UFC on Fuel TV 3: Korean Zombie vs. Poirier Preview

MMA Insider Alex Donno breaks down UFC on Fuel TV 3: Korean Zombie vs. Poirier.

It’s not often we get live fights on a Tuesday night. If, by any chance, the NBA playoffs aren’t bloody enough for you, you’re in luck. Tonight on Fuel TV, the UFC brings us 6 live fights. 12 men will step inside a cage, each trying to separate another man from his consciousness. If you’re a combat sports geek like me, you’re getting excited already. Otherwise, you’ve probably already navigated away from this page, likely finding something more interesting in the “groupie tales” section. For those of you brave (or dumb) enough to make it this far into the paragraph, I’ll try and bring it strong. The event is “UFC on Fuel TV 3: Korean Zombie vs. Poirier.”

Yes, that’s really what this event is called. There’s really a dude nicknamed the Korean Zombie.
Interested now? I thought so.

Okay, so what does a guy have to do to earn such a moniker? Well, first and foremost, he’s from Korea,
so the first part makes total sense. But they call him a zombie because he’s famous for constantly
walking forward and throwing punches with a lifeless look on his face, much like a…. well… a zombie. No matter how much you hit him, his expression won’t change, and he will keep coming forward. He’s also the only guy in the UFC to ever win a fight by “twister” submission. The twister has nothing to do with his nickname, but it’s still awesome. Tonight, he’ll look for his third straight victory (and hopefully won’t try to eat anyone’s brain) when he meets the very talented Dustin Poirier.

While a title shot isn’t guaranteed to the winner, Poirier seems very close. An impressive victory over Chan Sung Jung (that’s the Zombie’s real name) could put him next in line at featherweight. Poirier is a perfect 4-0 in the UFC’s Octagon. He’s been on fans’ radar since upsetting the highly touted Josh Grispi in his UFC debut last January. In his most recent appearance, Poirier won submission of the night honors with a beautiful (and creative) triangle/armbar on Max Holloway. He’s a competent striker who is good enough to stand toe to toe with anyone, but it’s on the ground where Poirier truly shines. His safest and most efficient route to victory over Jung will be with takedowns and top control. Once the fight hits the mat, he showcases powerful “ground and pound” strikes. Jung will likely be at a disadvantage wherever the fight goes. Poirier is that good.

The key for “The Korean Zombie” will be pressure and precision. He needs to back Poirier up and
make him uncomfortable, but in doing so he needs to land accurate strikes. Despite his reputation as
a brawler, Jung showed more controlled efforts in his rematch victory over Leonard Garcia. And more
recently, he showed off his punching power. Last December, he knocked out former top contender Mark
Hominick with a straight right hand, capitalizing on a wild missed-punch by his opponent. That victory
proved his ability exploit an opponent’s weakness. As long as Poirier isn’t sloppy or reckless, he should be able to take Jung down and out-work him.

The undercard will be highlighted by an exciting lightweight fight between Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone
and Jeremy “Lil Heathen” Stevens. This one definitely has Fight of The Night potential. Cerrone is
a skilled kickboxer with a fluid ability to mix up his strikes. Stephens is a brawler with one-punch
knockout power and an iron jaw. We’ll likely see Stephens constantly moving forward, trying to land
a big overhand right. He throws every punch like it’s his last. Cerrone should be able to pick him apart by mixing straight punches with kicks and knees. He also might find success taking Stephens down, something Anthony Pettis was able to do when he fought Stephens last year. Conversely, if Stephens is able to take Cerrone down, he’ll need to be wary of submissions. Cerrone has shown an active guard where he can threaten for triangles and armbars. But from top control, Stephens’ ground and pound is fierce, so Cerrone should certainly do whatever he can to avoid ending up on his back. His biggest advantages will lie with his striking. Cerrone looks to bounce back from a December loss to Nate Diaz.

Prior to that fight, he was 4-0 in the 2011 calendar year. A 5-0 year would have put him near the top of the heap at lightweight, so he’ll try and recapture some of that momentum tonight.

The action starts at 8:00pm EST tonight on Fuel TV. If you don’t think you have Fuel TV, check again. It’s such an obscure channel that you probably have it and don’t even realize. Have you ever been channel surfing, landed on a network where people are skateboarding, and then quickly kept moving to the next channel? That channel was Fuel TV. However, since the UFC invaded that channel, it’s been much better (both in my opinion, and by the ratings numbers which have grown exponentially.) The hopes are that a continuing UFC presence there will help grow the network. Right now, my DVR is jam packed with UFC stuff on Fuel, so I guess its working.

So remember, 8-11pm tonight on Fuel, “The Korean Zombie vs. Poirier.” FYI, the main event probably
won’t start until after Heat-Pacers game 2 ends.