|Aldo is coming into his own as a fighter and a champion. (bleacherreport.com)|
While I'd like to say that this main event has already gotten its fair share of coverage, that Jose Aldo's coming of age story has been covered, that the throne of best Brazilian fighter has been temporarily if not permanently vacated, and that there are other really compelling fights on the card to discuss I really can't. This card is about Aldo. Anderson Silva was knocked out, Junior Dos Santos may not beat Cain Velasquez, and there are reports floating around that might concern Vitor Belfort, the Brazilian MMA throne is much more accessible than this one.
On top of all of this there is a strong opinion that Georges St-Pierre will lose to Johny Hendricks later this year. What this all means for Aldo is that by January 1, 2014, not only could he be the King of Brazilian fighting, but he could also be the only fighter worthy of discussing as pound for pound champ other than Jon Jones. While this fight with Chan Sung Jung isn't as tasty as Anthony Pettis, it means a lot for Aldo.
Since being absorbed by the UFC, Aldo has defended his belt successfully 4 times without ever truly being in danger. He gassed at the end of the Mark Hominick fight, but Hominick would have had to finish Aldo for him to win. We have yet to see a signature finish from Aldo. He did KO Chad Mendes with a knee at UFC: Rio, but that wasn't a highlight reel finish - more just right knee right time.
Again in front of his home crowd of Brazil, Aldo appears as confident as ever. Discussion of overconfidence (especially after Anderson) are going around, but as I mentioned in my Aftermath article, this should have only served to put all champions on high alert.
Korean Zombie is deserving of this shot, considering the circumstances. He puts on exciting fights, and he is an extremely technical fighter on the ground and on his feet when he wants to be. It's unfair to treat Jung as an after thought or some monumental underdog. Korean Zombie has fought and has fought well winning all his fights in the UFC (all by finishes). As a half-Asian man, I honestly feel like it's a bit of prejudice. Not racist or malicious in its intent, but to treat Jung like he's much more of an underdog than say Ricardo Lamas makes no sense to me. You see a guy like Lamas who is from Chicago and has the tough guy look to him versus Jung who is Korean (obviously) you're going to feel a certain way. Hey, even I think it sometimes. Will Aldo's kicks just go right through Jung and break his leg? Will Jung just get knocked out?
It's not that simple. Should Jung get knocked out, it won't have to do with him being Asian any less than Cub Swanson being whatever Cub Swanson is. Just purely looking at the fight though there are ways Zombie could win, and I view him as more of a threat to Aldo than Hominick was.
What should concern people about Jung is that he is a pressure fighter. He'll be moving forward, he tends to get wild at times, and has exploited the fighters he's taken to the mat. This will be virtually impossible due to Aldo's UFC best takedown defense, and his yet to be utilized Brazilian jiu-jitsu blackbelt.
I'm giving the Korean Zombie a shot to take this into the championship rounds as long as he sticks to his gameplan, doesn't get crazy, and can adequately defend Aldo's combinations. While Jung charges in with his combos, he's also extremely effective at standing in the pocket and countering. When Aldo comes in with his cross, jab, right leg kick - yes, KZ will have to defend that - but it's possible he will also stand in there and counter with Aldo as well. Above all else, Aldo will win this fight because there is just no way KZ can out point Aldo until the later rounds, where fatigue may weaken Aldo. KZ will likely be behind from the get go, leaving his only recourse to take chances or accept defeat. Either way he'll put up a great fight, but the result will be Aldo's hand raised.
2nd Round TKO (punches)
All hail the king.