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UFC Busan: Edgar vs Zombie - Dec 21 🇰🇷


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OK, now the forum has been revived we can get talking about the remaining few cards of the year. And on December 21st we’ve got this beauty from Busan, South Korea. The last card of 2019...


Frankie Edgar vs Chan Sung Jung

Volkan Oezdemir vs Aleksandar Rakic 

Doo Ho Choi vs Charles Jourdain 

Mike Rodriguez vs Da Un Jung 

Jun Yong Park vs Marc-Andre Barriault 

Kyung Ho Kang vs Liu Pingyuan


Ciryl Gane vs Tanner Boser 

Seung Woo Choi vs Suman Mokhtarian 

Dong Hyun Ma vs Omar Antonio Morales Ferrer 

Alexandre Pantoja vs Matt Schnell 

Said Nurmagomedov vs Raoni Barcelos 

Amanda Lemos vs Miranda Granger 

Ryan Benoit vs Alateng Heili 


Love the look of this. The main event is obviously a fight that everyone’s going to be jizzing over but then you add in Volkan vs Rakic, the return of the Korean Superboy, Ciryl Gane back in action and Nurmagomedov vs Barcelos down on the prelims. This is some card to end the year with. 



Frankie Edgar vs Korean Zombie is the main event and will be the last UFC fight of 2019. As you all know, this wasn’t the original plan. We were all set to close out the year with what looked like a nailed on FOTY contender with Brian Ortega taking on the Zombie. But Ortega’s ACL had other ideas. In steps Frankie Edgar. What a soldier this guy is. 38 years old, in the process off cutting down to 135 where he was scheduled to face Cory Sandhagen in his Bantamweight debut in January, they call and ask him if he fancies flying to Korea in 2 weeks for this and it’s no bother to him. Not sure how I feel about this, to be honest. It’s still a fun fight and ordinarily I’d be happy with it. But losing Ortega vs Zombie stings. 

There is actually a little bit of history between Edgar and Jung though. 


They were supposed to fight last November as the main event for the 25th Anniversary card in Denver. Edgar had to pull out injured and Zombie ended up having that crazy fight with Yair Rodriguez instead where he was ahead on the cards and Yair knocked him out with one second to go. Zombie bounced back with an impressive first round stoppage over Renato Moicano in June. Edgar lost to Max Holloway in July in his last shot at the Featherweight belt. He’s had a mixed run of results over the last few years and he’s coming to the end of his career. The move to 135 is still happening, this is just a stopgap. Oddly, when this fight was announced the reports were that the UFC are still hoping the Edgar vs Sandhagen fight in January can stay intact as well. Seems very optimistic to me. Win, lose or draw, nobody really comes out of a fight with the Zombie unscathed. And at 38 years old, expecting Frankie to fight twice in about 4 weeks seems a bit much. We’ll see. 

Still looking forward to it. The Zombie is a maniac. He’s wild in the striking and that’s cost him a couple of times, but it mostly works for him. He’s got knockout power, strikes from odd angles and will walk through fire to land his shots, hence how he got the Zombie nickname in the first place. And he’s no slouch on the mat himself. 


But his career has been so stop/start the last few years that he hasn’t been able to build and sustain any real momentum. Through one thing or another, mostly injuries, he’s only fought 3 times since losing to Jose Aldo back in 2013. Hopefully he can stay healthy and active now. He’s still one of the more popular lighter weight fighters on the roster despite all the layoffs and setbacks. When a Korean Zombie fight is announced, there’s a buzz. If he can knock off a legend like Frankie Edgar it’ll be huge for him. Ballsy move for Frankie but that’s nothing new. Taking on the Korean Zombie, in Korea, on 2 weeks notice. It’s a big ask. But Frankie is no dummy and he’d have been in camp anyway. He must fancy it. And if he can beat Jung and look good doing it, he can crack on and enter the Bantamweight division in 2020 with some momentum. 



