The UFC will make their annual stop to Greenville, South Carolina this weekend for UFC Fight Night 154. The main event is a high-stakes featherweight contest between Renato Moicano and Chan Sung Jung. Moicano will enter the event as the champion will need to be at his very best to come away from Greenville with the title as ‘The Korean Zombie’ is a formidable challenger.
The champion heads into the fight ranked fifth in the official UFC ratings and will be coming into the bout looking to bounce back from a second-round knockout defeat at the hands of the resurgent Jose Aldo. It was expected that Moicano was going to beat Aldo on that occasion, but he didn’t rise to the occasion. Prior to that fight, he had beaten veteran Cub Swanson in a first-round submission. Jung last competed for a title against Aldo in 2013 but will be hoping that this occasion goes better than his previous effort. He returned from a four-year break to deliver a first-round knockout victory over Dennis Bermudez in 2017. His layoff had been down to the mandatory military service that he had to serve and also injury. Following his return fight, he was sidelined again with a knee injury. His return on that occasion was a disappointing fifth-round knockout defeat against Yair Rodriguez. He is currently ranked at 12th in the 145-pound division, and the BetXChange odds consider him the 1.50 outsider.
The champion has a reputation as a dangerous jiu-jitsu athlete. While this is the case, Jung will be foolish to overlook his striking ability also. Standing at five-foot eleven-inches, he is a relatively tall featherweight, and he has adopted an aggressive Muay Thai style that would pose a danger to any opponent that he is facing off against. Moicano uses his additional length perfectly and can enter in and out of range effortlessly. His takedown skills are also great, and should the fight go to the ground then the champion will be able to unleash his full arsenal.
The South Korean earned his nickname because of his irrepressible style that he has. He is a brilliant pressure fighter that always seems to be advancing no matter what style his opponent specialises in. The forward-thinking style constantly pushes his opponent back onto the cage, and that’s when he does his best work in the octagon. While he is known for this style, he is also no slouch when it comes to ground-work. He has delivered some stunning submission victories during his time in MMA; including his ‘Twister’ victory over Leonard Garcia in 2011.
Jung is a brilliant fighter, but his style doesn’t match up well against the current champion, and it’s unlikely that he will be able to put the pressure on Moicano to force him back against the cage. The sheer size combined with the ability that Moicano possesses means that he will have the chances to pick apart Jung and frustrate him. Jung has been prone to become reckless when the bouts in the past have become like this, and that will play right into the hands of Moicano.