Featherweight contenders Frankie Edgar (23-7, 7 KOs, 4 SUBs) and “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung (15-5, 5 KOs, 8 SUBs) will meet at UFC on ESPN+ 23 on Saturday, December 21, 2019 at the Sajik Arena in Busan, South Korea. The card streams live on ESPN+ starting 5am ET.
The UFC odds at Betcris opened with The Korean Zombie as a clear -165 favorite, with Edgar at +135 on the comeback. Sign Up NOW! and let’s break down the scrap and go over your best betting options. Live UFC betting is always available during any fight in case you want to hedge any of your bets as well.
The Korean Zombie could earn a title shot in his home country this Saturday. But getting past Frankie Edgar to do so will prove mighty difficult. The MMA matchup headlines an ESPN+ card in Busan, South Korea - an excellent scrap despite less-than-ideal circumstances.
Though there are plenty of featherweights that newly minted champion Alexander Volkanovski could face, Zombie seems like a plausible choice should he get the victory. He’s a huge crowd favorite on both sides of the Pacific. His crowd-friendly style and coolass nickname makes him an easy sell in a title fight - beating a two-time title challenger in Edgar would give him the credibility to be there.
But we can’t get ahead of ourselves. Edgar’s resume is long and decorated with the scalps of excellent fighters like Jeremy Stephens, Yair Rodriguez, Charles Oliveira and Cub Swanson. While he was originally set to face Cory Sandhagen in his bantamweight debut, Edgar obviously realized the bigger opportunity here. He’s facing a much bigger star and a top featherweight - a win could be all the ammunition he needs to jump into a bantamweight title shot.
- Chan Sung Jung -165
- Frankie Edgar +135
- Fight goes/doesn’t go to decision:
Significant Striking Stats
- Strikes landed per minute: Edgar 3.60 / Jung 4.25
- Striking accuracy: Edgar 39% / Jung 39%
- Strikes absorbed per minute: Edgar 2.39 / Jung 3.77
- Striking defense: Edgar 69% / Jung 60%
- Takedowns per 15 minutes: Edgar 2.36 / Jung 0.81
- Takedown accuracy: Edgar 31% / Jung 41%
- Takedown defense: Edgar 65% / Jung 75%
- Submission average: Edgar 0.3 / Jung 0.64
At 38, Edgar is at an age where you have to question how much dropoff he’ll have from fight to fight. His long, storied career is filled with some brutal wars, and Brian Ortega brutally knocked him out just last year - the first time that Edgar had ever been stopped with strikes. Frankie’s style should allow him to age gracefully than some of his other peers, but it’s still something to think about.
The physical decline becomes even more important when you consider the fact that Edgar, like almost all his featherweight bouts, will be a noticeably bigger fighter. TKZ is a big, athletic featherweight - something that should prevent Edgar from controlling this bout with his wrestling. Edgar has had takedown success against guys like Yair Rodriguez and Cub Swanson, but the Korean’s 76% takedown defense is much stouter.
A standup battle between should be compelling. Edgar is a classic stick-and-move boxer, using fleet footwork and fluid combinations to pile up points. While not much of a knockout threat, opponents have to respect his wrestling, which can limit their return fire. TKZ hasn’t been a mindless brawler in some time, but is still as creative and dynamic as ever, firing off controlled bursts with all eight striking points. It’ll be interesting to see which style proves more effective here.
UFC Odds Pick: Jung to win at -165
This is a tough pick, considering that’s entirely plausible that Edgar completely picks apart the hometown hero with his boxing and takedowns. But The Korean Zombie is younger, bigger, hits harder and more diverse in his attack. In the end, he should clearly end up doing more damage en route to a decision win.