Jun Yong Park was not in the mood to celebrate his victory at UFC Vegas 63 at all. The Korean middleweight submitted Joseph Holmes in the second round but after the fight there was only one thing on his mind.
The 31 year old was born in Seoul and lives and trains there. He was deeply affected by the tragedy in the South Korean capital on Saturday night when over 150 people were crushed to death during Halloween celebrations.
News of the tragedy was just starting to filter through as Park prepared to take on Holmes in Las Vegas and the Korean Top Team representative was clearly stunned,
“When I first heard about it I thought it was a prank but as the news started coming in, it was a very serious tragedy. I tried to concentrate, it was right before the fight but my mind was in two different places.”
View this post on Instagram
Fortunately for Park he was able to find his focus and submit the American in the second round,
“I knew I needed to perform and really concentrated to (get) the win,” he said.
But afterwards the celebrations were very subdued and Park refused to revel in what was his fifth UFC victory. He can be seen telling his corner not to celebrate and says this was out of respect for the people who had lost their lives in Seoul,
“After the win we were all happy but because of the tragedy in Korea we wanted to keep it more somber. My mind was with the Korean people.”
“My thoughts and prayers are with the Korean people.”
Junyong Park fought with a heavy heart following the news of the crowd crush in South Korea and was able to pick up a submission win.
— UFC News (@UFCNews) October 29, 2022
The Korean middleweight remained subdued in the aftermath of the fight. He also refused to discuss potential future opponents or talk about what might be next in his UFC career telling the media that,
“I’m not really thinking about that right now, I just want to get back to Korea and see that everyone’s okay.”
Park admitted he was happy with the win, the first finish of his UFC career. But all he could think about was the tragedy that had occurred in his hometown,
“I’m happy with the win but I’m not happy overall because there was a tragedy in Korea not too long ago so obviously my thoughts and prayers are with the Korean people and I want to get home.”