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  • 08-03-2013, 07:40 AM
    I'm really excited for this fight. Can't come up with plausible scenario for the Zombie winning, but he won't be outclassed. Zombie can compete anywhere the fight goes and I love that. I won't be shocked if he wins and wouldn't mind seeing it, but these are two of my favorites. Usually that gets my stomach turning, but this time it's just lots of anticipation.
  • 08-02-2013, 03:34 PM
    In a nation of legends, UFC 163's Jose Aldo is the people's champion

    "You get more experienced with fighting, and you get more experienced with everything else that goes with it, too," Aldo told USA TODAY Sports and ( through a translator. "I'm OK with it. Just go in there and do my job. I feel like that makes me more comfortable with everything."

    In his native Brazil, Aldo is a superstar, plain and simple. But in a country that has produced some of the most recognizable figures in all of MMA — including Junior dos Santos, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Wanderlei Silva and Anderson Silva — there is something different about Aldo's position in the spotlight. He's the people's champion, as well.

    "I feel like they relate to my life story, actually," Aldo said. "They feel like I'm one of them, like I came from nowhere and I became the champion. I believe they feel like it's a mirror and that they see themselves in me."

    Like many in Brazil, Aldo was raised in humble surroundings. As a teenager, he relocated from Manaus to Rio de Janeiro, reluctantly giving up on his dream of playing professional soccer in order to train MMA.

    He turned pro in 2004, losing once in 23 career contests, and became the UFC's first, and so far only, 145-pound champion.

    Aldo (22-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) puts his belt on the line Saturday against "The Korean Zombie," Chan Sung Jung (13-3 MMA, 3-0 UFC), in the main event of UFC 163 at Rio de Janeiro's HSBC Arena (pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET). But in the days before his fight, Aldo is asked as much about Brazilian policy as he is about his opponent.

    Rising ticket prices for soccer matches in the country? Aldo thinks they should be lowered to allow common people to enjoy the sport along with the elite. Protesters taking to the street to push for improvements in education and medical care? Aldo believes it's a positive move, as long as the statements are made in a peaceful fashion.

    It's an intriguing balance for the man who sits at No. 4 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/ pound-for-pound MMA rankings.

    With more success comes more responsibility and increased expectations. It's a pressure that has caused more than one former UFC champion to admit there was a sense of relief after finally losing the title. But Aldo welcomes the challenge.

    "I want to be the best," Aldo said. "That's the goal. That's what feeds me, what drives me and makes me want to keep practicing. But it's just as important for me to always remain connected to the people. This is not just me but also my team and my trainers.

    "Hopefully, we'll never stop being grounded people."
  • 08-02-2013, 03:58 AM
    UFC 163 preview: 20 pre-fight facts for Aldo vs. Jung in Rio de Janeiro

    JOSE ALDO, UFC featherweight champion

    Aldo has scored the most knockdowns in UFC/WEC featherweight history (seven). He's aldo has never been knocked down himself in his UFC/WEC career.
    Aldo has successfully defended 61 of 66 takedown attempts (92.4 percent) in his UFC/WEC career, which is the best takedown defense percentage in UFC/WEC featherweight history. Among UFC/WEC fighters with at least five fights and 20 opponent attempts, Aldo's takedown defense percentage is third all time behind Renan Barao and Gleison Tibau.
    Aldo has landed 106 of 124 leg kick attempts (85.5 percent) in his UFC/WEC career, which equals the sixth highest accuracy rate all time among fighters with more than 100 leg-kick attempts.

    CHAN SUNG JUNG, top featherweight contender

    Jung is the first South Korean fighter in UFC history to compete for a championship. With a win, "The Korean Zombie" can become the first Asian-born fighter in UFC history to win a world title. Previous Asian title challengers are 0-5-1.
    Jung is one of only three featherweights in UFC/WEC history to win "Knockout of the Night," "Submission of the Night," and "Fight of the Night" honors. The others are former WEC champs Urijah Faber and Mike Brown.

    LYOTO MACHIDA, light heavyweight contender

    Machida returns to his home country to compete for the first time since April 2006. "The Dragon" has only fought two of his 22 professional fights in Brazil.
    With nine minutes and 30 seconds of fighting, Machida will pass Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin for the third most total fight time for a light heavyweight in UFC history.
    Machida's 82.3 percent takedown defense average is the best in UFC light heavyweight history (with a minimum of five fights and 20 opponent attempts). His opponent, Phil Davis, has completed at least one takedown against seven of the eight opponents he has faced in his UFC career.
    Machida's 11 knockdowns landed are the second most in light-heavyweight history behind Chuck Liddell (14) and tied for fourth in UFC history.

    PHIL DAVIS, light heavyweight contender

    Davis wills look to become just the second American, after Nik Lentz, to win two UFC fights in Brazil. "Mr. Wonderful" currently is the only fighter in UFC history to submit a Brazilian fighter in his home country.
    Davis owns a significant strike defense percentage of 74.2 percent, the best in light-heavyweight history and fourth best all time. The 28-year-old has yet to be knocked down in his 13-fight career.


    Cezar Ferreira competes for the first time since winning the inaugural season of "The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil" at UFC 147 in June 2012.
    Thales Leites returns to the UFC after being released in August 2009. The 32-year-old has gone 6-1 since with wins over UFC veterans Matt Horwich, Jeremy Horn, Tor Troeng, Jesse Taylor and Dean Lister.


    The 14 preliminary-card fighters have a combined UFC record of 9-16-1.
    Of a combined 23 professional victories, Vinny Magalhaes and Anthony Perosh have won all 23 fights by knockout or submission. Neither man has ever won an MMA fight by decision.
    Anthony Perosh, 41, is the second oldest fighter on the UFC roster behind Dan Henderson.
    Ian McCall is one of two fighters in the Top 10 of the latest USA TODAY Sports/ MMA rankings with at least two UFC fights and no victories in the organization. Lightweight Pat Healy is the other. McCall is ranked No. 4 at flyweight while Healy is the current No. 9 lightweight.
    Rani Yahya is just one of two fighters in UFC history to earn a north-south-choke submission. The other is Jeff Monson. Yahya has two such submissions in his UFC/WEC career.
    Yahya has earned 15 of his 18 professional wins by submission, with 12 in the first round. Yahya will compete in his home country Brazil for the first time since October 2004 – a span of nearly nine years.
    Josh Clopton returns to competition after a 609-day layoff. The 32-year-old has not registered an official MMA win since Nov. 28, 2009.
  • 07-27-2013, 02:35 AM
    i feel like whenever the conversation of someone going up for a super fight or weight class change they always lose.
  • 07-27-2013, 01:57 AM
    I'm glad to hear it, Zombies game has grown leaps and bounds. This guy could become the first Asian to win a title in the UFC! I like Aldo, but I'm rooting for the Zombie! WAR Zombie!!!!
  • 07-27-2013, 01:24 AM

    Jose Aldo not overlooking ‘Korean Zombie,’ puts potential move to lightweight on ice

    Overlooking a dangerous foe such as "The Korean Zombie" wouldn't be the smartest thing to do, according to Aldo, who wants to takes things one step at a time as he recently declared during this week's UFC 163 media conference call.

    His words:

    "One step at a time. I want to focus on my fight against the 'Korean Zombie' and then we'll worry about a potential lightweight move. I don't want to take too big of a step. I respect my opponent and can't overlook him."

    Should Aldo defeat Jung, it will mark his fifth consecutive title defense at 145 pounds, so a move up to lightweight could present new and perhaps bigger challenges.

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