Don’t forget to check out the rest of the UFC 163 main card preview here.
As the UFC heads back to the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, fight fans are foaming at the mouth in anticipation for UFC 163’s main event. Longtime featherweight champion and hometown hero Jose Aldo will put his title on the line against the crowd favorite “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung in a battle that’s been in the works for more than a year. Aldo enters this bout riding a 15-fight win streak and with wins over fighters like Urijah Faber, Frankie Edgar, Kenny Florian and Chad Mendes, the 26-year old Brazilian has already established himself as the greatest 145-pounder of all-time. But the Korean Zombie has cemented himself as one of the most exciting fighters in the entire organization. With two Submission of the Year wins, two fights of the year, the fastest knockout in UFC history- the first and only successful twister in UFC history- all coming in his last five fights, Jung is definitely the one to watch in the featherweight division.
But there can only be one winner, so without further ado here’s the complete breakdown of this fight between these two octagon warriors:
This is a no-brainer, as Aldo has the most devastating stand-up game in the entire UFC, let alone the featherweight division. His career is a highlight reel of flying knees, superman punches and those thunderous leg kicks of his that seem to echo throughout the arena. This is a man who is so dangerous on the feet that Anderson Silva, the greatest fighter to ever live, said he would retire if Aldo fought at middleweight.
But the Nova União product has never faced someone with the durability like the Korean Zombie. While Jung has three career knockouts, including a seven-second knockout of Mark Hominick, his stand-up game isn’t judged on how hard he hits but by the enormous amount of punishment he absorbs in almost all of his fights. An iron will with the tendency to never stop walking forward regardless of how bloody and bruised his face is, no nickname suits a fighter more than the Korean Zombie. Aldo’s leg kicks will be the key factor in this bout as no matter how durable Jung has proven to be, legs can only take so much punishment.
This is the closest matchup between these two, as neither has looked to take the fight to the mat in any of their previous fights. Neither featherweight is overly dominant in the wrestling aspect of MMA, as they have the tendency to trade blows rather than utilize ground striking to put away their opponents. Aldo’s grappling game is used to keep the fight standing- as shown in his bouts with standout wrestlers like Mendes and Edgar- and even when he does get taken down he almost always manages to spring back to his feet as soon as he hits the mat. Jung has proven to be an incredibly underrated grappling in the octagon after his last matchup against Leonard Garcia. But with Aldo’s significant strength advantage, Jung is going to have a very difficult time taking the champion down.
As mentioned earlier in this preview, Jung is the holder two Submission of the Year honors so it’s no surprise that he has a distinct advantage in the submission aspect of the game. In his octagon debut, Jung took a risk in attempting the first Twister inside a UFC octagon. He followed up this performance with an incredible 4th round d’arce choke over Dustin Poirier in a bout that won Fight of the Year in many publications. But what truly sets the Korean Zombie apart from most fighters is his approach to setting up his submissions as showed in his win over Poirier where he threw a series of uppercuts followed by a flying knee before locking on the d’arce choke.
But Aldo is no slouch on the ground, as he holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The problem is he hasn’t shown any of his submission skills since submitting Anderson Silverio back in 2005. Aldo may have the capability of finishing the fight anywhere, but he chooses to rain blows upon his opponents’ skulls instead.
Edge: Korean Zombie
This bout has Fight of the Night written all over it and it will surely stay competitive. But the X-Factor in his matchup is how much punishment the Korean Zombie can withstand from the best striker in the entire division. If he can manage to withstand the technical genius of Aldo’s stand-up game he should be able to use his superior cardio to pull off the upset on the mat in the later rounds. But in the end, I think Aldo is just too good for anyone at 145-pounds as he strikes his way to a decision win in a Fight of the Year bout.
> Aldo via Unanimous Decision