It has been said, "If you want something done right. often you must do it yourself". That must've been the motto that the 'World Extreme Cagefighting' organization, better known as WEC adopted for its first ever pay-per-view event as WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber not only did it, but they did it right. There are so many topics to discuss surrounding this fight card besides the fights themselves; there were numerous questions answered, while some other questions have now been raised. The biggest question of them all heading into this event was, should WEC be charging $44.95, if anything at all? Let me preface my response by saying, I was not one of those asking that question. Considering the five fights that were being offered on the main card, including the two co-main events, I felt it easily stacked up with any UFC PPV that has ever been put together to date. However, nine, action packed, fights later, I believe that question has more than been answered.
Why nine fights in all? That is because there were numerous submissions, knockouts and entertaining fights throughout. What has been sorely lacking for the past two weeks from both the UFC and Strikeforce was given to us in abundance by the fight organization that is solely dedicated to the lighter weight classes. Run by the same group that owns the UFC, Zuffa, the WEC focuses specifically on three weight classes, lightweight (155lbs.), featherweight (145 lbs.) and bantamweight (135lbs.). However, don't let that fool you as they have many of the best fighters in the world at these weight classes, especially in the feather and bantam classes. The fighters in the main event, Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo, Jr. and challenger Urijah 'The California Kid' Faber are ranked #'s 1&2 respectively; and the two fighters in the co-main event. Lightweight Champion Ben 'Smooth' Henderson and Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone are top ten lightweights in the world.
There's so much to discuss regarding last night's card, that I will focus my attention to just three fights; the two mentioned above and a fight on the under card that ended up stealing the show. Although it wasn't originally part of the PPV main card, the featherweight tilt between Leonard 'Bad Boy' Garcia and WEC newcomer Chan Sung Jung ended up making the most noise. Chosen as one of two preliminary fights to be shown for free on Spike TV as a lead in to the PPV, Garcia and Jung put on a performance that ended up being fight of the night. There were so many 15th round Rocky Balboa/Apollo Creed type haymakers being thrown from the opening bell till the end of the fight, you wondered if the PPV could live up to the hype, let alone this fight. While there was some technique featured in the bout, for the most part there were a lot of sloppy, but very entertaining punches and kicks thrown throughout. This was quite simply a backyard brawl with Garcia pulling out a narrow split decision. For the record, I had Jung winning the fight.
The two featured contests ended up being one sided affairs that clearly showed why Ben Henderson and Jose Aldo are not just the champions, but the clear dominant fighters in their weight classes as well. In a rematch of a 2009 'Fight of the Year' candidate, Henderson proved to be too strong, quick and slick for Cerrone as he tapped him out with a vicious Guillotine Choke within the first two minutes of the fight. While Henderson has clearly set himself apart from the pack in the WEC lightweight division, Cerrone is now 0-3 in title fights and one must wonder as good as he is, does he have what it takes to win the big one? While Greg Jackson, his trainer, is considered a guru, a change of camps may be in order for The Cowboy.
As for the main event, what was a highly anticipated match-up between the two greatest featherweights in the world, ended up showing who truly is #1 as Aldo, completely dominated Faber both standing and on the ground. The premise for both was set by Aldo's decimation of Faber's left leg, which he destroyed with his lethal Muay Thai round kicks. By the end of the fight, Faber had to be held up by his cornermen because his leg could not bear any weight. To his credit, Faber showed tremendous heart in defeat as he could have easily stayed on his stool after the third and fourth rounds and no one would have questioned why, but he got up and limped out each time; heart of a champion! "Never send a boy to do a man's job", that is what the WEC had to be saying to both the UFC and Strikeforce this month as the 'little' guys delivered in a 'big' way.