This past weekend (Aug. 3, 2013), Jose Aldo defended his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight title for the fifth consecutive time, defeating Chan Sung Jung in the fourth round in the main event of UFC 163 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
But, it wasn't without out a little bit of loose ligament help.
During a striking exchange midway through the frame four, "Korean Zombie" separated his shoulder, which left him in visible pain and discomfort as he tried his best to pop it back into place. Like a shark smelling blood in the water, Aldo attacked quickly, kicking Jung's injured shoulder twice and forcing him to the canvas to protect himself from the onslaught of strikes.
While it wasn't his best performance to date, Aldo did get the victory; however, he is sorry that the bout ended with an injury to Jung. In fact, he hated seeing his colleague go out that way he did -- especially considering he was improving as the fight went on.
Aldo's post-fight comments to FUEL TV:
"I told his coaches I was sorry it ended that way. He was getting better in the fight and it wasn't the best way to finish, but I won the fight."
Many believed "Korean Zombie" looked to be the fresher fighter going into the championship rounds, while Aldo was slowing down, bringing into question his cardio (or lack thereof).
But, according to the champ, he wasn't getting tired at all ... he was simply pacing himself:
"I knew I was winning the first three rounds. I slowed down so I wouldn't expose myself. I hold the belt right now, and people always think that I get tired, but my cardio is great."
Perhaps the Brazilian learned a thing or two from the Mark Hominick fight at UFC 129 back in 2011, during which Aldo faded significantly in the final round because he spent the first four turning "The Machine" into "Elephant Man." Regardless, with consecutive win No. 16 in the books, Aldo will now rest up and heal his broken foot, which he suffered early on in the fight, and will likely be out until early 2014.
With no clear cut No. 1 contender at 145-pound, the break (no pun intended) for Aldo could be just what the division needs, forcing UFC matchmakers to book a title eliminator fight between Ricardo Lamas and Cub Swanson, the two hottest 145-pound fighters at the moment.