Jose Aldo is taking his next challenge seriously, despite entering his UFC 163 clash with Chan Sung Jung as a 7-1 favorite to retain his featherweight title.
Though “The Korean Zombie” was only offered his shot at Aldo after original challenger Anthony Pettis pulled out with an injury, the champion believes that Jung will nevertheless prove to be a worthy opponent when the two collide live on pay-per-view from the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“[Jung] deserves to be here,” Aldo said during a recent media conference call to promote UFC 163. “He has shown he deserves to be contender. Everyone wants to fight for title, but right now, he deserves it.”
Aldo, 26, has not lost in nearly eight years, capturing the World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight crown in 2009 before becoming the UFC’s first 145-pound king in 2011. “Scarface” has defended his UFC championship four times thus far, besting Mark Hominick, Kenny Florian, Chad Mendes and former lightweight king Frankie Edgar.
However, even as Aldo has dominated his featherweight peers, rumors have long circulated about a move to lightweight. Though Aldo has previously acknowledged a move to 155 pounds will likely come at some point, he is nevertheless currently focused on the task at hand.
“I want to take it one step at a time and focus on my fight with ‘The Korean Zombie,’ said Aldo. “We’ll see what happens from there, whether I make a move or stay at my weight class. I can’t try to take too big of a step. I have to focus on my next opponent before I make a decision. I respect my opponent, and I can’t overlook him.”