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Uncaged: Jose Aldo set to be hometown hero once again

Brian Kirk previews all of tonight’s action at UFC 163 where Jose Aldo and Chan Sung Jung top the bill.

Image: Eric Jamison/AP/Press Association Images

THE FEATHERWEIGHT TITLE is on the line at UFC 163 as Jose Aldo looks to consolidate his 15-fight winning streak when he takes on Chan Sung Jung in the main event of the evening.

The raucous Brazilian crowd will once again be backing their hometown hero as he looks to repeat the scenes of the last time he fought in Brazil when he ran into the crowd after defeating Chad Mendes in the first round.

Lyoto Machida can expect a similar ovation as he tries to overcome the powerful wrestler Phil Davis while ‘The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil’ season 1 winner Ceazar Ferreira takes on Thiago Santos in the middleweight division.

Southampton’s outspoken brawler Tom Watson represents the only European talent on the main card and he has a great chance to overcome a rusty Thales Leites in their middleweight matchup. John Lineker and Jose Tome complete the main card on the first event to be shown on Setanta Sports.

The Zombie apocalypse

Jose Aldo has long been one of the top five pound-for-pound fighters in the world and although it seems like he has been around forever, he is still only 26-years-old. With 23 professional bouts under his belt you have to go way back to November 2005 to encounter his one and only career loss.

Chan Sung Jung somewhat surprisingly is the man immediately tasked with trying to undo the fabulous run of Aldo even though he has a patchy record of 13-3 (although unbeaten in his 3 UFC fights) and has been out of action for over a year.

The UFC is set on making exciting fights and, as Jung is a firm favourite, it was an easy choice to pick the “Korean Zombie” as Aldo’s opponent as it draws in the casual fan who should know that Jung provides entertainment.

Jung has picked up a submission of the year, two submission of the night bonuses, and a KO of the night cheque in his last three fights so he is a safe bet to provide fireworks, although against Aldo they may not bring about the same outcome as his last few efforts.

Jung’s durability is well-documented but this will be tested to the limit against the always fast and explosive Brazilian. Given his imaginative and innovative submission game, Aldo will look to keep the fight standing and use his speed to gradually wear down the Korean. Expect the unexpected and some brutal back and forth exchanges.

YouTube credit: FlyWinEvolutionsVids

Enter “The Dragon”

For a long time Lyoto Machida was the Rubik’s Cube of the light heavyweight division. Since “Shogun” Rua solved the puzzle at UFC 113, handing Machida his first pro defeat, he has taken his time to get back to his previous dazzling self.

A close split decision win over Dan Henderson last time out will have boosted his confidence no end but in Phil Davis he faces a style that will prompt him to become the problem solver. He will no doubt face a barrage of takedown attempts from “Mr Wonderful” but the elusive Machida will not be easy to take to the mat.

If Davis fails to get Lyoto to the ground, frustration could build which could lead to the slight openings that the Brazilian is so good at finding and pave the way for Davis’ downfall. Machida will score regularly on the way to a strong decision victory.

YouTube credit: vinicius moura

Best of the rest

Tom Watson has a great chance to pick up his first UFC win outside of the UK as he faces Thales Leites. Watson was the BAMMA middleweight champion for a couple of years and although he lost in his first UFC contest he bounced back with a fight of the night performance against Stanislav Nedkov back in February.

Thales Leites returns to the UFC having faced the likes of Anderson Silva in his last stint but has not fought in over a year and was never really more than a mid-level BJJ practitioner. Watson should be the aggressor here and if he catches Leites it could be lights out for the Brazilian.

John Lineker and Jose Tome’s bout could be a dark horse for fight of the night honours as both men have plenty of KOs on their records while Cezar Ferreira is expected to pick up his second UFC win against promotional newcomer Thiago Santos.

Don’t touch that dial… here’s the sport on TV this weekend

About the author:

Brian Kirk

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