Jose Aldo “Sorry” UFC 163 Title Defence “Ended That Way”, Admits Slowing Down to Minimize Risk
By Kelsey Mowatt
Although Jose Aldo’s latest stoppage win came as a result of a shoulder injury to Chan Sung Jung, prior to the unfortunate incident, the featherweight champion’s impressive reign didn’t appear to be in trouble. Despite his efforts, “The Korean Zombie” had difficulties getting to Aldo, who outscored the challenger with strikes and takedowns. It was somewhat of a reserved performance for Aldo, who relayed afterwards, he wasn’t about to risk his championship run with a reckless attack. It’s the kind of approach that seemingly more and more fans are taking issue with, even if its one which from a strategic standpoint, makes sense.
“I knew I was winning the first three rounds,” Aldo said during the post UFC 163 FUEL TV show. “I slowed down so I wouldn’t expose myself. I hold the belt right now, and people always think that I get tired, but my cardio is great.”
UFC commentator and fighter Michael Bisping voiced a similar analysis during the post fight program.
“Aldo won the fight, and he was winning the fight the whole time. I don’t think this was Aldo’s best performance, but he won. I think he was pacing himself a little more tonight.”
Another reason Aldo didn’t launch as many attacks as he might normally, is because he revealed afterwards that he hurt his foot in the bout. According to the 26 year-old, the injury occurred early in the fight after he landed a kick to Jung’s knee. Although it remains to be seen if Aldo’s foot is indeed broken, as he suspects it might be, it explains why the champ didn’t try to dismantle Jung with his feared leg kicks.
Since the fight, there have been some criticisms launched online and via Twitter, which argues Aldo should not have jumped on Jung, after the fighter dislocated his shoulder. Considering what was at stake, it likely would have been more of a surprise if Aldo had stepped back and given Jung a moment to recover. This is assuming of course, that the fighter–who appeared to be in agony after the bout–would have been able to continue to begin with.
“I told his coaches I was sorry it ended that way,” said Aldo, who has won 16 straight fights now. “He was getting better in the fight and it wasn’t the best way to finish, but I won the fight.”
Just as Aldo had no reservations admitting he took his foot off the gas pedal somewhat to reduce his exposure, it’s interesting to hear the champ also admit that Jung was starting to come on. Despite his growing legacy, and UFC ranking as the promotion’s fourth best pound-for-pound fighter, Aldo continues to offer candid and humble observations.
Now, of course, the MMA world will turn to who’s next for Aldo. Although top contenders like Ricardo Lamas and Cub Swanson await in the featherweight division, fans and pundits continue to wonder whether Aldo might move to lightweight.
“I don’t know,” said Aldo, when asked who me might meet next and whether it could be at lightweight. “That’s up to Joe Silva, but I would move up to 155.”
Whether the UFC has decided it’s time for Aldo to leave 145 remains to be seen, but it doesn’t appear like the time is right just yet.