Alexander Volkanovski on Korean zombie stop at UFC 273: ‘Sometimes people are so tough, it’s worse for their own good’

Alexander Volkanovski wished The Korean Zombie’s corner had saved their fighter before Herb Dean had to.

At the UFC 273 main event last weekend, Volkanovski put his featherweight title at stake against Korean Zombie (also known as Chan Sung Jung), and it was a one-sided affair. Volkanovski hit the Zombie pillar for posts and knocked him out by a margin of 138 to 48 before finally securing a stop in the fourth round. It was the best performance of Volkanovski’s career so far, but one that the champion wished could have been stopped a little earlier.

“I was obviously happy with the finish,” Volkanovski said to Ariel Helwani MMA class. “I wanted it a little earlier, but we ended up getting it. He was tough, man. He ate some shots, he really did. Obviously he lived up to that zombie name. My hands hurt. I remember I landed shocks and blows and my hands hurt, it was so clean they hit. it again.

“I probably shook him five, six times in there, maybe more. By the end of it, I’m glad Herb stopped it, because I felt like he definitely had enough. I think he was ready. He kind of knew it was over. He was already defeated, let’s get him home safe and sound. “

Volkanovski is not the only person who felt this way. Near the end of the third round, Volkanovski Zombie hurt again and was on the verge of ending the fight, but Zombie did just enough to be saved by the clock. Between rounds, the commentator team suggested that the Zombies corner should stop the fight. But when they did not, it caused Volkanovski to even check in on his opponent before resuming the beatdown.

“In the third round, I wanted that finish,” Volkanovski said. “I was very close, maybe a few seconds – he did well, he’s tough where I was just about to finish and he rolled a little more and then just persevered when that buzzer went. But when he saw him in the corner, he sat on the ground, he was done. Like I said, he was defeated. Even when he got up and played with the eye and even meandered to the middle, I was it [wondering] whether it’s legal, which means it’s over anyway, or was it a sign to the judge and the commission like ‘I’m done’. Was it him who asked [the fight to be stopped]. That was kind of how I felt, so I just said to him, ‘buddy, are you sure you want to keep doing this?’ I do not know if he understood me, but he says, ‘Yes, yes, yes,’ and I say, ‘Are you sure? Alright.’

“I think Herb knew where it was because I was like, come on, just stop it. I even said it a few times. So he was like I want to give him one last little chance, but as soon as he eats a few, he would call it. So many people knew it was done. Sometimes people are so harsh that it’s worse for their own good. You do not want to see them hurt, especially where you could see “that he did not really land in the flush. Every time he landed, I saw them come. I saw pretty much everything come. Everyone knew it was pretty much over, so I’m glad he stopped it.”

Fortunately, Dean Zombie saved from taking another beating, basically stopping the fight as soon as Volkanovski got his first hard blows, but in the wake of that, the fight once again raises the hot-button topic of corner stops in MMA and why this sport looks to lag so far behind other martial arts such as boxing and kickboxing. And as other MMA lighters have argued, Volkanovski believes it mostly stems from corners who are afraid to make the difficult decision and risk alienating their fighter.

“It’s tough. You also have to remember what the MMA fighters are like,” Volkanovski said. I think that’s what they’re worried about. Maybe they worry, ‘I think my student will be more angry with me if I stop it than they would know I took care of them’, which they should not care about, but at the same time they weigh their options. They say, ‘He will be very unhappy, why did you do that, why did you not let me go out on my shield?’ That kind of things. I think that’s the ego and the type of mentality that many mixed martial artists have. But again, that should not really mean anything. You just have to take care of yours [fighter]. But in the heat of the moment, he was still in it. It was not like he was literally out of it, but he was certainly defeated. But it did not take long before the referee stopped it, so it was okay. ”

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