You gotta love how the UFC continues to promote Chan Sung Jung’s awesome nickname above his actual name for every event he headlines, to the point that the casual fan probably couldn’t tell you who Jung was without first being informed that he was in fact “The Korean Zombie.” Who knows, maybe the UFC is hoping to reel in some last second buys from drunk shut-ins who thought they were ordering a Syfy movie On Demand — it wouldn’t be the first time that the two entities combined forces. If only Wanderlei Silva was a featherweight, we would all be talking about how Axe Murderer vs. Korean Zombie made DinoCroc vs. Supergator look like Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus* around the water cooler on Monday.
I apparently cannot stop rambling today, so let’s wrap things up here. Starting at 3 p.m. EST, the weigh-ins for UFC 163 will be going down from the HSBC arena. We will be hosting a viewing party of said weigh-ins, complete with popcorn (BLAST-O-BUTTER, obvs.), footy pajamas and your mom. Will Jose Aldo triumphantly sprint into the crowd after making weight? Will Phil Davis or Lyoto Machida do anything to convince us that their fight won’t suck? Tune in and find out!
And with each pay-per-view comes the best damn gambling advice you will find on the Internet (YOU SHUT YOUR WHORE MOUTH), so join us as we break down some of the undercard as well as all of the main card bouts for UFC 163. All odds courtesy of BestFightOdds.
In lieu of Demetrious Johnson’s performance last week, -400 for Ian McCall to beat Santos is parlay bound. Santos had trouble getting out of the gate in his UFC debut and will surely put up a stronger performance, but “Uncle Creepy” has fought 6 rounds (and even won a few!) with the champion in the division. There is always a possibility of the hometown judging playing the culprit or Ian having a mental breakdown whilst reflecting on his life as of late, but if McCall loses here, it will almost be worth losing the bet to see what happens next with him. McCall to win.
Unlike some weight-classes we won’t mention, the UFC featherweight division is currently loaded with dangerous contenders, any of whom could be a serious title threat in the future. At UFC 163 (August 3rd, Rio de Janeiro), divisional ruler Jose Aldo defends his belt against fan-favorite “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung, and as long as an immediate rematch isn’t booked, there will be a feeding frenzy of 145-pounders trying to make their case as the true #1 contender. So who’s worthiest of the next title shot? Let’s put aside the phony UFC rankings and business-driven matchmaking and break down where each featherweight contender really stands in the pecking order.
Lamas is the obvious frontrunner to be next in line but why is he being overlooked? The fact that Jung got the title shot over Lamas after their UFC 162 bout was canceled raised a few eyebrows in itself. Lamas, who hasn’t lost in over a year and a half, has blazed through his opposition in the UFC including men on this very list, and despite demolishing a highly-regarded prospect in Erik Koch back in January, his immediate future is unknown. Lamas has a devastating striking game — including some flashy and dangerous kicks — which gives him the ability to end a fight at any moment. He also has a quality wrestling pedigree, alongside a brown belt in jiu-jitsu, and his ground and pound is murderous; woe to anyone in the division who finds himself on the bottom of Lamas’s elbows and power strikes.
It’s relatively strange that Lamas was skipped in line for a title shot but maybe the UFC feels Aldo’s competition should come with a familiar face. Jung is no slouch, finishing all three opponents thus far in his UFC career, but Lamas also has an equally impressive track record in the company – undefeated in four bouts with previous stoppages over Cub Swanson, Matt Grice. The aforementioned brutalizing of Erik Koch was a major reason to include him in the mix, as Koch was a highly-touted prospect who was already paving his way to a title shot before he met “The Bully.” With Conor McGregor and Cub Swanson angling for fights with the Chicago-born fighter, his next move is up in the air, but maybe he’ll remain quiet until August 3rd to see how everything pans out.
After trading leather with Garcia for the majority of the first two rounds, Jung begins to step on the gas, landing a flying knee to Garcia’s grill and pouncing when Bad Boy slips to the mat. From there, it’s nasty elbows from the top, a scramble for back control, and the first “twister” submission in UFC history — with just one second remaining in the round.
Are Chris Weidman‘s chances for an upset as good as everybody seems to think they are? Is Tim Kennedy better at talking than he is at fighting? Does UFC 162 feature the most stacked Facebook prelims in the history of curtain-jerking? And Dave Herman‘s getting fired, right? Read on as CagePotato founding editor Ben Goldstein and staff writer Jared Jones debate these topics — and so much more — and be sure to come back tomorrow night for our “Silva vs. Weidman” liveblog, beginning with the FX prelims at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.
Chris Weidman has become the fashionable pick for an upset against Anderson Silva. You don’t actually believe he’ll pull it off, do you? I mean, you’re not a moron, right?
