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Where: Sajik Arena – Busan, South Korea
When: Saturday, December 21, 5AM EST
How (TV): UFC Fight Pass, ESPN+
Height: 5 ft. 6 in.
Reach: 68 in.
Former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar was set to make his debut at bantamweight at UFC 246 but after the original main event challenger Brian Ortega suffered an injury in training, Edgar decided to step in to save the card.
Edgar is coming off of a run in the featherweight division which culminated in a title fight against then-champion Max Holloway. Edgar had gone 3-2 in the featherweight division before bein given a title shot. His last fight was the title fight against Holloway which Edgar lost via unanimous decision at the UFC 240 card back on July 27.
Born in New Jersey, “The Answer” has been training in mixed martial arts since 2005. He is a former NCAA Division I wrestler and also boasts a first-degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Ricardo Almeida. He trains at the Ricardo Almeida BJJ school as well as with the KHK MMA Fight Team with head coach Mark Henry. He is a former UFC lightweight champion who defended the title three times.
Edgar is still ranked in the UFC featherweight division at number four.
Height: 5 ft. 7 in.
Reach: 72 in.
”The Korean Zombie” was originally set to face Brian Ortega, whom he had called out after his last victory. Ortega accepted the challenge but ultimately succumbed to a knee injury in training. Jung’s last fight came on June 22 where he headlined a card against Renato Moicano. Jung won the fight via first-round TKO and was awarded a performance of the night bonus.
Jung has gone 2-1 in the UFC since his return from serving four years in his home country’s military service. Win or lose, Jung has garnered seven performance bonuses across nine UFC bouts.
Hailing from South Korea, Jung trains at his own gym, Korean Zombie MMA. He has been active in MMA since 2007 and is elite in many styles. Jung has a fourth-dan black belt in Hapkido karate, a third-dan black belt in taekwondo, a black belt in judo, and a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He will have a one-inch height and four-inch reach advantage over Edgar.
The Korean Zombie is ranked just one slot below Edgar in the featherweight division at number five.
Height: 6 ft. 2 in.
Reach: 75 in.
The will be Volkan Oezdemir’s third fight of 2019 and he hopes to close out the year with his second win in a row. Oezdemir has struggled since losing his title shot against then-champion Daniel Cormier early last year. He dropped his next two fights in a row, including a controversial split-decision loss to Dominick Reyes which many felt Oezdemir won.
”No Time” bounced back from his three-fight losing streak in his last fight where he fought Ilir Latifi on August 10. Oezdemir defeated Latifi via second-round knockout and he was awarded performance of the night bonus for his efforts.
Born in Switzerland, the former kickboxer trains with Combat Club and Hard Knocks 365. He had a 5-0 undefeated record as a kickboxer before transitioning into MMA where he has been active since 2010. He is currently ranked as the UFC’s eighth-best light heavyweight.
Height: 6 ft. 5 in.
Reach: 78 in.
Aleksandar Rakic is undefeated in the UFC and has not lost a professional MMA fight since his professional debut in 2011. Most recently, and most impressively, Rakic fought light heavyweight contender Jimi Manuwa on June 1. Rakic knocked Manuwa out cold in the very first round of their bout and he was awarded performance of the night bonus.
Rakic is coming into this fight with most of the physical advantages. He is three years younger than his opponent, three inches taller, and has a three-inch reach advantage. The Austrian fighter trains with Gym 23 and American Top Team when States-side. He is ranked at number ten in the UFC light heavyweight division.
Height: 5 ft. 10 in.
Reach: 70 in.
After winning his first three fights in the UFC (two by KO, one by TKO), the “Korean Superboy” currently finds himself amidst a two-fight losing streak. His most recent fight came earlier this year in January where he took on Jeremy Stephens in a headlining bout.
Choi lost the fight to Stephens via second-round TKO. The fight was so exciting, however, that is was considered the fight of the night. Prior to that loss, Choi has lost a unanimous decision victory to Cub Swanson in what was named not only the fight of the night but the Fight of the Year for 2016 at the ESPN Awards.
