Brian Stann sat down with Chan Sung Jung, “The Korean Zombie” prior to his fight against Dennis Bermudez. Here is the full interview.
Stann welcomes Jung back to the UFC and asks what he missed the most in his absence:
Jung as translated on Fight Pass: “First and foremost I really missed being in the Octagon. Going in there and hearing the roar of the crowd. Also, while I was away, a lot of Korean fighters were doing really well. Watching my friends and peers do so well lit a fire inside me. I wanted to perform alongside them. I thought about that a lot.”
Stann asks how he mentally prepared to leave his MMA career and enter the service:
Jung: “Before I left, I was focused on the two years and felt that it would be a very long time. But, after I was there and now that I’m done, I really feel that I served my country and did my duty. I actually wish I would have gone and done it earlier.”
Stann asks what exactly did he do during his service to his country:
Jung: “I did basic training and learned how to fight in battle if I was needed. For my actual service though, due to my separated shoulder injury from my fight with Jose Aldo, I was given a government office job.”
Stann says regardless of what job he had it was still a large sacrifice, then asks if he was proud of it:
Jung: “This is something that all able-bodied Korean men are supposed to do. It’s our duty. I’m glad that I did it. I’m glad that I’m done with it. But, I’m very happy that I was able to fulfill my duty.”
Stann mentions that other celebrities in Korea found a way to avoid having to serve, he then asks if he feels he’s gained more fans for serving:
Jung: “I never thought about not going. I always planned on doing my duty. It was just a matter of when. It was a matter of timing. I think people understand why I served the way that I did. They know that physically I had some issues keeping me from serving in the regular military. I feel regretful about that but I did what I had to do.”
Stann asks if he feels like he’s a better version now than we saw prior to him serving his country:
Jung: “For the last two years, I was only able to train an hour a day or on the weekend. Even though I wasn’t able to train as hard as I would if I was in camp, I did not waste my time. I feel the skills I developed over the last two years will allow me to easily defeat Dennis Bermudez.”
Stann talks about him doing some fencing in an effort to improve his footwork, then asks how did he like it:
Jung: “Because I was only able to train an hour or two a day, I wanted to focus on my weaknesses. I decided to practice fencing because the footwork skills were very complementary with MMA. So for about six months I trained hard with fencing and really worked on my weak points.”
Stann mentions he has two new baby girls and asks what that’s like and how has that made being a professional fighter different:
Jung: “Brian, I’m sure you understand the feelings that I have about that. Before I had kids, before I was in the army, money didn’t matter much to me. I was fighting in the UFC. I wanted to become champion. I wanted to become famous. But after having kids, I have two daughters now, my focus has completely changed. Now it’s just not about being famous and having fans. I need to take care of my family.
Stann asks if his daughters have changed him more:
Jung: “Yes, absolutely. 100 %.
Stann asks after this much time off from the sport, if he wins, what is it going to feel like to have his hand raised:
Jung: “I’m always excited for every win. But, it’s been almost five years since my last win. My last fight was three years ago. So if I win, I will have a lot of people to thank in Korea for their support.”
Stann asks what does he have to prove tonight?
Jung: “Before I left for my government service, I was ranked third in the division. My whole career, I’ve stated that I want to become champion and be the best. Now it’s my time to prove that I have the skills and the abilities to become champion.”
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