South Korean middleweight prospect Da Un Jung will face off with Nigeria’s Kennedy Nzechukwu in a clash at UFC Vegas 42. Both men coming off momentum in their last bouts promise an exciting match-up with finishing possibility at every moment.
Kennedy Nzechukwu, nicknamed “The African Savage” is currently riding a three-fight win streak after losing to Paul Craig in his UFC debut. That loss would be his sole taint on his record as of yet, and Nzechukwu will look to keep it that way when he meets Jung this Saturday. Of Nzechukwu’s nine wins, six have come by way of knockout giving him a finishing rate of 66%.
Da Un Jung will also likewise come in off a victory, his against William Knight. However prior to that, he would go to the only draw on his record against Sam Alvey but regardless, he has not been defeated in 6 years or 14 fights. Of his 14 wins, ten have come by way of knockout plus two submissions.
Nzechukwu vs. Jung Betting Odds
Nzechukwu vs. Jung Breakdown
Kennedy Nzechukwu’s fight style is very dependent on his immense size. He stands 6 foot 5 with a reach of 83 inches. He takes full advantage of this standing typically tall and using a long guard to keep his opponents on the end of his punches. He most often looks to walk them down using straight boxing, from the southpaw stance he has a stabbing right front kick that pushes through the gut past his boxing range.
You will often see him use his lead left hand to paw and trap the lead hand of his opponent and fire the right down the pipe. Nzechukwu’s only loss on his record came by way of submission, however this was against Paul Craig who holds a grappling advantage over most Light Heavyweights in the world. Nzechukwu’s best grappling attributes are his takedown defence and even more so his ability to instantly pop back to his feet when he is taken down, he does not give up a moment of complacency when he touches the mat.
That being said, in pure grappling Jung probably has the advantage. He most favours the ‘polish throw’ or outside leg trip from over under clinch. The problem with using this against Nzechukwu however, is that Jung’s usual height advantage or atleast match allows him to work more dominantly from the clinch position. We may see him alter his usual throw to be used from a double under bodylock instead.
Most of his takedowns typically come from the body lock rather than attacking the legs which will help because Nzechukwu’s ability to maintain range makes shooting from afar very dangerous. If Jung can establish a solid base on top he should have the advantage but it’s the initial scramble where he will have to test himself.
Standing, Jung is also mostly a boxer, which will be difficult again because of the reach difference. Jung’s is 78.5 inches, a full 4.5 inch difference. He uses a more flat footed style, as does Nzechukwu but rather than paw and trap with his front hand, almost everything Jung uses is set up with his jab. For the most part Jung is faster and more technical with his boxing, with the Nigerian usually breaking his opponents down with reach and pressure over time, so if Jung can find a way in by using head movement he should be able to land more cleanly in the exchanges.
Nzechukwu vs. Jung Prediction
The fight should be a very good one, and the style match-up possesses a bunch of interesting puzzles for both fighters to solve. If the bout remains standing, over three rounds I can see Nzechukwu outlanding Jung, able to land and stay at range in order to avoid the counter. However, if Jung can mix in his takedowns he should be able to negate the pressuring style of Nzechukwu, by clocking in time in top control and tiring him out by forcing him to fight in his otherwise paced and composed boxing style.
Prediction: Da Un Jung via submission or decision.
Braeden Arbour is an aspiring journalist out of Ontario, Canada. He is a recent graduate of Trent University, with a black belt in Karate and a blue belt in Judo. He has also been an avid fan of MMA for the last decade.