An Exciting Birthday

ufc-fn139Ring rust has recently become a bigger debate over the last few years with some fighters coming out and saying it is a hoax.

Some fighters believe that no matter how much time you take off there is no excuse for coming out lethargic and not ready.

It might be completely mental but there are a lot of times when fighters take a long time off and come back to a less than great performance.

Some big names have been forced to step away only to come back and look a lot less like themselves in their first fight back.

Sometimes those issues can last a lot longer as Mixed Martial Arts is a sport that evolves so quickly.

It can be tough for a fighter to keep up with the evolution when they take an extended period of time.

Sometimes that off period can be forced upon a fighter as injuries can force them to stay out of the octagon for an extended period of time.

Sometimes it is by choice as fighters make decisions that keep them out of the octagon whether it be poor decisions or decisions regarding contracts.

Either way fighters have taken time off and the sport has passed them by as their rise through the ranks stops short because they didn’t fight.

A combination of the game constantly evolving and the lack of training or real experience in the octagon could make ring rust a real thing.

It also could be entirely in a fighters head as they know that the game has evolved and they let the nerves get to them.

Even if it is mental it is a real thing as fighters struggle to return from a long layoff and continue to fight at a high level.

That can be especially harmful for fighters who were just finding their way in the UFC as they can be forgotten quickly.

A bad performance in a return fight will only put them further into the crowd in a promotion with a lot of talent.

As the UFC celebrated it’s 25th year in Denver two fighters faced off with both seeing a big rise stop due to a layoff.

Chan Sung Jung was a star before he came to the UFC as he was a legend in Asia and with the nickname “The Korean Zombie” it was easy to see why.

He still hadn’t broken through in North America though until he began making a run through the UFC with unique wins including the only Twister finish in UFC history.

He was getting there in 2012 ad in 2013 earned a title shot against Jose Aldo, a fight that he lost in the first round.

He was just beginning to get a UFC following when his country came calling as the South Korean was obligated to serve in the military.

It took him out of the fight game until his return in July of last year hurting his chances of becoming a household name.

His return was void of the ring rust though as he came back and earned a first-round knockout out Dennis Bermudez.mma-sidebar.fw

A knee injury kept him out the rest of 2017 and most of 2018 but finally, he found his way back to the octagon at UFC Fight Night 139.

He was set to take on Frankie Edgar in his second return until Edgar was forced to drop out and a young star came in his place.

Yair Rodriguez was one of the more promising young fighters in the UFC throughout 2017 making a run up the rankings and taking on Edgar in his biggest fight.

He lost that test and after losing that test began looking for more from the UFC threatening to leave the promotion.

The UFC offered him a number of fights but Rodriguez refused, although for multiple complicated reasons, and he was released from the UFC.

Eventually, the two sides worked things out and after a cancelled fight against Zabit Magomedshapirov accepted this test on short notice against Jung.

Both had been off for at least a year and were now looking to come back in a big way and capture their momentum in an important fight.

There may be no more appropriate nickname in the sport than Jung’s as he continues to go forward no matter what.

That is what he did in this fight as he continued to put pressure on the young Rodriguez but the creativity of Rodriguez was a perfect match.

They put together five rounds of constant pressure and action with both men taking and delivering damage.

It wasn’t until the final second when Rodriguez landing an elbow out of nowhere to put Jung out and give Rodriguez the KO win.

It was a great fight and an amazing finish that is sure to put Rodriguez back on the map while Jung is his usual self despite the loss being put into the lore of the UFC.

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