Note: This is a story I wrote for Fansided.
This past weekend MMA fans were dealt sad news as UFC President Dana White announced that Anthony “Showtime” Pettis (16-2) had pulled out his scheduled title match with Jose Aldo (22-1) at UFC 163, Aug. 3. Aldo will defend his UFC Featherweight championship against the “Korean Zombie” Chan Shun Jung (13-3) at the event.
Although many were upset by Pettis’ injury, there was not a lot of outcry that Jung was the one getting the chance to face Aldo. One of the things that makes the UFC’s 145-pound division different from other weight classes, is that there are three to four different fighters who would be worthy to face and the Korean Zombie is more than worthy for the opportunity.
Still, fans should not be worried as Aldo vs. Jung has the makings to be a 2013 Fight of the Year candidate. The Korean Zombie’s last three bouts have been breathtaking, in their own way.
In his last match the Korean Zombie had a war with Dustin Poirier (13-3) that ended with him scoring a submission win via D’arce choke, early in the fourth round. This match with Poirier not earned Jung both Fight of the Night and Submission of the Night honors, but also won him several 2011 Fight of the Year awards.
Before Poirier, Jung defeated Mark Hominick (20-12) at UFC 140, by knockout in seven seconds. This earned Jung his first Knockout of the Night bonus. Before Hominick, the Korean Zombie finished Leonard Garcia (15-11-1) by submission via twister, the first time any fighter has pulled off that specific submission in UFC history. The twister earned Jung his first Submission of the Night bonus.
And those are just the accolades Jung has earned in the octagon. Fans and critics shouldn’t forget his 2010 Fight of the Year performance against Garcia, nor should they scoff at the victories he racked up in Korea and Japan.
As for the fight itself, Jung brings more than enough to the table against the featherweight champion.
Both fighters love to get in there and brawl with their opponents, which means that most of this bout could standing, which will please fans who love to see two fighters scrap in the center of the octagon. While Aldo has made a career of putting guys on the canvas, Jung has a strong chin and may not be afraid to trade leather.
If this fight goes to the ground, the Korean Zombie’s grappling skills may be put to the test against Aldo, who has a strong Brazilian jiu-jitsu background, but has rarely used it.
If there is one aspect of this fight where Aldo will have the advantage, is that he will have the crowd behind him as he steps into the cage. If the Korean Zombie doesn’t want to be intimidated, he may want to employ the mindset Aldo had when he fought Urijah Faber (28-6) back in Sacramento, Calif at WEC 48.
“I don’t care if the people want to boo me or talk trash to me. I can’t understand what they’re saying anyways.”