Fresh off tough losses, Moicano and Korean Zombie aim to move forward

ESPN Illustration

The UFC opened a 130,000-square-foot events center this week in Las Vegas. President Dana White is so proud of the facility, he has referred to it as "the future of fighting."

The promotion could have selected anything to adorn the walls of its new complex. Artwork, photography, memorabilia. The options were limitless.

As far as historical pieces go, however, there really isn't that much on display. There are signed coaches' jerseys from every season of "The Ultimate Fighter" reality series. And then there's the canvas that was used inside the Octagon during the UFC's 25th anniversary event last November in Denver. That was the canvas on which Chan Sung Jung -- otherwise known as "The Korean Zombie" -- fell victim to arguably the greatest knockout in MMA history.

Even though Jung lost that fight, one might think he'd consider it an honor for the UFC to feature a piece of his career so prominently. But Jung has made it clear he is ashamed of what happened to him on that canvas. He was one second away from defeating Yair Rodriguez in a five-round war when he was knocked out cold by a no-look, behind-the-back elbow.

Jung (14-5) returns to the Octagon on Saturday for the first time since that loss. He will face Renato Moicano in the main event of UFC Fight Night in Greenville, South Carolina.

Moicano (13-2-1) will be seeking a form of redemption as well. The 30-year-old Brazilian is coming off a TKO loss to Jose Aldo in February. Had Moicano won that bout, he would have almost certainly received the next 145-pound title shot.

This main event is unlikely to determine a featherweight title challenger, but it still features two of the top men in the division, looking to bounce back from recent disappointment.

A look back

By the numbers

2: Rear-naked choke wins for Moicano, tied for second most in UFC history among featherweights.

0: Submission losses for Jung among his 19 professional fights, which include three losses by KO and two by decision.

7-0-1: Moicano's record in fights that have gone to decision. His two career losses: one by KO, one by submission.

5: Consecutive main events for Jung.

5.6: Strikes landed per minute by Moicano, per UFC Stats. It's the fifth most among active featherweights.

Source: ESPN Stats & Information

Five vs. five

Fighting words


Moicano: I am going to prove that I am the best in my division

Renato Moicano tells Tyron Woodley that he will prove vs. Chan Sung Jung aka the "Korean Zombie" that he is the best in his division. For more UFC, sign up here for ESPN+ http://plus.espn.com/ufc.

"He's a tough guy. He's not well ranked because he didn't fight so much for the past three years, but he's tough. I always ask the UFC for the best fighters, and I think he will help me get more recognition. Everyone knows 'The Korean Zombie.' He has this cool nickname, he has this aggressive style, and this fight is a candidate for fight of the night, even fight of the year. That's what I want. I want to put on a show." -- Renato Moicano, speaking to the Brazilian outlet Combate (via Bloody Elbow)

Brett Okamoto's pick

Jung will give Moicano plenty to think about on the feet, and I believe he will have his share of moments in this five-round fight. But something tells me Moicano gets back on track. Moicano via third-round TKO.

What to watch for (beyond the main event)

Wonder who'll be missing

The UFC is bringing the fights to Greenville, and Greenville's best fighter will not be taking part.

Stephen Thompson is from nearby Simpsonville, which sounds like a Matt Groening creation but is actually a town about 14 miles from Bon Secours Wellness Arena. "Wonderboy" would have been a natural for this card, but he suffered a brutal knockout loss in March and was not cleared for full-contact training in time to be part of his hometown event.

"It's disappointing," the usually glass-half-full Thompson told The Greenville News. "It really is disappointing."

Twists in the road to his debut

Deron Winn has just five professional fights, but he brings into his UFC debut a flashy pedigree.

The 30-year-old light heavyweight, a three-time All-American wrestler, is a training partner of heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier at American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, California. He has one Bellator win under his belt, but Winn's most notable performance was a unanimous decision win over former UFC fighter Tom Lawlor on the undercard of November's Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz III.

Now the unbeaten Winn is in the big show, but it hasn't been easy for him to get a fight. He will face UFC returnee Eric Spicely, the third man matched up with Winn after bookings with Bruno Silva and Markus Perez fell through.

Back after almost five years ...


Helwani 'so excited' about Wiman's return

Ariel Helwani explains why he's excited to see Matt Wiman return to the Octagon on Saturday at UFC Fight Night: Moicano vs. The Korean Zombie.

Nickname of the night

Sorry to be so obvious by going with a main eventer, but did you really think anyone in Greenville -- or in the entire state of South Carolina -- is going to have a nickname as awesome (and aptly descriptive) as "The Korean Zombie"?

Yep, even on a card that also features "Violent Bob Ross" -- aka. Luis Pena -- Chan Sung Jung is still the man ... as much as a zombie can still be considered a man.