Jose Aldo vs. Korean Zombie: Breaking Down the Pivotal Moments
The four-round exchange ended in part because of Chan-Sung Jung's separated shoulder, but Aldo had done enough damage prior to the injury to have won the fight if it went to the judges.
But beyond the self-inflicted separation, both fighters displayed world-class discipline, game planning, versatility and focus.
In culmination with their efforts, here are the pivotal moments from last night's featherweight battle.
If there were ever a moment in time to understand how influential a home crowd can be, it would have been last night in Brazil.
From the very second Chan-Sung Jung stepped out of his locker room and made his way to the cage, he was a marked man. Not only in the eyes of the UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, but by every pair of Brazilian eyes fixated on him cageside.
That sort of scene can rarely be simulated due to the overall magnitude and ferocity of the crowd. Now, it's unknown if the bright lights of a Brazilian Octagon skewed The Korean Zombie in any way, but it surely didn't help.
So even though it wasn't a kick to the thigh or a heavy-handed hook to the sternum, Aldo's national appeal and momentous backing proved vital to his success outside of the U.S. once again.
The Leg Kick
One leg kick rarely takes the cake as a pivotal moment in any fight, unless it's a knockout blow, but when you take into consideration that one of the best leg-attack practitioners in the sport was competing, it takes precedence.
The fact of the matter is that Jose Aldo, the man known for brutalizing thighs and meat-mashing opponents at will, threw one lone leg kick the entire fight.
The kick came in the first round and didn't do much damage at all, but you have to wonder if the champion proved hesitant after seeing what Chan-Sung Jung did to Dustin Poirier every time he wildly threw his limbs.
In any case, punishing or not, one leg from Jose Aldo is most certainly pivotal. Too bad Jung couldn't capitalize on the champ's unwillingness to cash in on his bread and butter.
The Second-Round Slam
In which was one of the biggest moments of the fight, Jose Aldo power slammed The Korean Zombie to the canvas in Round 2.
The champion didn't do too much damage after gaining side control, but Aldo was able to display his ability to attack on the ground.
Remember, Chan-Sung Jung was the one who was supposed to take Aldo down if things got too hairy on the feet, not the other way around.
Now, while he wasn't losing the standup battle one bit, Aldo did what he needed to do to win each and every round. The second round just happened to culminate around a power-enriched takedown.
The Flying Knee Takedown
In a back-and-forth third round, one that featured Chan-Sung Jung finally opening up, Jose Aldo still ended up on top.
With only a few seconds remaining, The Korean Zombie charged Aldo with a nasty flying knee attempt, only to see his efforts shut down when the champion threw him to the ground.
It once again gave the crowd something to cheer for as Aldo narrowly escaped one of his opponent's best offensive attacks of the fight.
For Jung, it allowed him to open up even more for the remainder of the fight and gave him confidence in coming inside on a more versatile striker.
No other moment was more pivotal that Chan-Sung Jung's self-inflicted shoulder separation in the fourth round.
Caused by a over-hand right smashing into the back of Jose Aldo's head, The Korean Zombie saw his title hopes float away as his right shoulder dislocated on contact, creating an unusual situation for both fighters.
Jung was forced to hold his arm up right as he attempted to pop his shoulder back in. Aldo took a second or two to gauge the situation before he pounced on the Korean like a lion on a gazelle.
It was unfortunate to see considering Jung was already coming off shoulder surgery, but these things tend to happen when facing a powerhouse like Aldo.
The finish wasn't one that the champion had envisioned, but an early stoppage against a top contender is a good way to end 2013.
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