A ton of people were shocked last night when UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo abandoned his bread-and-butter of powerful leg kicks early on against Chan Sung Jung in the main event of UFC 163. After the fight, Aldo was visibly in pain and rumors swirled that he had broken his foot early on in the bout.
Today, that news has been confirmed, and it could leave Aldo on the shelf for the remainder of 2013. His trainer Andre Pederneiras told MMA Fighting:
“He broke his foot two minutes into the fight. The first kick he threw landed on Jung’s knee. We are talking to the UFC doctor, Marcio Tannure, but he’ll probably take a medical suspension for the next two or three months. It’s up to the doctors now."
That doesn’t sound like too positive of a sentiment from Pederneiras. The headlining bout last night was marred by injuries to both fighters, as the challenger Jung gruesomely threw out his shoulder in the fourth round, ultimately resulting in a TKO stoppage for Aldo.
Although Aldo hinted that he would love to make his long-rumored move up to 155 lbs. after the fight last night, Dana White, speaking to Yahoo!, quickly nixed those plans for the time being, noting that Aldo will stay put for the time being:
"I think he stays at 145. He's a featherweight."
Now that return to featherweight will have to wait until sometime next year for the accomplished champion. That may not end up being as bad as it sounds, as the UFC 145 lb. division has a ton of talent towards the top, and some time without Aldo could lead to a clear-cut title challenger emerging.
I think that the fights to make right now in Aldo’s stead are Cub Swanson vs. Ricardo Lamas and Frankie Edgar vs. the winner of Chad Mendes/Clay Guida at UFC 164. Featherweight is absolutely stacked right now and with so many challengers clamoring for a shot at the belt, they will definitely have to fight it out in some shape or form.
It may not have been Aldo’s best performance last night, but he’s beaten most of the top contenders at 145. Ricardo Lamas hasn’t faced that fate just yet, and Edgar gave Aldo a run for his money last February. IT’s hard to deny that the streaking Swanson isn’t a different fighter than the one he was when he viciously KO’ed by Aldo back in the WEC.
The champ will need time to heal, but when he returns, he’ll face a truly elite and worthy title challenger.