Chan Sung Jung challenged Jose Aldo for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight belt at UFC 163 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this summer. It was a bout that saw Jung land several hard shots on Aldo and one where it appears that the champ was truly in danger.
Unfortunately, Jung suffered a shoulder injury in the fourth round and Aldo was able to target the shoulder and finish him by TKO.
Dallas Winston of Bloody Elbow spoke with Jung to discuss his bout with Aldo. Surprisingly, Jung believes that the trick to defeating Aldo isn't to press the action, it's to have a tempered gameplan that forces the champion to wear himself out early in the fight.
KZ: You can't fight wild against a guy like Aldo -- at least not right off the bat. It was part of our gameplan. If that didn't work out, I was planning to go into Zombie-mode, but things were going as we planned early in the fight. Part of my hesitation was that I kept expecting the low kicks, but they never came. I didn't realize that he had injured his foot in the first round.
KZ: I felt that he's definitely human. He's got such an aura of invincibility built up around him, but after fighting him, I know that he's human and can get tired. I would really like the opportunity to fight him again.
KZ: Honestly, I don't know if I learned much from it. If I had lost because of skill or technique, then I could take something away from it, but losing like that doesn't leave me with much. I just want to come back as quickly as possible.
Jung also discussed the shoulder injury that ultimately led to his defeat in the fourth round. Jung was staging a bit of a comeback in the third round and seemed to have Aldo worn out heading into the fourth. Unfortunately, he dislocated his shoulder and
KZ: I swung and the shoulder came out. It was the first time I've ever dislocated my shoulder, but I knew what happened. I thought, "So ... this is what it feels like to dislocate your shoulder." I tried to push the shoulder up, but I should have been trying to push it backwards. I also tried to hide it, but Aldo saw it and took advantage. Once the fight was called it hurt really badly, but it was okay once the doctors put it back in place.
KZ: I had surgery on my shoulder, otherwise it would have been recurring. Also, I had surgery for a fractured orbital bone. I'll probably be back in the gym in ten months. With the surgery and the rehab, it shouldn't be a problem.
10 months on the sidelines is an eternity in combat sports. In that time the landscape of the featherweight division could be almost unrecognizable. That's also assuming that Jung returns to form immediately and doesn't have any sort of ring rust.
Talk about an awful injury.