The sixth iteration of Fight Island is serving up a doozy of a main event between Brian Ortega and Chang Sung Jung. Except for one fight, The Korean Zombie has received a performance of the night bonus in all of his UFC appearances. After being on the wrong end of one of the most spectacular knockouts in UFC history against Yair Rodriguez, Jung rebounded with 2 impressive wins over top-flight competition. With Ortega coming off of an unsuccessful title shot against Max Holloway, he is going to be eager to rattle off of a win to get his name back into the title picture. Both fighters are motivated heading into this fight, which makes them more dangerous than they typically are. The stylistic matchup has fight of the night written all over it.
Brian Ortega (+160) vs Chang Sung Jung (-190)
Brian Ortega hasn’t been an active fighter, having last competed in 2018 in his failed title bid against Max Holloway, he will enter this fight with Chang Sung Jung having been on the shelf for a while now. Jung enters this fight riding an impressive 2 fight win streak after a couple of first-round KO/TKO victories over Renato Moicano and Frankie Edgar. Ortega has proven toughness, a durable chin, and some of the most dangerous Ju-Jitsu in the featherweight division. He does have power in his hands, but he is not very fast and is somewhat predictable with his punches. His striking defense has been suspect in the past, which will get him into trouble against Korean Zombie. Who has some of the fastest hands in the division, not to mention some of the most accurate. As the record shows, Jung goes for the kill early, and often gets it.
At the end of the Day
At (+160), Ortega is as live of a dog as you’ll get. Any individual who enters the grappling realm with him is in danger of getting submitted, Chang Sung Jung Included. But the lack of striking defense is going to be an issue for him, nobody can afford to get tagged too many times by Jung. On the feet, this match up is tailored made for a Korean Zombie win.
Pick: Chang Sung Jung
Katlyn Chookagian (+128) vs Jessica Andrade (-158)
Chookagian looked fantastic in her last fight against Antonina Shevchenko, her relentless style served her very well, her big takedowns and grappling attacks had her on the verge of finishing the fight early on several occasions. The performance was accentuated by the fact that the victory came over the sister of flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko, the last woman to beat Chookagian and the only woman to finish her. Chookagian doesn’t have the power to hurt Andrade on the feet, nor does she have the footwork or technical ability to outstrike her. Jessica Andrade’s schedule has been extremely difficult, having taken on nothing but the absolute elite of the women’s division including fights against Rose Namajunas (twice), Zhang Weili, and Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Although she is riding a two-fight losing streak, it’s perfectly logical for Andrade be a (-158) in this fight against Chookagian.
At the end of the day
Its perfectly reasonable to expect Chookagian can get Andrade on her back and smother her. Despite being the smaller woman, she has had success out grappling woman who are physically stronger than her in the past. In her fights at flyweight, Andrade has only ever lost against current or former world champions. While she certainly has heart, in her losses, she tends to hit a wall mentally early in the fight and never recover. There is a great opportunity for Chookagian as the live dog, but if things go as they should, Andrade will overpower Chookagian and walk away from this fight the victor.
Pick: Jessica Andrade
Jim Crute (-385) vs Modestas Bukauskas (+290)
Jim Crute enters the fight the heavy favorite because his grappling is far superior to that of Modestas Bukauskas. A former Cagewarriors light heavyweight champion, Bukauskas is a finisher through and through. He takes a lot of risks on the feet, and over the course of his career, a lot of those risks have paid off. With 9 of his 10 wins coming via stoppage (with 7 KO’s), anyone willing to stand and trade with him better is prepared for the worst. Crute is no slouch on the feet either and certainly isn’t afraid to play the striking game. He has good speed and mixes up his punches and kicks very well.
At the end of the day
The aggressive nature of Bukauskas’s approach and his big punching power makes him a very tempting bet at (+290) underdog. But unless he manages to catch Crute early, the risk taking on the feet is conducive to getting caught against a fighter like Crute, whos timing on takedowns is extremely good. At one point or another, Bukauskas is going to overextend on a punch and give Crute the perfect opportunity to hit the takedown. Once on the mat, it’s Crute all day.
Pick: Crute via Stoppage
James Krause (-200) vs Claudio Silva (+160)
Despite taking this fight on just two weeks’ notice, James Krause enters this contest the betting favorite (-200) over Claudio Silva. Although he took his last fight against Trevin Giles on just one day notice, he still managed to turn out a fight of the night performance in his first appearance at middleweight. Before the last-minute replacement fight, he was riding an impressive 6 fight win streak that had him looking like he is starting to come into his own and really hit his stride. Claudio Silva is on a 13 fight win streak, is a big strong grappler that likes to take the back, with his last 3 wins coming via submission victory.
At the end of the day
Silva is riding an impressive streak right now, but he has not fought the level of competition that Krause has, this will be the toughest test of his career. If it wasn’t for the fact that Krause was taking this fight on short notice, the odds would be in Krause’s favor a lot more than they are right now. Krause is well rounded and will get the better of Silva in all areas, and ultimately win the fight.
Pick: James Krause
Ciryl Gane (-590) vs Ante Delija (+410) (Cancelled due to contract dispute with Ante Delija and PFL)
He only has a record of 6-0 (with 3 submission victories) in professional MMA, but Ciryl Gane also has a 7-0 record in professional kickboxing. Gane moves very well for such a big man and has a whole lot of potential if he continues to get the right matchups throughout his development as a mixed martial artist. The UFC newcomer Ante Delija is stepping up on short notice after the cancellation of Gane’s original opponent, Shamil Abdurakhimov. Delija is getting an extremely tough test for his short-notice promotional debut, hence him being a major underdog. Plenty experienced himself, the Croatian kickboxer is a high output striker with punching technique that is very similar to fellow countryman Mirko Cro Cop. While he has a history of throwing big punches to gain entry for the takedown and work submissions, his best path to scoring the big upset in this fight is to stand and strike with Gane.
At the end of the day
Whenever you see such a large underdog in a heavyweight fight, you have to consider going with the dog. As they say in heavyweight MMA, big men, small gloves, somebody’s going to fall. The likelihood of such an upset victory is significantly higher when the competitors reside at heavyweight. But the odds are heavily in Gane’s favor, as he has been preparing for this date for months against a very dangerous opponent already. Dilijan is a tough customer but is not in a position to succeed this time around.
Pick: Ciryl Gane
It’s interesting times in the Featherweight division these days. With Max Holloway being unsuccessful in his rematch against Alexander Volkanovski, the next title challenger is unclear. Zabit Magomedsharipov is knocking on the door, but there are definitely title implications in the fight between Korean Zombie and Ortega. If either one of them can win impressively, the winners next contest will be a championship title fight.
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