UFC: Can Dustin Poirier, Chan Sung Jung Give Jose Aldo a Challenge?
When Dustin "The Diamond" Poirier and Chan Sung "The Korean Zombie" Jung meet in the main event of UFC on Fuel TV 3, the two 145-pound warriors will fight for the right to be the next No. 1 contender to current champion Jose Aldo.
Since coming to the UFC, Jung has put on two brilliant performances, submitting Leonard Garcia with a twister in May 2011, a move that eventually earned him Submission of the Year honors. He followed that up by knocking out former No. 1 contender Mark Hominick in seven seconds at UFC 140 in December 2011.
Poirier is also undefeated since coming over from the WEC. He knocked off Josh Grispi and Jason Young each by decision in January and June of 2011, respectively. He followed those two performances by choking out Pablo Garza in November 2011 and tapping out Max Holloway in February 2012 to run his UFC record to 4-0.
Do either of these men, though, have a chance of knocking Aldo off the top of the 145-pound pedestal?
Let's look at Jung. He lost a razor-thin split decision to Leonard Garcia, then was knocked out by George Roop, who's lost three of four, then beat Garcia, who's also lost three out of four, then bested Hominick. Bottom line? Jung is too much of a wild card to get a great read on. He took 15 minutes of punishment from a hard-hitting guy like Garcia, then gets knocked out cold by an off-balance kick from a guy who had knocked out one person in his previous 17 fights. He then submits Garcia, a guy who had only been submitted once in 22 previous fights, then follows that up by knocking out Hominick, who had only lost by KO twice in his previous 29 fights.
For all the hype over Jung, he's still 2-2 his last four fights and a plus-270 betting line favorite.
Is Jose Aldo "unbeatable" at featherweight?
Next, there's Poirier. Since losing to lightweight Danny Castillo by decision back in August 2010, Poirier has won five straight. He knocked out Zach Micklewright in 53 seconds before beginning his four-fight UFC win streak, looking better each fight. His fight with Holloway at UFC 143 was supposed to be with Erik Koch, before Koch pulled out with an injury. He's now fighting for the featherweight championship in July against Aldo.
In just three years as a professional, Poirier has positioned himself one win away for fighting for the biggest prize in mixed martial arts and enters the fight as a current minus-350 betting line favorite.
Bottom line: Poirier should beat Jung and earn the title shot, but Aldo seems to be too much of a challenge for anybody at 145 right now. Between the WEC and UFC, he's been in six title fights, and three of them have ended in less than two rounds. He survived exhaustion against Mark Hominick at UFC 129 in April 2011, and overwhelmed Urijah Faber while still in the WEC—and did the same to Kenny Florian in the UFC last October.
Champions have never been more dominant, and like Georges St.-Pierre, Anderson Silva and Jon Jones, Aldo may very soon be called upon to move up in weight class and take on the best at 155 pounds.
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