Sunday, April 25, 2010
Articles from Sherdog and WEC
Sunday, April 25, 2010
by Brian Knapp (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In a measured and methodical performance, World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight champion Jose Aldo outlined his greatness in crystal clear detail.
Aldo dismissed former titleholder and promotional poster boy Urijah Faber in the WEC 48 “Aldo vs. Faber” headliner on Saturday at the Arco Arena in Sacramento, Calif., as he posted a unanimous decision victory in his first defense of the 145-pound crown. Scores were 49-45, 49-45 and 50-45.
The leg kick was Aldo’s weapon of choice, as he exacted an insurmountable toll on Faber’s base with a steady stream of strikes to his lower extremities. The Nova Uniao thoroughbred landed 10 low kicks in the second round alone, a majority of them to Faber’s lead left leg. At one point, Faber had to be carried back to his corner.
“I trained a lot of defense [for] those leg kicks, but he was very effective with them,” Faber said. “He really took away my legs, and it was impossible to get something going when he was attacking like that.”
On a 10-fight winning streak, Aldo nearly finished Faber in the fourth round, when he knocked down “The California Kid” with a leg kick, mounted him briefly and attached himself to the challenger’s back. Faber escaped, but when the action hit the floor again, Aldo trapped him in a topside crucifix for nearly two minutes, grinding on him with punches and elbows.
Taken the distance for the first time in nearly three years, Aldo seemed content to ride out the decision. Round five proved largely uneventful, save for a wicked right hook to the body that left Faber visibly shaken.
“Every time I would try to kick, he would switch his base and I was aware of that,” Aldo said. “So I didn’t want to go outside of my limits and get caught in something. … He has a very strong right cross and I wanted to pay attention to that. I just was waiting for the right time to try to finish.”
Aldo and Henderson Dominate, Retain Titles
By Frank Curreri
SACRAMENTO – By the end of the third round, one of Urijah Faber’s cornermen carried the battered fighter to a stool. The hometown superstar could barely stand on his left leg, the unfortunate recipient of dozens of devastating kicks from former semi-pro soccer player Jose Aldo. The world featherweight champion from Brazil, who hasn’t lost in over four years, had ravaged his charismatic and courageous challenger with wicked kicks to the ribs and legs, and also repeatedly pounded The California Kid’s body with hard punches. Video: Watch post-fight interviews with all of the night's winners
On at least three occasions Aldo’s super-quick leg kicks – arguably the fastest in all of MMA – swept Faber off his feet and onto his rump. And for the better part of five rounds, an unscathed Aldo methodically punished Faber and left everyone wondering – not if Faber could magically end the fight – but if he would survive until the end. Once it became apparent that Aldo owned Faber on their feet – late in the second round -- Sacramento fans kept hoping Faber could score a takedown. Despite several diving efforts, he could not, as Aldo easily rebuffed the former Division I wrestler’s attempts.
“I trained to defend those leg kicks … but it was impossible to get something going when he’s attacking like that,” Faber would say later.
It was a breakout performance for the incredibly talented Aldo (17-1), who won the title in November by stopping Mike Thomas Brown and was competing for the first time on pay-per-view, in a main event no less. Basically everywhere the fight went, the champion shined. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt cracked Faber with a high kick and knocked his legs out from under him in round four, then trapped Faber in a beatdown position and rained down dozens of mini-punches and elbows. Fans briefly got excited when Faber escaped from Aldo’s back control and hunted in vain for a guillotine choke. To Faber’s credit, he came out very aggressive in the first round and took the fight to the champion – though despite his activity, few of Faber’s strikes landed. Faber (23-4) also showed uncommon valor when most fighters would have found a way out. There was no quit in Faber as he absorbed the carnage, which continued in round five when Aldo made him double over with a hard shot to the midsection.
Aldo conceded afterward that he played it a little bit safe in the later rounds because Faber continually switched to a southpaw stance to try and avoid further damage to his left leg.
“I didn’t want to go outside of my limits and do something I couldn’t because he has a very strong right cross and I didn’t want to get caught by that,” Aldo said.
In the end, judges awarded Aldo a unanimous decision by scores of 50-45, 49-45 and 49-45.
Faber, meanwhile, had to be helped from the cage by his trainers and seemed physically exhausted.
“I had limited mobility,” Faber said afterward, as if straining to talk. “He’s very good and very fast. It was a tough fight and I tried my best.”
In the night's co-headliner, WEC lightweight champion Benson Henderson proved his first win over Donald Cerrone was no fluke and quickly submitted the No. 1 contender for his first successful title defense.
For as long as Manny Gamburyan has been competing professionally, fans and fellow fighters have raved about his judo skills, explosive takedowns and freakish strength. But following his first-round destruction of former WEC featherweight champ Mike Brown, Gamburyan should now get some additional kudos for his striking.
In a featured lightweight attraction that pitted NCAA Division I wrestling All-American Shane Roller against prolific striker and fellow contender Anthony Njokuani, the ground fighter reigned supreme.
Over the past year, the WEC's bantamweight title has bounced from new champ to new champ. The entire time, Scott Jorgensen knew a single, close split-decision defeat to Antonio Banuelos back at WEC 41 likely cost him his shot at the belt.
•Jose Aldo def. Urijah Faber via unanimous decision (49-45, 49-45, 50-45) (to retain featherweight title)
•Benson Henderson def. Donald Cerrone via submission (guillotine choke) - Round 1, 1:57 (to retain lightweight title)
•Manny Gamburyan def. Mike Brown via knockout (punches) - Round 1, 2:22
•Shane Roller def. Anthony Njokuani via submission (rear-naked choke) - Round 1, 3:07
•Scott Jorgensen def. Antonio Banuelos via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
•Leonard Garcia def. Chan Sung Jung via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
•Anthony Pettis def. Alex Karalexis via submission (triangle choke) - Round 2, 1:35
•Brad Pickett def. Demetrious Johnson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
•Chad Mendes def. Anthony Morrison via submission (guillotine choke) - Round 1, 2:13
•Takeya Mizugaki def. Rani Yahya via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
•Tyler Toner def. Brandon Visher via TKO (elbows) - Round 1, 2:36