‘Korean Zombie’ Recalls Incident With Brian Ortega & Jay Park At UFC 248
When ‘The Korean Zombie’ (Chan Sung Jung) and Brian Ortega came face-to-face last October ahead of their scheduled UFC Busan main event, the two featherweights showed nothing but respect towards each other. Unfortunately, ‘T-City’ was forced out of their fight, after he suffered a partial ACL tear just a couple of weeks out from the Korean card.
The relationship turned sour however, when ‘The Zombie’ accused Ortega of ducking him, whilst on The Ariel Helwani Show last month. As translated on the show by his friend and K-Pop star, Jay Park.
It’s safe to say that these comments didn’t sit too well with Ortega, who took issue with both ‘The Zombie’ and Park. So much so that during UFC 248, ‘T-City’ slapped the Korean rapper in the fighters’ section.
Although there has since been a truce, after Ortega apologised, ‘The Zombie’ has said that he still wants to fight Brian, once he’s fully recovered from his recent eye surgery.
”I was given the okay by my surgeon to practice sparring in the beginning of May, so I’ll start with that. And if I feel like my eyes are no longer a problem, I’ll go ahead and start scheduling fights. I’ll have to fight with whoever can fit in my schedule … For MMA fighters, nothing is really set in stone. They might get injured or have conflicting personal schedules. I can’t give you a name of who I am going to fight because nothing is confirmed,” ‘The Korean Zombie’ said on a video released on his YouTube channel this past weekend (as transcribed by MMA Mania).
”Although Ortega is the first person on my list of fighters that I want to fight, if I had the opportunity to fight for the title first, I would prefer to do that instead.”
Looking back at UFC 248, ‘The Zombie’ said that he was surprised that the UFC sat him so close to Ortega, after their recent back and forth.
”With everything that was going on, I thought that the UFC would seat us farther apart from one another. But they sat us pretty close and it was impossible for him to have not seen me. My wife made eye contact with Ortega a few times and I was told that he kept looking in my direction as well.”
Ortega then approached Park at UFC 248 when ‘The Korean Zombie’ had gone to the bathroom. ‘The Zombie’ opened up on how he felt once he found out what had happened.
”I still remember how I felt when I found out. I have never felt so much anger in my body. I was livid. I remember I started looking around for Ortega despite the security guards trying to stop me. I was furious that I couldn’t do anything, but apparently Ortega was immediately kicked out of the stadium by the security guards after what he did.
”After the fight, me, my wife, Jay Park, and a few other members of our party met with UFC officials to discuss our options. A professional fighter hitting a civilian? While he was sitting minding his own business? It wasn’t even a man to man fight. Being the stubborn person I am, I had to call the police. This was assault, not part of a scripted show. The police showed up, and they began writing out a police report of what had happened until UFC officials intervened.”
So angry, ‘The Zombie’ said that he would have pressed charges, if it was up to him. However, Park decided against it.
”The UFC officials asked us what we would like to do. If it was up to me, I would have wanted to press charges, but I was not the victim of this incident. Jay Park was the victim. He was in charge of choosing the proper consequence. But if he did press charges against Ortega for assaulting him, he would have to attend hearings and have meetings with prosecutors and he felt that his time would have been wasted in the process of trying to punish Ortega.
”So I asked Jay Park if there was something I could do. And he told me that all he wants is to see me fighting with Ortega because this incident got so much attention. Jay’s past it. He’s no longer angry or hurting. I believe he may be enjoying people’s reactions.”
When they finally meet inside the UFC Octagon, who do you think will get their hand raised, ‘The Korean Zombie’ or Brian Ortega?