Dustin Jacoby (17-5-1 MMA, 5-2-1 UFC) will look to protect his spot in the UFC light heavyweight rankings when he meets Da Un Jung (15-2-1 MMA, 4-0-1 UFC) on Long Island at UFC on ABC 3 on July 16.
For Jacoby, it’s another striker the UFC has opted to put in front of him. “The Hanyak,” a former GLORY Kickboxing standout, said he loves the striking match-ups the promotion keeps giving him.
“I enjoy fighting a guy who likes to keep it standing,” Jacoby told MMASucka. “Da Un Jung is a good test. He’s ranked below me, but I think that he’s an up-and-coming guy who the UFC wants to push. Now that I have a ranking next to my name, I’ll have to defend my spot, but I certainly welcome the striker challenge, and I look forward to the match-up.”
Jacoby enters the bout as the No. 15-ranked light heavyweight in the UFC, having gone 5-0-1 since his return to the promotion.
His last win was a unanimous decision over Michal Oleksiejczuk in a fight where Jacoby gutted out a win despite only being able to throw two kicks the entire 15-minute match because of injuries to both his ankles and a foot. Jacoby said his legs are now healthy, however, and he has had a better camp. As a result, his cardio will be more on point than it has been in his past couple of bouts.
“I definitely plan on utilizing my kicks and exposing Jung that way,” Jacoby said.
Jacoby feels he has the advantage over Jung when it comes to the stand-up department.
“I think he’s a really good boxer and a pretty strong boxer, but he doesn’t have very heavy leg kicks,” Jacoby said. “He’s not a big kicker. He will kick. If I’m throwing kicks, he’ll throw some kicks. I think he’s more boxing, whereas I’m more kickboxing.”
Humanizing Athletes: Dustin Jacoby
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Jacoby wanted to fight a higher-ranked opponent than him, and he said he was offered a couple of such fights for June, but he had to decline on the basis that he was not yet healed up. The UFC then responded with Jung.
“I think he’s a guy they’re trying to push. He’s a Korean guy and he’s pretty good. I definitely see this as defending my spot in line. Once I go get this win, I’ll have a higher-ranked opponent to fight next.”
Jacoby is focused on Jung, so he does not have a next potential foe in mind, but he does have a location.
“I’ve heard some rumors of a possible return to Denver in November, and I think that would be a perfect timeframe,” he said. “My goal at the beginning of the year was to fight three times this year, and I got one out early, I’ve got one right here in the middle in the year, and I think one more by year’s end would be perfect, and it’d be a great 2022.”
As for Jung, Jacoby praised his opponent’s toughness and durability. He’s bearing down for a possible 15-minute scrap.
“I think we’re going to be in there for the long haul, and my prediction is I definitely see my hands getting raised, moving on in my career and continuing to climb the ladder and work my way to the top of the division,” Jacoby said.
UFC on ABC 3 is slated to start at 11 a.m. EST from the UBS Arena on Long Island, New York. The card is set to be headlined by a possible featherweight title eliminator between Mexican striker Yair Rodriguez and two-time title challenger and submission specialist Brian Ortega.
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