Underdogs don’t always make good UFC picks, but they had their way Saturday night in Houston – especially the Korean Zombie, who won his first match in over three years.
The Octagon is a tough place to be an underdog. There's not much room for luck in combat sports; weaknesses are quickly exploited by competent fighters, and you can't rely on your teammates to cover for you. But sometimes, the underdog bites back. Saturday's UFC Fight Night 104 card in Houston saw four of the six puppies on the main card beat the UFC odds. It was a hell of a show, not to mention a clever bit of cross-promotion with Super Bowl Sunday – also in Houston.
Both main event matches ended with the underdog's hand raised in victory. First up, it was Felice Herrig using her ground game to overcome the striking of Alexa Grasso to win their Women's Strawweight bout via unanimous decision. Herrig was available at a range between +230 and +325 – but she wasn't the biggest dog in the yard. More on that in a moment.
Armed and Dangerous
First, we have to talk about the main event. Chan Sung Jung, aka The Korean Zombie, was an intriguing UFC pick going into his Featherweight match with Dennis Bermudez, ranked No. 8 in the world by Sherdog. The last time we saw Jung in the Octagon was at UFC 163, where he took on Jose Aldo (–675) for the title and lost in the fourth round after dislocating his own shoulder while throwing a punch. Jung had to step away after that to serve his mandatory two years in the Korean military.
So much for ring rust. The Zombie ate a few punches from Bermudez, but his strong chin and his mobility kept him out of trouble. Then Bermudez went for a jab, Jung countered with a devastating uppercut, and the fight was over in less than three minutes. Jung cashed in somewhere between +145 and +165, depending on where you did your shopping.
The Korean Zombie's UFC career— Seán Sheehan (@SeanSheehanBA) February 5, 2017
7 second KO
3 years out
First round KO
And now, our top dog of the evening: Volkan Oezdemir. He was making his UFC debut against Ovince Saint Preux as a fill-in for the injured Jan Blachowicz, and after smothering the favorite with strikes in the first round, Oezdemir looked like he was running out of gas in the second. But the Swiss native did enough damage, and after surviving a late flurry by Saint Preux, he was declared the winner by unanimous decision, cashing in at between +245 and +348. Don't spend it all in one place.