‘The Korean Zombie’ returns with vicious first-round KO over Dennis Bermudez

Three years off didn’t seem to hurt “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung one bit as the always exciting featherweight returned with a devastating first-round knockout to finish Dennis Bermudez.

Jung hadn’t fought since 2013 due to mandatory military service in his native South Korea, but he clearly didn’t miss a step in his time away.

The former title contender didn’t get a warm-up fight by any means because Bermudez was ranked in the top 10 going into the night while coming off back-to-back wins in the UFC.

It didn’t take long for Jung to knock off any ring rust he might have carried into the cage because Bermudez was swinging heavy leather as soon as the fight was started.

Bermudez connected flush with a hard right hand that seemingly staggered Jung momentarily, but part of the reason he earned the nickname “The Korean Zombie” was due to his unbelievable ability to eat a punch.

Sure enough, Jung’s concrete chin delivered again as he quickly recovered from that shot and came back looking to land some offense of his own.

With Bermudez committed to striking after Jung shrugged off some early attempts to take the fight to the ground, it opened up a perfect counter in an exchange on the feet for the South Korean slugger

Jung absolutely blasted Bermudez with a right uppercut that sent him crashing to the canvas after his body went into shock from the devastating punch.

Jung followed up with a few more shots but the referee wasted no time rushing in to stop the contest before Bermudez could take any undue damage. The stoppage came at 2:48 into the opening round.

It was another highlight-reel win for Jung, who has picked up a slew of impressive finishes in his last four wins inside the Octagon — all coming by way of knockout or submission.

“From the time that I was away from the game, I was practicing a lot,” Jung explained after the win. “One of the things I worked on the most was my wrestling as well as my footwork. Footwork didn’t work out so well.

“I wasn’t really expecting (the uppercut). It just happened.”

“The Korean Zombie” returning definitely injects a new contender into the featherweight division, especially considering his ultra exciting style whenever he steps into the Octagon.

While champions Jose Aldo and Max Holloway will look to unify the featherweight title later this year, Jung could certainly be a test for anybody else at 145-pounds with potential matchups against Frankie Edgar, Cub Swanson or even Yair Rodriguez possibly looming in 2017.