JJ: Now,I may be a moron, but there is one thing I am not, sir, and that, sir, is a moron.
If we were to have this debate immediately after Weidman had finished knocking Mark Munoz into an ice cream cake-induced depression, I would have told you that Anderson Silva was a dead man walking. “Weidman brings the kind of grappling prowess that, like Chael P. Sonnen before him, will all but completely suffocate Andy’s offense,” I would say whilst smoking a corncob pipe and farting into a wine glass, “And his striking, while clearly not on Silva’s level, has improved enough to keep the soon-to-be former champ hesitant in those rare moments when he won’t be fighting off his back.” I would have mocked you for daring to claim otherwise, then had security escort you out of my chalet bungalow when you inevitably lost your cool like a common miscreant.
BG: I feel like this wave of Weidman-support isn’t so much based on realistic analysis of the matchup, so much as fans’ natural desire to see some change after seven years of having the same champion dominating the competition, and other UFC fighters’ totally understandable self-interest in having that dominant champion go away for a while. It’s wishful thinking, basically.
The good news is, Weidman has a long career still ahead of him. Three years from now, Anderson Silva might be retired, and Chris Weidman will still be beating up top contenders. He’ll have his moment. Saturday night will not be that moment.
Tim Kennedy seems to talk a lot for a guy without many significant wins. Will Roger Gracie silence him for once, or will Kennedy finally live up to his own hype?
Pettis met with a UFC-approved doctor in Las Vegas who informed him that his torn meniscus injury will require him to sit out for six weeks, UFC president Dana White confirmed the news to MMAFighting.com after ESPN.com first reported it. Pettis originally believed he would return to full-strength in half that time.
The good news for Pettis is that he does not require surgery to fix his injured knee.
So that’s the bad news. The good news is, Pettis has already been replaced by a title-challenger who’s actually earned a crack at the 145-pound belt: Chan Sung Jung, better known to us Westerners as “The Korean Zombie.” Jung was originally scheduled to face Ricardo Lamas in a likely #1 contender bout at UFC 162 next month, but has now been fast-tracked to a title fight in order to rescue the UFC 163 main event.
“TKZ” is 3-0 in the UFC, with incredible stoppage victories against Leonard Garcia (via twister submission), Mark Hominick (via seven-second KO), and Dustin Poirier (via d’arce choke, in a Fight of the Year candidate last May).
So who’s your pick in Aldo vs. Zombie? And is this a more interesting matchup to you than Aldo vs. Pettis?
(Also temporary? Pettis’ time as a Cake Boss Intern.)
It is no understatement to say that the upcoming featherweight title fight between Anthony Pettis and Jose Aldo has divided, confused, and outright angered many fans of the sport. It’s a fight that is all but guaranteed to wind up on your best-of-the-year list, sure, but it’s also Pettis’ first fight at featherweight, as well as Aldo’s second straight title defense against a guy who built his reputation in an entirely different weight class. It’s at this point that we’d normally reference Chael Sonnen vs. Jon Jones, the baffling randomness at which title shots are being handed out, the fragility of human life, etc. But we’re tired, you guys. Damn tired…*cries into shot glass* *drinks own tears*
And now, adding to the confusion is none other than Pettis himself, who recently stated in an interview with The NY Post that his drop to featherweight “isn’t permanent.” Uh….the fuck?
A lot of things led to my cutting down to 145. I was tired of waiting for a 155 pound title shot.
It’s not a permanent weight cut (to featherweight). But a striker like myself and Aldo, it doesn’t really matter what weight class it happens at. It’s going to be fireworks either way.
In either case, it is being passed around that both an event and location have been named for the upcoming “superfight,” which is apparently what we’re calling it now: UFC 163, at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Because of course Brazil.
No other fights have been announced for the event, but it might interest you to know that Aldo is currently resting at a very modest -155 favorite over Pettis at 5Dimes. So, do whatever you want with that bit of info.
“Who deserves a chance in the first place, is Ricardo Lamas, because he has beaten Erik Koch, who was the next contender. He earned the chance after the victory,” said Aldo in an interview with TATAME. “Cub Swanson is another too. They are athletes in the division, struggling for a long time for a shot at the belt, which never arrives according to opponents the UFC is scheduling. If the UFC wants a superfight, I do not see any problem. I fight whoever, but the belt has to be against Lamas or Swanson.”
“They created a ranking that is not serving for anything, because they’re pulling people from other divisions. This is only happening on my weight, I see it nowhere else,” Aldo continued, pointing to the UFC’s recent decision to create an official system of sorting their fighters out. “It is an injustice to others.”