SENGOKU Featherweight GP participant "The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung is currently preparing for his upcoming Kickboxing fight against Thai Pajonsuk S.K.V in Showtime Prague under Chi Bin Lim. He is currently training at the Khan Gym with some of the best Korean stand-up fighters including Lim and Jae Gil Noh, who both will be participating at the 2010 K-1 MAX Korea event in March.
The reason he chose Lim was because he?s a very experienced fighter with bouts against world-class Muay Thai fighters like Namsaknoi Yuthakarnkamthon and Sinbi Taewoong under his belt.
Lim?s impression of Jung?s game is that he needs to un-learn some of the habits he?s acquired from fighting in MMA like leaning forward. He also commented that Jung needs to keep his opponent from dictating the rhythm of the fight and that if he utilizes his unorthodox style and connects punches, he has a chance of winning.
Q: You are a mixed martial artist. What made you decide to take the fight?
CJ: I?m originally a K-1 fighter (laughs). I heard that Showtime was looking for standup fighters at first. But none of the top Korean fighters were able to make it because they were all participating in the K-1 MAX Korea preliminaries in March. So I jumped at the opportunity.
Q: Your opponent is a former Lumpinee champion with over 200 fights. It would have been a tough decision for even kickboxers. What was the reason for jumping at the opportunity?
CJ: I don?t care about my opponent?s record. I like fighting extremely tough fighters than average ones. The preparation for this fight is helping me a lot. No matter who my opponent is, I?m going to crush them. He might be under more pressure than I am; he?s better than I am so the pressure is not on me. Also, he?s probably never fought against a guy with a style like mine. He?s going to be chased the whole fight.
Q: Are you nervous?
CJ: I like big fights. I enjoy the nervousness before fights. Showtime is the biggest venue I?ve ever fought on.
Q: How does it feel to return to kickboxing?
CJ: Including amateur fights, I fought in about 25 kickboxing matches before starting MMA. It feels a lot different. I?ve lost a lot of my rhythm and instincts from doing MMA, and it?s mostly because I sparred in MMA. But training with the fighters at Team Chi-bin is bringing me my former game back.
Q: What kind of advice did Chi-bin Lim give you?
CJ: He tells me not to lean forward because it would make me susceptible to knees. He also told me to utilize my punches and fight in my usual unorthodox rhythm. It helps me a great deal to train with him.
Q: What?s the hardest part?
CJ: Conditioning. Conditioning is so different in MMA and kickboxing. In MMA, it comes more from our whole body, but in kickboxing, conditioning comes with your breathing. Because of the different rhythm I was gassing badly in the beginning of training camp.
Q: Your opponent has over 200 fights. He?s tough mountain to climb. How much of a chance do you give yourself of winning?
CJ: He?s head and shoulders above me. But I have no intention of fighting a half-hearted fight and collect my fight purse. I?m fighting to win. I believe if you have this mentality you can win 100%. I heard he will be fighting Andy Souwer after this fight. My mission is to throw a monkey wrench into that plan.
Q: Have you seen any of his fights? What are his strengths?
CJ: I think he uses low kicks and front kicks well. I?m wary of his front kicks because it can disrupt my rhythm when I?m attacking and if it hits me in the right spot like the solar plexus, it can knock me out.
Q: This fight will take place in Czech Republic. Will the fans get to see you in ?Zombie Mode??
CJ: I go into zombie mode when I ?lose it? (it could mean anything from ?when get rocked? to ?when my switch gets turned on?) during a fight. I?m going to use my unorthodox style in the beginning and then unleash flurries like I usually do.
Q: When will you go for the kill?
CJ: It?s best to put him away in the first, before he figures me out because he?s a very experienced guy. And he probably hasn?t fought a guy with an unorthodox style like me. What?s important is stamina. I?ll be the one expending more energy because he?s bigger than I am. It?s important for me to have good enough conditioning to be able to go all 3 rounds.
Q: A word before going into the fight?
CJ: Kickboxing is not what I do, but I?m taking this fight because I like it. It?s been over 6 months since my last MMA fight. My desire to fight is huge but I chose kickboxing because of the circumstances. I hope to fight in the US after this match. I want to compete on a bigger stage.