Volkan Oezdemir vs Aleksandar Rakic is a hell of a fight on paper and ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** for this card. I actually kind of called this one after both their last fights. Just seemed to make sense. Volkan has had his ups and downs in the UFC. Burst on the scene and quickly won his first 3 fights in the Octagon in ‘no time’ (pun intended). He beat OSP on short notice then swiftly knocked out Misha Cirkunov and Jimi Manuwa, both in under a minute. Then it all went to shit and he lost his next 3 on the trot. Doesn’t really tell the whole story though. He got outclassed by Daniel Cormier but he was giving Anthony Smith all kinds of bother before Smith rallied back with a late submission. And I think most felt like he should’ve got the decision against Dominick Reyes in London earlier this year. Regardless, the record books say he lost 3 on the bounce. He came into his last fight in August like a man possessed and bashed UKFF favourite Ilir Latifi about the place for a second round stoppage. Probably the best he’s looked overall for me so far, and against a tough customer. 

Rakic is the new breed guy I’ve been hyping for ages. I think he’s got some serious potential. There’s been a real influx of new blood at 205 over the last, say 2 years. From Ion Cutelaba to Khalil Rountree to Alonzo Menifield to Ryan Spann, the list goes on. But the 3 standouts, for me, have been Dominick Reyes, Johnny Walker and this guy, Rakic. And Rakic might just have the most upside of the lot. He’s still just 27 years old, Austrian, trains at ATT, 6ft5 so he’s a good sized Light Heavy. He’s 12-1 in his MMA career. Lost his debut but has rattled off 12 straight wins since. 10 finishes, 9 by knockout, 7 in the first round. He hasn’t got as much attention as Reyes or Walker and that’s probably because his fights have mostly been tucked away on the prelims. But he got his first real break in June on the Sweden show. He was matched up with Jimi Manuwa. And, well...


Watching that live, I honestly thought Manuwa might be dead for a minute. And I’m not exaggerating. The sound the kick made, the way he hit the deck, how long he stayed down, the cameras avoiding him. It was really scary. Masvidal vs Askren gets all the hype as the most frightening KO of the year and I get why. But this was every bit as worrying as that, if not more. So yeah, Rakic is a bit of a beast striker. But he’s also shown flashes of a pretty solid ground game. 

What I like about this matchup is it’s a legit step up and a real test for Rakic at what seems like the correct time. He’s gradually moved up in levels at a steady pace and now it’s time to see what he’s got against a confident and dangerous Oezdemir coming off a strong win. Love everything about this from how their styles match up to the timing of it to the step up for Rakic to the potential stakes. It’s the right fight at the ideal time. Should be an absolute banger. 



Doo Ho Choi vs Charles Jourdain should be fun. The Korean Superboy is back. Finally. Seems like forever he’s been gone. He hasn’t fought since January 2018. He had a back injury at some point and there was also talk of him doing his military service. I read that he applied but wasn’t accepted so he’s free to fight then he’s going to reapply. That fucking mandatory military service always seems to fuck with Korean MMA prospects, doesn’t it? Similar thing with the Zombie. Choi’s career is already mirroring the Zombie’s actually. He came into the UFC and quickly gained a bit of a cult following due to the contrast of him knocking out his first 3 UFC opponents yet looking about 8 years old. Then he had that corker against Cub Swanson in December 2016. I believe that was voted FOTY in the Awards on here, and rightly so. A fight so good that, although the Superboy lost, it felt like his stock raised. He definitely came out of that fight more popular than when he went in. But, like the Zombie, injuries fucked him and he missed all of 2017. He came back in 2018 and got knocked out by Jeremy Stephens and has been out 2 years since. So he’s kind of back to square one now. This is almost like he’s debuting again. The crowd will be with him big time because he’s Korean obviously, but he’s also actually based in Busan and trains there. A big win here would do a lot to putting him back on track. Until he pisses off to do military service and we don’t see him for another 2 years, that is. Anyway, Charles Jourdain is no easy welcome back fight. He’s Canadian, 23 years old with a record of 9-2 with 9 finishes. He lost his UFC debut in May but from the little bits I’ve seen there’s some potential and talent there. And he’s obviously been way more active than Choi. He’s fought 5 times since the Superboy last stepped into the cage. Could be a great little scrap if they’re both on form. Choi is a big question mark for me at this point though. 



