered all but two of his losses due to superior ground work and four of the eight via submission.
The Verdict: There is always a question about which Jung will step in the cage, the brawler or the tactician. More often than not it is the brawler version of Jung that shows up, and that is not the fighter who can beat Mark Hominick. It is very unlikely that Hominick will finish Jung, but “The Korean Zombie” will need to abandon the trench warfare in the pocket early to come out ahead with the judges and his history shows that once he gets into a rhythm of trading blows, he rarely changes tempo. Hominick via Unanimous Decision