“I think everyone has had a hard time with it,” Choi said of the effects of the pandemic at home in South Korea. “I hope everyone overcomes it quickly.”

As for his military service, Choi is eager to get that in the rearview mirror and get back to work in the Octagon.

“Once the military situation is over, I want to go to Octagon as soon as possible and show that I am still a competitive fighter at a high rank,” he said.

There is no showing necessary for Choi, who has already proven that he belongs with the best in the featherweight division. And while inactivity has been an issue, it’s key to point out that Choi’s compatriot Chan Sung Jung also dealt with injury-induced layoffs and mandatory military service and came back on top of his game, with recent wins over Renato Moicano and Frankie Edgar showing “The Korean Zombie” in prime form.

Choi hopes to follow that path, and if anyone needs any reminders, just think that he’s already won five bonuses in six UFC fights. With a bonus in his next bout, he will join Conor McGregor, Donald Cerrone and Israel Adesanya in third place for the quickest amount of time to get to six bonuses. That’s impressive company.

“Winning is important, but it’s also important to be in exciting fights that fans like to watch,” he said. “And no matter how good the fight is, I think it should be fun. Although that fun has slowed down in my recent fights, I think that if can get back to the Octagon and fight well and win, I can have some good opportunities in a short period of time.”

Choi knows we’ll be watching.
“I’ll be back soon, and I’ll show you more exciting fights.”