Mike Rodriguez vs Da Un Jung isn’t floating my boat. Not really familiar enough with either man to care. Rodriguez is 10-3-1 and has fought in the UFC 3 times apparently. I don’t recall seeing him fight which either means I haven’t or he was very forgettable. The best guy he’s fought is Devin Clark and Clark beat him, so, there’s that. Jung fights out of Korean Top Team and is 12-2 with 11 finishes. Made his UFC debut on the China show in August and won by submission. Could be an OK fight. I don’t hate it or anything. But it’s a nothing fight really. 



Jun Yong Park vs Marc-Andre Barriault isn’t grabbing me by the bollocks either, to be honest. It’s alright, just not that fussed. Park is 10-4 with 8 finishes. He lost his Octagon debut on the China show to Anthony Hernandez. If my memory is serving me correctly it was a decent little fight though and Park was riding a 7 fight winning streak before that loss. Barriault is Canadian, 11-3 with 8 stoppages. He was a ‘champ champ’ for the TKO promotion in Canada, holding both the 205 and 185 straps. He’s shat the bed since jumping to the UFC though, going 0-2 and losing decisions to Andrew Sanchez and Krzysztof Jotko. He’s been pretty dull and lacklustre from what I remember as well. This could be it for him on the big stage. Nothing against Barriault but I hope Park wins simply because his nickname is ‘The Iron Turtle’. 



Kyung Ho Kang vs Liu Pingyuan isn’t doing it for me but it’s decent enough. Actually, Kang’s been in some good scraps. His fight with Teruto Ishihara in February was a wild one rounder. His Wikipedia page lists his nicknames as ‘Mr Perfect’ and ‘Typhoon’ as well. As a fan of 90s WWF, I’ve kind of got to root for him now. He was also born in Busan so the crowd will be big into this, which always makes a fight that bit more enjoyable to watch. Pingyuan is Chinese but trains at Team Alpha Male in California along with his mate Song Yadong. He’s 13-6 and was on a 9 fight win streak before losing by knockout in July.



Ciryl Gane vs Tanner Boser is going to be worth checking out. Ciryl Gane is one of the more promising Heavyweight prospects to come through in some time for me. Well, probably since his teammate Francis Ngannou arrived on the scene. He’s from France, has a Kickboxing base and has an undefeated record of 12-0 in that game. Made the jump to MMA in the Summer of 2018 and has gone 5-0. He won the TKO Heavyweight Title in just his second pro fight. Then in August, almost a year to the day since his MMA debut, he came into the UFC at 3-0 and debuted on the Uruguay card, submitting Raphael Pessoa in a round. He followed that up with a showcase performance against Don’Tale Mayes in October where he picked Mayes apart on the feet before finishing him off with a heel hook of all things! Really like the look of Gane and I think the sky is the limit with him. There aren’t really any other Heavyweights who strike like him in terms of his movement, output, variety, combinations etc. And to top it off, he’s a Kickboxer and he’s out there subbing fools. Seems a top bloke as well. I like him. Boser I’m less jazzed about but I like that he looks like a throwback from the SEG era. Seriously, look at him. He’d look right at home against Tank Abbott or Keith Hackney on the early UFCs. And he’s only 28! He beat Daniel Spitz in his UFC debut in October and he’s the more experienced man here with a record of 17-5-1. And he’s only been stopped once so he’s tough and will hopefully be able to ask some questions of Gane. It’s going to be interesting watching Gane progress. If he does. I hope he does. 



Seung Woo Choi vs Suman Mokhtarian...dunno. Choi is 7-3 in MMA, 0-2 in the UFC. I’ve only seen him lose. Can’t remember much about him at all. And my memory is even hazier on Mokhtarian. Got KO’d by Sodiq Yusuff in his last fight, I very vaguely recall that. That was a year ago now though. He’s 8-2 overall with 7 finishes. Yeah. Dunno. 



Dong Hyun Ma vs Omar Antonio Morales Ferrer might be worth a look. Ma was born in Busan so he’s one of the true hometown boys on the card. He’s a Judo black-belt and has been in the UFC since 2015 with mixed results. The highlight being his 2017 TKO over the legendary Takanori Gomi but Gomi was done by that point. He had a fun scrap with Scott Holtzman in August that probably 5 people watched. Don’t know this Ferrer bloke but Christ, pick a name, any name. How many do you need? He looks the part, to be fair. Undefeated at 8-0 with 6 finishes. Think he was on Dana’s Contender thingy. Hasn’t beat anyone you’d know but so far, so good. I guess we’ll find out what he’s got soon enough. 



