According to Chan Sung Jung’s manager Brian Rhee, the Korean featherweight’s orbital bone is healed and his shoulder is at 90 percent. Given his recovery timeline, Jung is hoping for an August or September return, Rhee told UFC Tonight’s Ariel Helwani.
His desired target? Ricardo Lamas, the No. 3 ranked featherweight who was the last challenger to divisional kingpin Jose Aldo.
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Lamas has not competed since that Feb. 1 bout with Aldo which he lost by unanimous decision, and though he’s not currently linked to any matchups, he tells Helwani that he’s not interested in waiting until the late summer.
Lamas asked the UFC to set him up with either Dustin Poirier or Dennis Bermudez, but the UFC didn’t show interest in either of those matchups. Lamas’ hope is to get booked ASAP, so he can be ready to turn around and fight on the UFC’s debut show in Mexico City on November 15.
Meanwhile in this featherweight derby, Bermudez says that he’s interested in Jung if the UFC presents the possibility to him. Bermudez, currently ranked No. 11, has won six straight as he threatens to crack the top 10 for the first time.
If Jung doesn’t make it back before August 3, it will mark a one-year absence from the octagon. His last bout came on that date in 2013 against Aldo at UFC 163, a fight he lost after dislocating his shoulder while throwing a punch. Despite the lengthy layoff, he’s still ranked No. 6 in the featherweight poll.