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WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber Preview

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WEC on PPV?  That’s what you get this Saturday night.  If you want to watch some of the best bantamweight, featherweight, and lightweight fighters take the cage you better be ready to shell out some dough.  The organization that has regularly put on free fights on Versus has switched over to the pay-per-view format for WEC 48.  Is it worth buying? 

11 fights are scheduled for the event.  5 on the main card, including 2 title fights (lightweight and featherweight).  2 of the pre-lim bouts will be available on Spike TV, Leonard Garcia vs. Chan Sung Jung and Alex Karalexis vs. Anthony Pettis.

The Main Card:

Scott Jorgensen (9-3) vs. Antonio Banuelos (17-5)

Jorgensen is one of the top bantamweight fighters in the world.  He is riding a 3 fight winning streak with his last loss coming to none other than his Saturday night opponent Banuelos.  These two met back at WEC 41 where Banuelos won via split decision.  Look for Jorgensen to exact some revenge.

Anthony Njokuani (12-2) vs. Shane Roller (7-2)

Roller is a tough dude out of Oklahoma.  He lost his first pro fight before ripping off 5 straight wins.  He then found himself in the cage with his toughest opponent to date, Ben Henderson who he lost to via TKO.  Roller bounced back with a pair of wins within the WEC lightweight division and now takes on Njokuani.  Njokuani is also a victim of Henderson as well as Cerrone.  He’s won 3 straight fights by TKO including his last one over Chris Horodecki.  Njokuani has never won by submission. 

Mike Brown (23-5) vs. Manny Gamburyan (10-4)

This could very well be a title fight one day in the bantamweight division.  Brown surprised a lot of fight fans back in November of 2008 when he defeated Urijah Faber to become the WEC’s bantamweight champ.  He proved it was no fluke beating him again 7 months later.  Brown lost his belt this past Nov. to Jose Aldo.  He is an exciting fighter, fun to watch, and loves the submission. 

Manny may have won TUF Season 5 if he didn’t hurt his shoulder in the fight against Nate Diaz.  After going just 2-3 in the UFC, Gamburyan dropped 10 pounds and headed to the WEC, where he has won both of his fights by unanimous decision.  He now gets the biggest test of his career, and a win could very likely equal a title shot. 

Champ Benson Henderson (11-1) vs. Donald Cerrone (11-2) (for lightweight title)

Who knows how much longer this division will be around in the WEC after UFC President Dana White made comments that the lightweights could have the same fate as the welterweights, middleweights, and light heavyweights, that being merge with the UFC.  But as for now, this is an opportunity to enjoy what could be another classic match up. 

Henderson and Cerrone met last October for the interim lightweight championship.  Henderson won the bout via unanimous decision, in what Sherdog proclaimed the Best Match of 2009.  Cerrone is no stranger to Fight of the Night honors either, having earned the distinction 4 times in the WEC. 

Henderson is a well versed submissions specialist with knockout power.  In the recent articles on BostonThrowdown.com revolving around lightweights around the world, you see that Henderson belongs in the conversation as a Top 10 guy.  He’s won 10 straight including wins over Cerrone and former champ Jamie Varner.  A move to the UFC would be great Henderson, who could match up with the likes of Florian, Maynard, Edgar, and Penn. 

Champ Jose Aldo (16-1) vs. Urijah Faber (23-3) (for featherweight title)

The former champ, and face of both the featherweight division and the WEC, Urijah Faber fights in front of his home town Sacramento on Saturday looking to get his belt back, and reclaim his spot on top of the 145 pound class. 

Faber has defeated 3 times in his MMA career.  Once to Tyson Griffin back in 2005, and more recently twice to Mike Brown.  In the 2nd loss to Brown, Faber fought the majority of the fight with a broken hand and dislocated thumb, but still went all 5 rounds.  He’s an exciting fighter who will throw some unconventional strikes, which usually land.  The WEC is certainly rooting for him as he is one of the sports’ best ambassadors.  Not to mention it would set up a rematch with either Brown or Aldo. 

Aldo has won 9 straight with the last 5 by TKO or KO.  He is the most explosive fighter in the featherweight division.  But this is his first fight as champion.  How prepared is he to defend his belt?  Aldo’s never been into the 4th or 5th “championship rounds,” Faber has.  It’s an intriguing match up.  Faber is going to have to have a great game to pull of the upset against the #1 ranked featherweight in the world, who by the way is only 23 years old.

What do you think?  Worth $44.95?  The WEC is pulling out all the stops on this one.  Their big guns (Brown, Gamburyan, Henderson, Cerrone, Faber, and Aldo) will be in action.  Is it enough for you to click “Buy” on Saturday?  Either way we’ll have the results for you on Sunday. 

Enjoy the fights!

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