Alexandre Pantoja vs Matt Schnell will probably be a solid Flyweight fight. Pantoja isn’t a bad fighter by any means. Probably a tad underrated if anything. He’s 21-4 with wins over Wilson Reis, Brandon Moreno and Neil Seery. He also went the distance with Deiveson Figueiredo (who’s typically a finisher) in his last fight in July. He’s got skills, he’s technical and he’s very durable. Not as familiar with Schnell but he’s on a good little run at the moment. He’s 14-4, won his last 4 in a row and scored first round submissions over Louis Smolka and Jordan Espinosa in his last 2 outings. The Smolka fight is the one I definitely saw and I remember Schnell looking pretty slick. Could be decent this. 



Said Nurmagomedov vs Raoni Barcelos could be a cracker. This fight was originally meant to go down at UFC 237 in May but Nurmagomedov pulled out with an injury. I think I had it as my ‘one to watch’ on that card so I’m glad it’s been rebooked. Nurmagomedov is 27 years old from Straight Outta Dagestan. Despite sharing a surname I don’t think he’s related by blood to Khabib, although some places had them as cousins. Fuck knows. Maybe Nurmagomedov is as common a surname in Dagestan as Smith is here. He’s 13-1 with 2 UFC wins under his belt so far. He fights nothing like Khabib. He’s more of a striker and even stopped Ricardo Ramos with a spinning back kick to the body in his last fight. He looks a handful and the likes of Frankie Edgar and Marlon Moraes were raving about him when the UFC announced his signing. So he’s definitely got something about him. Barcelos is 14-1 and has looked really good himself so far. He’s gone 3-0 with 3 finishes in the UFC, got FOTN for his win over Kurt Holobaugh and took Carlos Huachin apart with one of the best finishing sequences of the year in his last fight in May. Looking forward to this one a lot.



Amanda Lemos vs Miranda Granger looks like pure filler at first glance. Not familiar with either but after doing a bit of digging it might be alright. Lemos is Brazilian, 32 years old with a 6-1-1 record. She’s been inactive since 2017 (USADA suspension) and got stopped in her last fight (and UFC debut) by Leslie Smith. But she got finishes in all 6 of her wins so she might be good to watch. Granger is American, 27 years old and is unbeaten. I’ve seen different records for her. Sherdog has her at 5-0 but an article on MMA Fighting says she’s 7-0 as a pro and 5-0 amateur. Either way she’s undefeated and won her UFC debut in August. 



Ryan Benoit vs Alateng Heili, again, don’t know. I’ve seen Benoit fight, he’s been jerking curtains in the UFC for years, alternating between wins and losses all the way. The highlights of his run would be his TKO over Sergio Pettis back in 2015 and his headkick knockout over Ashkan Mokhtarian in his last fight. But that last fight was in 2017. Assuming it’s injuries that have kept him out since then. Alateng is 27 from Beijing and has a 13-7-1 record. Made his UFC debut on the China card in August and won by decision. 


And that’s UFC Korea. 


Edited by wandshogun09
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9 hours ago, Rey_Piste said:

I was just going to post that, though who would you want as a replacement?

Nothing is going to be quite good enough for me, to be honest. Zombie vs T-City was a fight I was looking forward to as much or more than I’ve looked forward to any fight this year. 

That said, Jeremy Stephens is about as fun a replacement as I can think of at 145. But it all depends if he’d be willing to step in, get all the paperwork done and fly to Korea on this short notice. And probably put his Christmas plans on hold. He only fought in October and that was a bit of a war with Yair Rodriguez. Wouldn’t blame him if he didn’t fancy jumping in here. 

You’d imagine they’ll move heaven and earth to keep the Zombie on the card though. 

Looking like Frankie Edgar might jump on in...


