Max Holloway shocked Korean Zombie survived near-finish in second round: ‘The zombie’s a zombie’

Max Holloway got the walk-off knockout he always wanted with his win at UFC Singapore, but he thought he had a similar finish locked up minutes earlier.

During a frantic second round, Holloway cracked “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung with a punch that dropped the veteran featherweight to the ground in a heap. Holloway was convinced he had the finish wrapped up, but referee Marc Goddard allowed the fight to continue.

Rather than punish Jung with more punches, Holloway leapt on a D’arce choke submission and it looked as if that would be his route to victory — until it wasn’t.

“The zombie’s a zombie,” Holloway said of Jung at the UFC Singapore post-fight press conference. “I swear I saw him stop breathing. I was telling Marc [Goddard], ‘Bro, he’s out!’ He started wiggling his fingers. I was like, ‘What is he made out of?’ He’s weird. Dude is built different. He’s an actual zombie.”

Holloway kept his D’arce choke attempt held tight as “The Korean Zombie” crawled around the cage floor to prevent the former UFC featherweight champion from locking onto his legs, which would have put even more pressure on the submission.

There were several moments where Holloway felt the fight was about to be stopped, however Goddard kept informing him that Jung wasn’t unconscious and he was still fighting to break free.

“He was not breathing, breathing, gargling, like every single sound that someone’s getting choked, you can hear it and he was doing it,” Holloway said. “I was like, ‘Bro, he’s out,’ and Marc was like, ‘No, he’s not.’ Zombie’s neck is made out of rubber, I think. I don’t know.”

As much as he wanted to finish the submission, Holloway also had another thought running through his head, which eventually led to him abandoning the D’arce choke.

“The only thing going through my mind was, ‘Your back better not get tired because you’ve got to fight this man for three more rounds,’” Holloway said. “So when we got up, I was like, oh my gosh. I had to shake my off my arms, shake my back out — OK, we’re good to go.”

While he did end up getting the knockout one round later, Holloway had nothing but praise for “The Korean Zombie,” especially after the longtime fan favorite announced his retirement from the sport just moments after UFC Singapore’s main event ended.

“Legend,” Holloway said. “The dude’s a zombie. I hit him in the second, I thought I had him out. He kept coming back! I was like, oh my gosh, what’s going on? The next thing I know, we were in the third round and then I hit him in the third round and I got [the knockout]. He’s just a legend.

“It was an honor to be his last fight. It didn’t go the way that he wanted or his fans wanted, but that’s what he wanted to do. He wanted to fight me. He wanted to do that and that’s how you know this man’s a legend. He did that. He wanted the fight. He wanted this in Asia. I got nothing but love for ‘The Korean Zombie.’”

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