‘The Korean Zombie’ Chan Sung Jung announced his retirement in the Octagon at UFC Fight Night 225 after a KO loss to Max Holloway at UFC Fight Night 225 in Singapore yesterday, and amid emotional scenes afterwards fans gave him an incredible send-off as they began singing his walk-out song in unison.
Minutes earlier he had been involved in an electrifying fight with Holloway in which they had engaged in the kind of back-and-forth striking battle that had been a hallmark of his career.
In the 3rd round it seemed that TKZ had made up his mind to go out on his shield as he came out swinging for the fences in search of a big finish. It wasn’t to be however as Holloway caught him with a huge right hook that felled him for a knockout finish.
Afterwards during his post-fight interview in the Octagon, the 36-year-old confirmed what many had suspected, that this marked the end of his 16-year career.
He remained stoic during the interview, but as he then got down on his hands and knees and laid his gloves on the floor the emotion of the moment overcame him and he began to cry for some time.
Eventually he stood back up, and as he started to make his way out of the Octagon something magical happened as his walk-out song, ‘Zombie’ by The Cranberries played in the background and the thousands of fans still in attendance began singing the chorus in unison, bringing a smile to TKZ’s face, before once again becoming emotional as he shared a long embrace with his wife.
It was a scene that’s sure to bring a tear to the eye of many a long-time fan of the sport, and you can watch it in the video below.
TKZ has been a fan favorite for many years after first rising to stardom in the WEC’s one-and-only PPV event back in 2010 when he found himself in an instant-classic back-and-forth war with Leonard Garcia that’s perhaps best compared to the UFC’s seminal Stephan Bonnar vs. Forrest Griffin slugfest.
Jung’s all-action, never-say-die approach struck a chord with fans and led to his Korean Zombie t-shirts flying off the shelves. When the WEC folded into the UFC soon afterwards, TKZ had a rematch with Garcia in his promotional debut and further cemented his star status by winning via the first ever twister submission in UFC history.
TKZ continued to be involved in exciting fights throughout his 12-year stint in the UFC and fought for the featherweight title on two occasions. He may not have won the belt, but The Korean Zombie had already won the hearts of fans worldwide and heads into retirement with a career to be proud of.