Edited by wandshogun09
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Yeah, I think this is a pretty sweet card all in all. There’s always a fair bit of filler on these cards but Edgar vs Zombie and Volkan vs Rakic is a pretty strong one-two to top a Fight Night. Then you’ve got the Superboy’s return and Nurmagomedov vs Barcelos, which is a real darkhorse FOTN, IMO. And I’m really looking forward to seeing Ciryl Gane back in there. 

Coming off a show like 245 and with it happening just days before Christmas and being a morning show, I get why it’s been kind of forgotten. It’s snuck up on us. Should be a quality show though. 

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Yeah, Zombie put a right beating on Frankie. Hurt him early and just never let him recover. For a second when Frankie seemed to be weathering the storm it crossed my mind that he might pull off one of those mad rounds again like when he survived those first round assaults from Gray Maynard. But then I remembered that was 9 years ago and the Zombie isn’t Gray Maynard. Mixed feelings on it. I’m a huge fan of both so it’s bittersweet. Huge win for Jung though. Biggest of his career by far. 

Can’t lie I’m gutted for Frankie though. He deserves a ton of respect for jumping in against KZ in his own backyard on short notice. I’ve been one of the biggest deniers of Frankie’s decline and that’s because I genuinely think people were writing him off way too soon. I still wouldn’t write him off now but this loss did feel like he’s definitely lost a step. I know it was short notice and all that but to see him put down like that was a bit sad. 

And right when he’d debuted the new look as well. Between this and Ben Askren’s miserable 2019, it hasn’t been a good year to rock the white man afro in MMA. 

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Zombie called for a title shot after the fight. Should he get first crack at Volkanovski? Or should Holloway get the immediate rematch? If they don’t go with Volk vs Holloway 2 then I honestly think Zombie deserves a shot after battering a future HOFer in Frankie Edgar like that. He looked like a superstar this morning. 

If they end up going with Volkanovski vs Holloway 2 then I’d like to see that Zombie vs Zabit next in a number one contender fight. As much as I’d like to see the Zombie vs Ortega fight rescheduled, with today’s win I think Zombie has moved past that for now. So I’d do Zombie vs Zabit and maybe Ortega vs Yair Rodriguez. Calvin Kattar vs Jeremy Stephens as well. That’ll do nicely. 

Volkan Oezdemir vs Aleksandar Rakic was a good fight. Started off great but over time Volkan’s leg kicks really slowed Rakic, and the pace of the fight, down. And speaking of the leg kicks, what the fuck exactly was that swelling on Rakic’s leg doing? 



Good performance from Volkan. I had him winning and I was rooting for Rakic. Bit disappointed with the recent Walker and Rakic losses. Was really hoping they’d be interesting challengers for Jones in 2020 but that’s all on the backburner for now. They’re both still fairly young though so they could still get there. 

Charles Jourdain vs Doo Ho Choi was FOTN for me. Not the return the Superboy wanted but it was a cracking fight. Jourdain did well to come back from that first round. I thought he was well on his way to eating canvas after those early exchanges but he rallied back and got it done. Shame that’s probably it for the Superboy now until after his mandatory military service is over with. He’s so much fun to watch, we just haven’t had enough of him. 

Da Un Jung nearly blew the bastard roof off with his quick knockout of Mike Rodriguez. Fucking hell. I thought I had my TV volume at a nice modest volume for a chilled out Saturday morning but the crowd reaction to that KO was so loud I think I burst an eardrum. Woke my son up as well. Cheers for that Jung. You tit. 

Jun Yong Park dragged Marc-Andre Barriault to his only decent UFC fight so far. Quite like the ‘Iron Turtle’. I reckon that might be it for Barriault now though. 0-3 and not much fun to watch. I think those walking papers are coming in the new year. 

Ciryl Gane didn’t get the finish but I think that was more because Boser is a tough bastard than anything else. Another strong showing for the big Frenchman though. Easy to forget he’s only 6 fights deep into his MMA career. 

Alexandre Pantoja vs Matt Schnell was a nutty one rounder. Mad exchanges, back and forth then Pantoja cracked him and Schnell just faceplanted. Wild little slobberknocker. If you’re going to watch anything off the prelims, make it this. 

Fun show all in all. 

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