Jung Da-Un (11-2) is set to debut at UFC Shenzhen.
The surging 25-year-old South Korean will fight Saparbek Safarov (9-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC), a source close to the situation confirms to The Body Lock.
The event, the UFC’s third foray into China, is scheduled for August 31. UFC Shenzhen is currently set to be headlined by a strawweight championship bout between Jessica Andrade (20-6) and China’s Weili Zhang (19-1).
Jung, 25, is a veteran of the Asian MMA scene. The Korean has fought predominantly in Top Fighting Championship (TFC), a South Korean promotion, and HEAT, a Japanese organization.
Following a rocky start to his professional career in 2015, which including his only two losses, Jung has been unstoppable. After his submission loss to eventual RIZIN fighter Roque Martinez, Jung rattled off a ten-fight winning streak that has now catapulted him to the UFC.
Jung is a proven finisher, having gone to a decision just twice in his professional career. The 25-year-old has scored eight knockouts in his young career, and he has shown his well-roundedness with two submissions, to boot.
As a result, Jung is considered one of the top Asian prospects at both light heavyweight and heavyweight, but he will make his debut in the light heavyweight division against Safarov.
Safarov, 32, hails from perhaps the most prolific hotbed of MMA talent, the Republic of Dagestan, Russia.
Like Jung, Safarov arrived in the UFC on the strength of a dominant, multi-fight win streak fraught with finishes. Since landing in the UFC, however, Safarov has struggled to maintain that momentum.
Safarov fell short to New York slugger Gian Villante in his UFC debut, then lost to Australian prospect Tyson Pedro in his second bout with the promotion at UFC 221.
The Russian was able to get back on track in March, though, with a win over highly-touted Romanian prospect Nick Negumereanu.
Now, Saparbek Safarov will look to derail another UFC newcomer’s hype as he takes on Korea’s Jung Da-Un at UFC Shenzhen.
Michael Fiedel is The Body Lock's deputy editor, a staff writer for FloCombat, and a Russell-Rice scholarship recipient at Vanderbilt University.