Last night (Aug, 3, 2013) at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Jose Aldo retained his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight title with a fourth round technical knockout stoppage of Chan Sung Jung in the main event of UFC 163 (watch highlights here).
Aldo utilized takedowns to keep "Korean Zombie" from getting into any sort of groove on the feet. Unfortunately, it also seemed like this strategy was causing Aldo to gas out and in the fourth round, the tide began to turn. Jung was landing punches and looked to have found his range on the feet.
But, in one of the weirdest turn of events, with a wild overhand right, Jung separated his shoulder and the rest, as they say, is history.
Brian Hemminger was on live play-by-play duties:
Round four: Jung now has the cage center and he throws a left hand. Aldo fires off a couple jabs and it seems like Jung has an opening here to open up and take advantage of Aldo's sluggishness. Aldo steps forward with a kick, then another. Jung appears to have hurt his shoulder. Aldo takes advantage and takes Jung down, blasting him with ground and pound and the ref puts a stop to it. Shame Jung went down like that.
Geno Mrosko provided round by round analysis:
Into the championship rounds and Aldo still looked relatively relaxed. In fact, his corner was telling him to turn up the intensity to close out the fight.
He did just that after the opening minute of inactivity, firing off head kicks that were connecting clean. Before long, he came rushing in with an onslaught that ultimately resulted in Sung Jung apparently injuring his shoulder and eventually getting finished in the corner of the cage.
And STILL featherweight champion.
Hemminger was back with some second look analysis this morning:
With things starting to get interesting heading into the fourth round, Jung began striking much more often at the surprisingly stationary Aldo. Unfortunately for "The Korean Zombie," his output got stopped in its tracks due to a freak injury as his shoulder separated once a strike caught Aldo square on the top of his head.
Jung tried to put the shoulder back in place but Aldo capitalized in brutal fashion, throwing three straight high kicks at his arm. When Jung's final attempt to fix his shoulder didn't work, the champion lunged forward and put him on the ground, finishing his wounded foe with heavy right hands on the ground as he was unable to defend himself.
It was an unfortunate end to a very strange fight.
Jung spoke about the injury at the post-fight press conference as well:
"I felt like my strategy was starting to work. In particular in the fourth in the round, I was starting to turn up the intensity. Unfortunately, when I separated my shoulder, I tried to put it back in myself and it didn't work. Jose noticed my shoulder was out and he kicked me three times really hard. So unfortunately, the shoulder was not able to be put back in.
As far as the rematch goes, I would love to get a rematch. I would love to ask for a rematch, but there are other people waiting in line so I think they'll get it before I get another shot at the title.
It was really painful when it happened. But when they took me back to the medical room, they popped it back into place, and it now feels okay. They didn't mention anything about surgery, just rehab.
Thankfully Jung won't require surgery, but there is still no time time for how long he'll need to rehab the shoulder injury.