Mr. Chan Sung Jung, you have officially made MMA history. Your fight is already being placed upon a legendary pedestal in the annals of the sport, your face was plastered all over MMA news sites the following day, and your name was the most prominent being mentioned on all of the discussion forums.
Here are some of the comments that fans asked I relay to you: "Tell him he's a god," and, "Tell him we love him and sorry for the horrible decision," and, "Do you need to have special cups made to protect your gigantic balls?" Many asked that I just pass along their utmost respect and admiration.
Since I won't force you to endure the uncomfortable punishment of responding to each of those, please tell the world: how does it feel to become such a revered cult icon in American after your one and only fight in the U.S.?"I’m thankful that I was able to partake in a fight that was memorable for the fans. And I want to assure you all that this is only the beginning! Also, just to note on the comment about my balls… Back when I was kickboxing in high school, I suffered a really bad low blow in sparring and my balls literally swelled up to the size of baseballs. Maybe that had a lasting effect!"
Although you've handled the conspicuous decision with class, everyone knows how dejected and disappointed you must have felt. When Leonard Garcia was announced as the winner, what thoughts and emotions came over you?
"Until that point I thought that I had won. But, regardless of how much I think that, it doesn’t change judge’s decision. In the end, it was a 'home game' for Leonard Garcia, and these things happen from time to time in sports."
I'm assuming that the negativity you felt was slowly decreased from the enormous amount of praise and admiration that the MMA community has been showing you. At what point did you realize that your performance was being received as extraordinary--during the fight, immediately after, or in the passing days?
"When my opponent was switched from Cub Swanson from Leonard Garcia, I knew that it was going to be something special. I felt like it was going to be a real brawl that the fans would love, but before the fight, I don’t think too many people were interested (except for the Garv.com!). Given his fighting style and mine being what they are, I knew it had the making of a fight for the ages. I’m just glad the fans weren’t disappointed!"
Did you speak to Dana White after the fight, and if so, what were his words for you?"Dana was really supportive, he told us (through others) that he thought we won the fight and that I didn’t have to worry about getting cut or anything like that. He and all the staff and crew there were really great."
Did any fighters make it a point to tell you what they thought of your fight?"All the fighters that I talked after the fight said that they thought that I won. Some said that I should definitely appeal the decision to CSAC. However, at the time, it really wasn’t much consolation, as I fight to win."
In our interview before your WEC debut, you stated that your one goal was to impress the fans: "straight forward, no stopping. I want to show them exciting fights. I want to entertain them. If they come to see a good fight, I don’t ever want the fans to walk away disappointed from one of my fights."
Knowing that you met and surpassed this goal, does this help you to better accept the frustrating loss?"Of all my fights until now, I knew that Leonard would provide the opportunity for a real knock down, drag out fight. So, I really wanted to get the win. I appreciate the support and the attention that I’ve been getting from the fans, but in the end, any athlete wants to get the win. Nothing takes the sting out of a loss."
Dana White has mentioned the possibility of aligning a rematch for you with Leonard Garcia. What are your thoughts on another war with Garcia?
"I’ll fight whoever they put me in the octagon with. To be honest with you though, I always want to be moving up in competition. No disrespect to Leonard, but I want to make my way up the FW ladder as fast as possible. So, fighting the same guys isn’t necessarily my priority, if that makes sense…"
Have you ever been knocked out before, even in training? If so, please tell us the name of the miracle-man who did it."Not once."
It was reported that you crowned Leonard Garcia "The Mexican Zombie" when you traveled together to the hospital. What else did you and Leonard discuss? Would you say that you two have become friends?"I’m not sure where the 'Mexican Zombie' thing came from… I never said that. In fact, we didn’t actually ride to the hospital together. We were at the same hospital at the same time and were wheeled past each other a few times. We did go back to the hotel together, though. I thanked him for being in such a great fight together. I think we are friends now. After a battle like that, I think it’s natural to have a special bond."
There were instances in the fight when you both looked to have each other in trouble. At any time in the fight, were you dazed or affected by his punches?"During fights, I don’t feel anything. I can’t really remember what happens during my fights, either. However, after watching the fight on video, I think there were a couple of times that I could have gotten in to trouble if I had taken a few more good shots. I think I have a pretty good chin, so it keeps me out of trouble."
