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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Chan Sung Jung's night just keeps getting better. After an incredible win over Dustin Poirier at UFC on Fuel 3 Tuesday night, "The Korean Zombie" was awarded with two "Fight Night" bonus checks for the fight, and now he's got something even bigger to look forward to: a title fight.
That's the word from UFC President Dana White, who texted Fuel TV's Ariel Helwani to pass along the news that Jung has leapfrogged Hatsu Hioki in the UFC Featherweight Title picture, and will take on the winner of UFC 149's Jose Aldo vs. Erik Koch bout later this year.
Hioki had the spot firmed up, but the combination of him turning down a title fight at UFC 149 and Jung's spectacular fight with Poirier puts him further down on the ladder. Jung will enter the title fight later this year on the strength of three highly impressive wins.
First up was his victory over Leonard Garcia in a rematch of their crazy brawl in the WEC in 2010. In that rematch early last year, Jung pulled off the very first twister submission in UFC history. When he returned to action last December, he added another incredible highlight when he knocked out Mark Hominick - who had just went five rounds with Aldo earlier that year - in under seven seconds.
But Tuesday's win may have been his best. Against a well rounded and highly skilled young opponent in the 23-year-old Poirier, Jung showcased a superior grappling game, an unpredictable striking attack, and a very adept submission game. After a fantastic start through three rounds, Jung then landed a flying knee to drop Poirier, which opened him up for a D'Arce choke, which he used to choke Poirier unconscious.
Now he'll get his opportunity to either unseat Aldo, or take the title away from a newly crowned Koch. Either way, that shot is now in view.
Penick's Analysis: That's absolutely the right move for the UFC. There's only a couple of months between the fights, so it gives Jung a good six to seven months of preparation for his first ever title fight. Given how much improvement he's continued to show from fight to fight in the UFC, that can only be a good thing. Add in three incredible performances in a row, a rabid and rapidly growing fanbase, and it's right for the UFC to put him into a title fight as quickly as possible. He was awesome on Tuesday night, and regardless of what he does or doesn't have to offer Champ Jose Aldo or current challenger Erik Koch, he'll be an immensely exciting challenger.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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