UFC Fight Night: Moicano vs The Korean Zombie
By Ruby R Hashmi
The UFC’s inaugural visit to South Carolina will take place at the Bon Secours arena in Greenville.
It seemed a no-brainer that hometown favourite Stephen Thompson would be the headliner, but a shock knockout loss to Anthony Pettis in March derailed that.
Instead, a featherweight bout between Renato Moicano and Chan Sung Jung will serve as the main event.
Both fighters are coming off TKO losses and will be looking to re-establish themselves as top contenders in the 145-pound division.
Moicano was within touching distance of a title shot but fell short to Jose Aldo. The Korean Zombie lost in dramatic fashion, with one second to go in the fifth round against Yair Rodriguez.
Jung has made a reputation for himself as a must watch fighter, like Justin Gaethje, you know something exciting is going to happen.
The co-main event will feature John Lineker vs Rob Font. Cody Stamann was initially pencilled in to face Font but had to withdraw due to injury. “Hands of Stone” Lineker happily obliged, after a much-publicized dispute recently with the UFC over a lack of fights.
It’s the second time these two will clash after Lineker won the first outing back at UFC 198. A battle to enter/stay in the top 10 rankings is at stake for the hard-hitting bantamweights this time around. The 135-pound division has seen an influx of talent lately, and with the imminent return of legend Urijah Faber and addition of flyweight champ Henry Cejudo, it’ll take an impressive victory to stand out.
Randy Brown and Bryan Barberena both seem to be in a pattern of “win one lose one” as of late. Both coming off a loss, one will buck the trend. Randy Brown came into the organization as the Ring of Combat welterweight champion, with an undefeated 6-0 record and 100% finish rate.
There was big hype surrounding “Rude Boy” Brown but he has since struggled and is currently 4-3 in the UFC. He is facing a battle hardened “Bam Bam” Barberena who has been fighting professionally twice as long as Brown. He is renowned for his toughness, suffering his first and only KO loss in his last bout against Vicente Luque.
Andrea Lee and Montana De La Rosa collide in a battle of former flyweight champions.
They are on a six fight and four fight win streak respectively and are yet to taste defeat in the octagon. Lee has a Muay Thai style and Rosa’s background is in wrestling, styles make fights and it’ll be interesting to see who executes their game plan on the night.
Kevin Holland impressed Dana White on his contender series debut, so much so he signed him immediately. It has been a rocky start for the California native though, as there are no easy fights in the UFC. His opponent Alessio Di Chirico comes into the bout with similar momentum, and the Italian has stated its his time to put the middleweight division on notice.
Ashley Yoder vs Syuri Kondo kicks off the main card. Both Yoder and Kondo have losing records in the UFC, so a victory here could potentially send the loser crashing out of the organization. Based on previous performances, this one could well be decided on who can outwork the other over the three-round distance.
Moicano and Jung have the distinction of headlining the first ever card in SC, and no doubt they will live up to expectations. Can Moicano achieve another first in being the first man who submits The Korean Zombie?
A black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, that’s where his strengths lie. Or will Jung rise to the occasion and hand Moicano back to back defeats for the first time in his career?