Was Leonard the most powerful puncher you have ever faced?
"Yes, he was probably the toughest opponent I’ve faced so faced so far. Not just as a puncher, but overall."
You now have one amazing fight under your belt in the states. Can you tell me what your first American MMA experience was like, and how it differed from your other fights at other events?
"I understand firsthand why the U.S. has the top MMA in the world. I got to see how the fans root for someone, like me, not because I’m Korean or American, but because I fought hard and gave it my best. The American fans appreciate a good fight no matter who puts it on. I think that’s a big difference between the
On the level of promotions, you can’t even compare… Zuffa-- the WEC—is incredible. They are so professional and on top of everything. From the smallest details to the big things, they are the best I’ve seen, without question. The staff and crew were all really great to work with, too!"
Out of all of the praise and compliments you are receiving, is there one that meant more to you than the rest, or stands out more than others?"Mostly people have said that they thought that I won, or that the fight was great. Of course, I appreciate all of the compliments!"
3 FAN QUESTIONS:
Since you defined aggression and jettisoned safety for 100% offense, yet didn't get the nod from the judges, do you think this will affect your style? Will you consider being more cautious and strategic to make sure you're victorious, or will your brawling style stay the same as always?"It all depends on who I’m fighting. In the rare instance that I fight someone like Leonard Garcia, I probably wouldn’t change a whole lot, but if I’m fighting someone else, my style would be dictated by their who I’m going up against and what their strengths and weaknesses are. If I fight against someone who doesn’t want to take me down, then sure, I’ll stand up and bang with anyone. That’s what I enjoy the most!"
Besides the possibility of an immediate rematch, do you have anyone in particular that you would like to face in the WEC?
"There’s talk about Omigawa coming to the WEC and normally I wouldn’t be that interested in fighting someone that I’ve beaten, but he’s gotten much better since our fight and I think I’ve gotten better, too. So, I’d like to fight him again, if possible. Beyond that, there’s no on in particular that I’d like to fight, just the strongest and the best fighters that they will put in front of me."
Are there any fighters that you look up to or whose style you try to emulate?
"I respect Bu Kyung Jung, a Korean fighter, but there isn’t really a fighter that I try to emulate. There are aspects of certain fighter’s games that I may try to incorporate into my own style, but I don’t try to copy anyone overall. I do like Ben Henderson’s guillotine choke, though."
Now that you're a full time WEC fighter living in Korea, will you remain there to train, or have you considered moving to the states?
"I haven’t really considered moving or anything like that. I really like visiting the
Were you able to hook up with any MMA camps/fighters to train with before this fight, and do you have options for places to train in America if you lived here?"We stopped at Legend’s in LA and worked out there. I was hoping to work with Eddie Bravo a little, but didn’t get the chance. We also worked out at Beverly Hills Jiu Jitsu for an afternoon. If I had more time, I’d like to do some training with Eddie Bravo. I like some of his moves, like the D’Arce and the Twister, so I’d like to work directly with him to improve my Jiu Jitsu.
Also, because Joe Rogan trains there, and I really like his broadcasting style. He seems like he’d be fun to train with, too. We saw him training when I was there and he seems very skilled and serious."
Finally, what would you like to say back to the fans who are now adamant supporters of "The Korean Zombie"?"I’ve never been one to fight with my mouth. I’d rather let my actions do the talking, so as opposed to hyping myself up and just talking a good game, I want to bring it each and every time I step in the octagon. If I say something in an interview I want the fans to know that I mean it and I stand behind my words. Before I was a fighter, I am first and foremost a fan and I hope to never to forget that. I want to make a promise to all the fans to be the best fighter I can and always bring the best game I can.
Also, I want to thank Dallas Winston for taking interest in me even before this fight. I appreciate the great write ups that you’ve provided before and since the fight! Go Garv.com!"
Congratulations from TheGarv.com for showing your true fighting spirit and unveiling your heart to the world. It's truly a special thing that so many fans have gotten behind you because they were so moved by your performance, and it takes a very unique athlete and person to accomplish such a thing.