The UFC invades Rio de Janeiro once again, as UFC 163 looks to showcase a bevy of Brazilian talent.
Headlining the card will be one of those talented Brazilians, Jose Aldo. The featherweight champion is among the pound-for-pound best fighters in the world but also represents the fighter with the most to lose on Saturday night.
It wouldn't be the case had Aldo faced his original opponent, Anthony Pettis. The innovative striker from Milwaukee was considered to be on a level playing field with the champion in terms of striking. An injury, however, forced Pettis off the card.
Now Aldo will face Chan Sung Jung, better known as "The Korean Zombie." Aldo is now put in a no-win situation.
Many fans will argue that Jung shouldn't even be in the title match, opting for the much more qualified Ricardo Lamas. Facing an opponent that arguably shouldn't even be in the contest, Aldo will gain virtually nothing from defeating "The Korean Zombie."
There's also the fact that Jung is tailor-made to make Aldo look good.
Jung's attacking, forward-moving style fits directly into what Aldo wants to do. Normally cautious to begin a fight, Aldo will look to counter his opponents. Jung's offense plays directly into that countering style. Add in the fact Jung will likely attack straight forward and will give Aldo plenty of openings to land counter punches or deliver those vicious leg kicks we've become accustomed to.
This is the equivalent to facing The Undertaker at Wrestlemania; we know who's going to win.
Of course MMA isn't scripted (unless you're talking about UFC 162), and anything can happen. Aldo could get dropped by a huge punch/kick from Jung, or he could wilt under the onslaught that "The Korean Zombie" brings in each fight. Heck, Jung may even pull off another unique submission and get a win by tapout.
There are so many variables in a MMA match that we shouldn't go into a contest already pegging a guy as a guaranteed winner. But that's exactly the position the UFC champion finds himself in at UFC 163. Anything less than a decisive victory will bring with it swarms of criticism and doubts. It will only amplify should Jung pull off the monumental upset.
Aldo and his team have to be hoping for a highlight reel finish as that's the only way Aldo emerges from the UFC 163 main event as a true winner.