Fight Study – October 17, 2020
In a fight that promises to highlight vastly contrasting styles, Brian “T-City” Ortega will face Chan Sung “The Korean Zombie” Jung in a featherweight bout between the numbers two and four ranked contenders in the division. The UFC has boasted some very exciting matchups of late and next week’s Main Event between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje looms ahead. For these reasons, it might be easy to overlook this fight, but it has the potential to be great. Jung is the betting favorite and will carry the higher price tags on both DraftKings and Fanduel. He can be rostered in your lineups for $8,600 and $20 respectively. Ortega is available for $7,600 and $19. This fight is scheduled for five rounds of fight action, however, current odds make this fight a -240 favorite to conclude before going to the judges’ scorecards.
The only loss on Ortega’s record came at the hands of Max Holloway after a doctor’s stoppage between rounds. Ortega was outmatched on his feet against the former champ, but he did threaten to submit him on more than one occasion in the fight. Ortega is one of the best Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners in all of the UFC and his grappling will be his clearest path to victory over Jung. In sixteen professional fights Ortega is 14-1 with one no contest decision, and he has 3 wins by KO/TKO, 7 wins by submission and 4 wins by decision. Outside of his no contest ruling in his UFC debut, Ortega is 6-1 in the octagon with six finishes. Although he is known for his ground game, he has improved his striking as his KO of Frankie Edgar shows (Ortega was the first fighter to ever finish Edgar). His striking is enhanced by his ability to fight off his back, enabling him to apply pressure without fear of takedowns. Still, he must not get careless on his feet and let Jung’s right hand find a home.
Jung is a high-level striker with a solid submission game. Few fighters are as dangerous on the ground as Ortega, however, and the Korean Zombie will be wise to avoid grappling at all costs. If this fight remains upright, Jung will have a decided advantage. Jung is 16-5 overall with 6 wins by KO/TKO, 8 wins by submission and 2 wins by decision. In the UFC, he is 6-2 with six finishes. Over his last 4:16 inside the octagon, he has two first round TKO finishes over Renato Moicano and Frankie Edgar (becoming – along with Ortega – the only other fighter to finish Edgar). Jung throws his right with power and accuracy and can floor an opponent at any moment. Despite giving up an inch in height to Ortega, he will have a three inch reach advantage. He will need to assert his edge in length in order to keep Ortega from stepping into the pocket.
Both fighters realize that their strengths must be played to in order to win. The Korean Zombie must avoid going to the ground at all costs, and likewise T-City will want to limit the amount of time striking where his opponent will have the superior skill set and longer reach. Ortega can cinch up submissions with lightning speed, and if he is able to grab hold of Jung, he is able to finish this fight in a moment. Similarly, if Jung can land his right, Ortega may find himself on the wrong end of a KO. Look for Jung to play this one cautiously in the early rounds, where submissions come more easily. In the later rounds, both fatigue and the decreased ability to squeeze due to sweat will make it harder for Ortega to complete submissions. Ortega will do his best to execute takedowns and this is likely where the fight will be decided. Jung has a takedown defense rate of 75% but it can only take one takedown to make the difference with a submission expert of Ortega’s level.
This fight could easily end in a finish for either fighter, but as all rounds begin on their feet, Jung may have the edge in this fight. I do believe this fight is closer than the odds indicate and would not be surprised to see that Ortega’s standup game has continued to improve. If Ortega can hold his own on his feet, he will be able to pressure Jung with impunity given his dangerous submission game off his back. Ortega’s threat from any position on the ground makes him a tough matchup for any fighter. I make this fight a pick ’em and believe the current odds don’t reflect Ortega’s ability to finish fights at any moment. Given Ortega’s price on DraftKings (at $500 below the average), I think he makes a great GPP play on that format. Of Fanduel, however, he carries the fourth highest salary and doesn’t bring the same value. Jung is very playable on both formats but is too risky for my taste to roster in cash lineups. I will be giving a good deal of exposure to both fighters in GPP contests, especially on DraftKings where they are priced less in respect to the field.