Born in South Korea, the former lightweight fighter trains out of Busan – where this card is taking place – with the Busna Team M.A.D. He has been active in MMA since 2009 and is known for his striking prowess and jujutsu.
Height: 5 ft. 9 in.
Reach: 69 in.
The Canadian-born Charles “Air” Jourdain is making just his second appearance under the UFC banner Saturday night. Jourdain debuted for the promotion on May 18 against Des Green. Jourdain lost the bout via unanimous decision.
Charles Jourdain trains out of Quebec, Canada with the Academie Pro Star gym under head coach Eric Bertrand. Currently unranked, Jourdain will have a one-inch height and one-inch reach disadvantage against his opponent.
Height: 6 ft. 4 in.
Reach: 78.5 in.
Young up-and-coming light heavyweight Da Un Jung is coming off of an impressive UFC debut in which he submitted Khadis Ibragimov via guillotine choke in the third round back in August.
Jung fights out of Daegu, South Korea with the Korean Top Team gym.He hasn’t lost a professional fight since 2016.
Height: 6 ft. 4 in.
Reach: 82.5 in.
”Slow” Mike Rodriguez has three UFC fights under his belt. After winning his fight on Dana White’s Contender Series, Rodriguez made his debut for the promotion in early 2018. He lost his debut to Devin Clark via unanimous decision. He won his second fight via first-round TKO but most recently lost another unanimous decision, this time to John Allan.
The American fighter trains out of Boston with Lauzon Mixed Martial Arts. He is of equal height and weight as his opponent but brings with him a four-inch reach advantage into this fight.
Height: 6 ft.
Reach: 73 in.
”The Iron Turtle” Jun Yong Park is this card’s fourth fighter hailing from South Korea. He made his UFC debut on August 31 against Anthony Hernandez. Unfortunately for Park, he submitted to an anaconda choke in the second round. He was on a seven-fight winning streak before joining the UFC. Park spends his time training in his home country with Korean Top Team.
Height: 6 ft. 1 in.
Reach: 73 in.
Marc-Andre Barriault joined the UFC earlier this year and made his official debut on May 4. He fought Andrew Sanchez and lost the fight via unanimous decision. He returned to the octagon on July 27 where he fought Krzysztof Jotko at UFC 240. He was once again defeated, this time by split-decision.
”Power Bar” is a Canadian-born fighter training out of Quebec City, Quebec. He trains with the Patenaude Kung Fu Academy and has been fighting since 2012. He has a one-inch height advantage over Park.
Height: 5 ft. 9 in.
Reach: 72 in.
Kyung Ho Kang has been fighting for the UFC since 2013, believe it or not, and has a record of 5-2 with one no-contest since joining the promotion.
Kang is currently riding a two-fight win streak that started in February of this year when he choked out Teruto Ishihara in the first-round of their UFC234 bout. Most recently, Kang fought on August 17 at UFC 241. He fought and defeated Brandon Davis via split-decision.
Born in Busan, South Korea, “Mr. Perfect” trains with the Busan Team M.A.D. He is a former lightweight and featherweight competitor and he boasts a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He has been active in mixed martial arts since 2007.
Height: 5 ft. 6 in.
Reach: 70 in.
This will be Pingyuan’s fourth UFC bout. After winning two fights in a row (one by decision, one by split-decision), the Chinese fighter fought Jonathan Martinez on July 13. Unfortunately for Pingyuan, he was knocked out by a knee from Martinez in the third round of their bout.
The Chines-born fighter trains with Enbo Gedou gym when at home and also with Uriah Faber’s Team Alpha Male when in the U.S. He has been fighting since 2010 and will have a three-inch height and two-inch reach disadvantage against Kang.
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Ryan Bristlon is a Canadian writer currently residing in Hamilton, Ontario. He studied print and broadcast journalism at Humber College and has been a lifelong fan of the sport of hockey and the NHL.
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