The mixed martial arts world has long awaited the clash of two titans: Max Holloway and Chan Sung Jung, better known as “The Korean Zombie,” are set to collide in the main event of UFC Fight Night 225. The star-studded showdown is scheduled for August 26, 2023, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, and will stream live on ESPN+.
From the get-go, Holloway enters the arena as an 8-to-1 favourite according to multiple oddsmakers. But don’t let the odds fool you—both fighters are preparing for war. “At the end of the day, if I was coming off my Volkanovski fight (and) he is coming off his Volk fight, the talks would be way different,” Holloway remarked during media day, addressing criticism that the match-up may be uneven. “Everyone was counting me out for the Arnold Allen fight, too. I pay no mind.”
Max Holloway isn’t letting the betting chatter disrupt his focus. He’s been vocal about his expectations for “The Korean Zombie,” who hasn’t set foot in the octagon since April 2022. “I’m expecting the best ‘Korean Zombie’ there is,” Holloway says. “He has one year and four months to get healed, get healthy, to get better as an athlete, to get better as a person, period. A dangerous ‘Korean Zombie’ is going to show up Saturday.”
While Jung respects Holloway, he is not about to step into the octagon just for the experience. “I respect Max; he’s a living legend in this division. But just because I respect him does not mean I’m going to go easy on him. I expect to win this fight. I’m going to go hard on him,” the Korean fighter declared. Jung envisions a slugfest, explaining, “Whenever I imagine me fighting Holloway, I also expect both fighters to be worn out to the very bottom. It’s going to be a very fun fight.”
For Holloway, the fight is more than just another title defence. Amid grappling with the emotional toll of the Maui wildfires back in Hawaii, he views it as a “legacy fight” that can amplify his already glowing resume. “This is ‘Korean Zombie’—a legacy fight in every sense of the way, I believe. If I can get a bonus out of this one, too, that’d be amazing,” he said.
As for what lies beyond this colossal duel, Holloway maintains his focus remains squarely on the immediate challenge. “First things first is ‘Korean Zombie.’ At the end of the day, if you look at the rankings, I’m the No. 1 contender, and I’ve been busy… fighting who’s who,” he articulated. Jung, on the other hand, is pondering the bigger picture, mulling retirement based on his performance. “It’s very difficult for a fighter to acknowledge that one’s career has ended. I’ll have to assess myself on this fight, and then decide what’s going on next,” he conceded.
Adding to the drama, the UFC Fight Night 225 main card also features fights like Anthony Smith vs Ryan Spann and Giga Chikadze vs Alex Caceres, among others. But all eyes will unquestionably be fixed on Holloway and Jung. They’ve both been warriors in the featherweight division for over a decade, yet have never crossed paths. Now, they’re not just fighting for victory but for legacy, respect, and perhaps, in Jung’s case, a fitting curtain call.
So, as the clock ticks down to what promises to be an epic battle, Holloway sums it up perfectly: “I look forward to it.” And trust us, he’s not the only one. The entire MMA community is on the edge of their seats, ready for a fight that has all the ingredients to become an instant classic.