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Chan-Mi Jeon: A tough but inspiring start to a promising career

Even though she has two losses in the UFC, Chan-Mi Jeon's start is nothing short of inspiring. At 20-years-old, her career is just beginning.

UFC Fight Night 117 in the Saitama Super Arena was action packed from the prelims all the way to the main event. The third fight in the prelims was between Syuri Kondo and Chan-Mi Jeon and it not only kept up the pace set by the previous fights but took it to another level. It was a performance that would set up the rest of the card.

First, a recap of the fight. All three rounds were a back and forth battle. Kondo applied consistent pressure, but Jeon never faltered, and when Kondo would land a big shot, Jeon would do the same. There were a lot of mixups, Jeon was landing shots just not as clean as Kondo’s in a lot of them.

Clashes like the one above were common, with Jeon coming out on top on a lot of them. Both fighters did a good job of not giving the other too much. At the end of the first round, it was a toss-up; the first half of the round the fighters were feeling each other out, with Jeon being the aggressor. When the second half of the round began, something inside Kondo woke up and it was filled with quick clashes and hard exchanges right in the middle of the cage. 

At the end of round one, the fighters went to their corners and Jeon let out a deafening warcry.

The later stages

Rounds two and three were similar, with Kondo applying more pressure and owning the middle of the octagon. Kondo was cutting off Jeon's angles and the fighters were taking turns coming in for some quick combinations and then backing out. Chan-Mi Jeon started to throw more kicks in rounds two and three.

Momentum started to shift toward Jeon with these kicks, and she realized it. She started fighting Kondo's game at this point, using her distance and coming in for more quality strikes, mostly with her legs. Kondo was eating a lot of kicks but she seemed comfortable with the pace, and for the most part was still dictating it. About two minutes into round two, Kondo started firing back with some kicks of her own. 

One of the most impressive things about Jeon is her defense, and she put that on display. Parries, blocks, and great movement made her a hard target to hit. 

The third round was close as well, with both fighters still coming in for vicious exchanges. Rounds one and three were by far the hardest to score. When it was all said and done, Kondo reigned the victor via split decision. It was a great fight by both competitors and the fans have plenty to look forward to with these two in the UFC. 

Chan-Mi has heart and she knows how to win

After watching Chan-Mi Jeon at UFC Fight Night 117, it's impossible not to picture her as a future top five or even number one contender in the next few years. Keep in mind, she's only 20-years-old, which is astonishing. Looking into her eyes you can see someone who's smart, focused, and hungry.

Chan-Mi Jeon's only two losses have been in the UFC. Some fighters would be concerned with going 0-2 since joining the UFC, but not Chan-Mi Jeon, as she has no reason to be. A brief look at her professional career will show you why there's nothing to be worried about:

Nozomi DaiTKO victory (Knees) 0:36 round 1
Natsumi SugieKO victory (Knee) 0:30 round 1
So-Min JiTKO victory (Elbows) 0:47 round 1
Na-Young SongDecision victory (Unanimous) 
Megumi YabushitaTKO victory (Punches) 3:00 round 1
J.J. AldrichDecision loss (Unanimous) 
Syuri KondoDecision loss (Split)

Chan-Mi Jeon knows how to finish fights but she's also proven she can go the distance. There was only one time where she looked gassed against Kondo, but never uncomfortable, and she recovered quickly. Jeon knows how to fight, and she knows how to win. One of the best moments came in between rounds one and two. That warcry was blood-curdling and showed a true competitor. It wasn't frustration, as she arguably won the first round, rather it was just that, a warcry. She was pumped up, and ready for round two and beyond.

Doing it with style

Her style is smooth, and she is fast. A lot of the shots that connected with Kondo would rock her body, and she would quickly follow up with more strikes if the opportunity was there. She isn't reckless by any means, and when Kondo was owning the middle of the octagon, Jeon was showing her smarts and awareness by matching Kondo's pace and trying to find angles instead of overreaching with her strikes. 

The women's strawweight division has been adding talent left and right, but very few, if any, are like Jeon. Her future is bright, she's the youngest fighter on the entire UFC roster and she showed her toughness and fight smarts in both of her UFC fights. The women's strawweight division is on notice right now, it won't be long before you see Chan-Mi Jeon gunning for the champion.

What did you think of Chan-Mi Jeon's performance? Leave a comment below.

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Kyle Combs

MMA is my favorite sport. I have been a part of the sport for years, spectating and competing. Women's MMA is where my hearts at and I am excited to write about it and share my insight. Reach out on social media, I look forward to meeting and talking with new people!

  • Yes Indeed

    hope she continues to develop. fun fighter.

Chan-Mi Jeon: A tough but inspiring start to a promising career

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