Aldo vs. Korean Zombie: What's Next for Fighters in the Aftermath of UFC 163?
It failed to live up to the hype.
Aldo scored a TKO victory over Chan Sung Jung in the fourth round to retain his championship. Both men sustained serious injuries in a bout that was pegged to last longer.
Jung appeared to lose the first three rounds but managed to keep things close. That all came to a screeching halt in the fourth round as the Korean Zombie threw his shoulder out of socket while throwing a punch. Aldo pounced at the opportunity, and that's all she wrote.
There are many questions surrounding both men in the aftermath of the disappointing bout. What's next for Aldo after continuing his dominant reign? Where does Jung go after losing in such a fashion?
Read on to find out.
The Road Back for Jung
It's always tough to lose, but for Jung going down after essentially injuring himself is a tough pill to swallow. Credit Aldo for taking advantage, but for Jung it's something he won't forget.
The good news is that the 26-year-old still has plenty of sway within the division and should still be able to fetch a match against top talent.
The best way for Jung to fully get back on his feet and quickly put himself back into contender status is to find a ranked or big-name opponent to put down.
Nik Lentz is the first name that comes to mind within the division. He's red hot, on a three-fight win streak and ranked No. 9.
Perhaps a rematch with Dustin Poirier could be in the cards as well. It'd be a bit of a rare feat to see a rematch this quickly, but it would help both men, who are already ranked in the division, and could help the division itself overall.
Either of those options will work for Jung. He needs to spend some time collecting his bearings and then get back on the fight path against a credible, ranked opponent. It's really the only way for him to rebound.
Life at the Top for Aldo
What should Aldo do next?
Aldo has a couple options in front of him now that he has once again proved to be the best featherweight fighter.
It's simple really: Aldo can either bore us to death or do something exciting.
The boring is obvious. Aldo can schedule a rematch with several fighters from the division he has already defeated in the past. He could take on Cub Swanson, but Aldo already beat the tar out of him back in 2009 at WEC 49.
Aldo could wait and take on the winner of Chad Mendes vs. Clay Guida at UFC 164, but the former had his shot, and the latter doesn't deserve one just yet. Frankie Edgar is out there looking for a fight as well, but Aldo handled that business in stride back at UFC 156.
Ricardo "The Bully" Lamas is arguably the biggest threat to Aldo, but he's not a popular name the UFC could market properly. Even being the biggest threat to Aldo at this point does not mean much with the roll he has been on as of late.
Enough with the boring. Let's get to the good stuff.
Aldo could make a move that has seemingly been in the works for a while and make the jump to the lightweight division.
If he chooses to do so, he would easily be the No. 1 contender and face the winner of Ben Henderson vs. Anthony Pettis at UFC 164.
Aldo has hinted in the past that he wants to take a chance and move up a division. He admitted in the UFC 163 post-fight conference with the media that he'll ultimately leave the decision up to his bosses.
For UFC fans the best move would be to see Aldo move up or take on Lamas, who has more than earned a title shot at this point. What's best for the fans, especially the fans in the know, may not be best for the brand as a whole.
Stay tuned for Aldo's decision. He's either choosing a simple rematch or aiming for something bigger.
Follow me on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling
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