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Korean Zombie’ turns in Fight of the Year candidate at UFC on FUEL TV 3

Donald Cerrone, Amir Sadollah get back on track with decision victories

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

South Korea’s Chan Sung Jung, top, leaps from the top of the octagon as he celebrates a technical knockout against Mark Hominick, lower right, during UFC 140 in Toronto on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011.

Note: Scroll to the bottom for full results from the preliminary card.

In two UFC wins last year, “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung arguably pulled off both the Submission of the Year and the Knockout of the Year.

Jung may have proven victorious in 2012’s Fight of the Year Tuesday night in Fairfax, Va. Jung submitted heavily favored Dustin Poirier with a d’arce choke at 1:07 of the fourth round in the main event of UFC on FUEL TV 3.

“He had me in trouble there at the beginning of the third round,” Jung said through a translator after the victory. “The thought of giving up was in my head, but I just kept going and came up with a win.”

The wild 16-minute featherweight affair improved Jung’s UFC record to 3-0. He called out 145-pound champion Jose Aldo following the victory, much to the delight of a roaring crowd at the Patriot Center.

“The Korean Zombie” has become a fan favorite in a short time because of his fighting style. Jung is always so eager to earn a stoppage that he borders on recklessness.

But he’s started to find the perfect balance. Jung had Poirier in troublesome positions in the first and seconds rounds, but didn’t panic when the 23-year old Louisianan escaped.

He similarly kept his poise in the third when Poirier developed a rhythm in his striking attack. With commentators suggesting Jung was gassed at the start of the fourth, he rocked Poirier with an uppercut and flying knee.

Those strikes set up the submission and chants of “Zombie” from the crowd.

“I want to thank all of the Korean fans and the Korean community who came out here today,” Jung said.

Jung should have a chance to become the UFC’s first Asian champion by the end of the year. He’s expected to face the winner of the UFC 149 main event, between Aldo and Erik Koch, for the featherweight belt next.

He’s made a two-fight WEC losing streak in 2010 a distant memory.

Two other well-known veterans sidestepped a potential two-fight skid in the featured bouts at UFC on FUEL TV 3. Lightweight Donald Cerrone and welterweight Amir Sadollah out-pointed Jeremy Stephens and Jorge Lopez, respectively.

Sadollah, a local who trains at Xtreme Couture, won a split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29). Cerrone won every round and bloodied Stephens’ face in a bout that he hopes leads to redemption after a UFC 141 loss to Nate Diaz.

“I’d like to fight Diaz again,” Cerrone said. “That would be awesome. I know he’s got a title fight, but I want to get in there again.”

Check below for the results from the rest of the UFC on FUEL TV 3 card.

Yves Jabouin won a unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26) over Jeff Hougland in a bantamweight bout. Jabouin nearly knocked out Hougland in both the first and third rounds with kicks followed by ground-and-pound.

An exciting, back-and-forth stand-up battle between light heavyweights Igor Pokrajac and Fabio Maldonado ended in debate. Pokrajac defeated Maldonado by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28 according to the judges, but a handful of media and fans disagreed with the call.

"Filthy" Tom Lawlor gave himself something extra to celebrate on his 32nd birthday. The Boston native opened the televised card in devastating fashion. Lawlor knocked Jason "The Athlete" MacDonald out cold 50 seconds into their middleweight bout.

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Brad Tavares poses for a photo while competing on the 11th season of "The Ultimate Fighter" in this file photo from 2010.

Las Vegas-based middleweight Brad Tavares eked out a win against Dongi Yang. The judges awarded Tavares a unanimous-decision victory over Yang. An inadvertent eye poke bothered Tavares in the second round, the only one he lost.

"The Ultimate Fighter" 12 veteran Cody McKenzie got back to what he does best at the Patriot Center against Marcus LeVesseur. McKenzie used the choke he coined the "McKenzietine" to submit LeVesseur at 3:03 of the first round. The lightweight's last 13 wins, including two fights on "TUF", have now come by his form of a guillotine.

T.J. Grant out-grappled, out-struck and out-wrestled Carlo Prater in a decisive lightweight fight. Grant defeated Prater by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

For the second time in his last three fights, Rafael dos Anjos finished an opponent in less than a minute. The Brazilian lightweight knocked down Kamal Shalorus with a head kick and transitioned to take his back on the ground. From there, dos Anjos submitted Shalorus with a rear-naked choke 40 seconds into the fight.

Johnny Eduardo used punishing leg kicks to secure a win against Jeff Curran. Although Curran figured Eduardo out enough to win the third round, Eduardo won a unanimous decision by controlling the opening 10 minutes of the bantamweight bout.

Alex Soto absorbed three times as many strikes as he landed during a 15-minute bantamweight bout with Francisco Rivera. That's not a winning formula, as Rivera proved victorious with a unanimous decision by taking every round on all three judges' scorecards.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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