Jose Aldo pounced on an injured Chun Sung Jung at UFC 163. | Photo: Gleidson Venga/Sherdog.com
It was not the finish Jose Aldo envisioned, but he accepted it nonetheless.
A gruesome shoulder injury brought a premature end to Chan Sung Jung’s title bid at 145 pounds, as Aldo buried the stricken challenger with punches, secured the stoppage and retained his Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight crown in the UFC 163 headliner on Saturday at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Referee Herb Dean called a halt to the bout 2:00 into round four, with Jung (13-4, 3-1 UFC) clearly in distress and unable to continue.
Aldo (23-1, 5-0 UFC) was effective in spurts, but he was not the dominant force to which the MMA world has grown accustomed. He kept what is arguably his most effective weapon -- the leg kick -- in its holster, throwing only one of them in the match. Instead, Aldo turned to his wrestling chops, delivering takedowns in each of the first three rounds. The 26-year-old Brazilian did his best work in round two, where he scored with an exquisite multi-punch combination to the body and head and mixed in a devastating jab to go along with the aforementioned takedown.
During an exchange early in round four, Jung appeared to separate his right shoulder while throwing a punch. The South Korean retreated in visible pain, with Aldo in hot pursuit. The champion drove him to the ground with punches and kicks, polishing off another victory at the base of the fence.
“Yes I did see [his shoulder separate],” Aldo said, “so I kicked him and tried to put him down to give him some ground-and-pound.”
The Nova Uniao ace has now won 16 consecutive bouts.
“I really don’t know [who is the new No. 1 contender],” Aldo said. “I just work for UFC, and [I will fight] whoever comes.”
Davis Takes Controversial Decision
In the co-main event, Alliance MMA’s Phil Davis leaned on aggression, kicks, volume punches and takedowns late in each round to procure a controversial unanimous decision over former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida. All three judges scored it 29-28 for Davis (12-1, 8-1 UFC).
“I’ve been a fan of [Machida’s] since I started fighting,” Davis said. “Please don’t boo. This man is a champion. The late takedowns definitely helped. It’s always my strategy to get takedowns and work all the time.”
Machida (19-4, 11-4 UFC) countered beautifully throughout the 15-minute clash and, outside of single takedowns in rounds one and two, shut down the wrestling attack of the four-time NCAA All-American and 2008 national champion. “The Dragon” appeared to land most of the significant strikes in the bout, including a crackling counter left hand in the second round that got Davis’ attention. Machida turned away all of “Mr. Wonderful’s” takedown attempts in round three.
“I really don’t know what they are judging,” Machida said. “Just listen to the crowd. They will tell you what happened. [My corner] told me to go in hard. That’s what I tried to do. I don’t know what happened.”
Ferreira Guillotine Taps Santos
“The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” Season 1 winner Cezar Ferreira submitted Tata Fight Team export Thiago Santos with a first-round guillotine choke in a middleweight showcase. A replacement for the injured Clint Hester, Santos (8-2, 0-1 UFC) surrendered 47 seconds into round one.
Ferreira (6-2, 2-0 UFC) wasted no time getting down to business. He staggered Santos with a clubbing left hook during their opening exchange and pursued the finish. Santos dove for a desperate takedown, only to find himself trapped in an arm-in guillotine choke. Soon after, he asked out of the match.
“I saw he had his guard down,” Ferreira said, “and I decided to use that opportunity and then finish him with a guillotine.”
Leites Dominant in Return
Takedowns, ground-and-pound and a grueling clinch game carried Nova Uniao’s Thales Leites to a one-sided unanimous decision over former British Association of Mixed Martial Arts champion Tom Watson in a featured middleweight scrap. All three cageside judges scored it 30-27 for Leites (21-4, 6-3 UFC), who had not competed inside the Octagon since August 2009.
“I want to say to all the world that I’m back in the UFC where I belong,” he said. “I spent four years away from this cage. I had some problems; I had surgery in both knees. Now, I couldn’t be better.”
Watson (16-6, 1-2 UFC) would probably agree. Leites backed up the Brit with straight punches and struck for takedowns in all three rounds, bloodying him with ground-and-pound during a relentless pursuit of submissions. The 32-year-old Brazilian put the finishing touches on the victory in the third round, where he opened a nasty gash near Watson’s right eye with a left hook.
Overweight Lineker Stops Tome
Former Jungle Fight champion John Lineker took out Renovacao Fight Team’s Jose Maria Tome with second-round ground-and-pound in a flyweight showcase. Lineker (22-6, 3-2 UFC), who failed to make weight for the match, sealed the deal 63 seconds into round two.
Tome (33-4, 0-1 UFC) had his chance. He staggered Lineker with a perfectly timed and placed spinning back fist roughly two minutes into the bout. Tome, who served as a replacement for the injured Phil Harris, swarmed for the finish but failed to secure it, and Lineker slowly reestablished his foothold.
In the second round, Lineker closed the distance and let his powerful hands do the rest. Tome appeared to suffer a leg injury after throwing a kick and collapsed to the mat. Lineker pounced and put away his countryman with a series of unanswered punches. The defeat halted Tome’s 12-fight winning streak.
“I got a little lost when he [hit me], but I was obviously able to recover,” Lineker said. “Then I went into my game, which is striking.”
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