WEC will air its first Pay-Per-View fight card at 7pm (PT) tonight. All previous WEC fights had been free to the public on the Versus Channel, but if any WEC card deserved a Pay-Per-View price tag for viewers, this is the one. The preliminary bouts, however, will air on the Spike Channel for free at 9pm (PT).
The main event pits Uriah Faber (23-3, No.3 LW) against Jose Aldo (16-1, No.1 LW, No 6 pound-for-pound). Uriah was once the champion before being dethroned by Mike Thomas Brown near the end of 2008. He has since beaten Jens Pulver and BJJ standout Raphael Assuncao. He did however, lose a spirited five round rematch to Brown again, and he broke both hands in the process. Faber is a relentless war machine and will go toe to toe with just about anyone. He is a great submission fighter too with a ton of energy. Once he gets on top, he is great at landing punches and elbows. The question will be, does Faber want to focus on taking Aldo down, or will he want to establish his striking first? Aldo did not have to wade through the thicket of opponents that Faber had to do to establish his career. He has much less wear and tear and is a much faster fighter. He can pepper Faber with jabs and leg kicks but he has to watch out for counters. Faber is much more unpredictable than Brown, who Aldo tko'd. Aldo must be ready for a dynamic and hungry Faber. He will try and use his speed and foot movement to wear Faber down and keep the belt. Faber, however, seems like the better rounded fighter.
Pick: Faber, rd.4, TKO (doctor stoppage, cut)
The second main event will be a rematch of Benson Henderson (11-1) and Donald Cerrone (11-2) for the lightweight belt. Benson won the title from Jamie Varner with a guillotine choke. The first fight that Henderson and Cerrone had was a close fought three round battle. Henderson should have actually lost that fight considering Cerrone beat him in two out of three rounds but the judges were kind to Henderson. Henderson is a great grappler and has some powerful guillotine chokes. His ground and pound from the top is wearing and he likes to hit the body alot. He does not have great striking skills yet though and showed in his fight with Cerrone that he can gas if he tries too hard for his takedowns. This is Cerrone's time to shine. He should have won his fights with Varner and Henderson, but has had a case of bad luck. He seems to start slow, but grows stronger and the fight progresses. He trains with UFC welterweight champ George St. Pierre, so he has no lack of training. He has great muay thai strikes and amazing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills. If he can push Henderson in the early rounds, he should be able to wear him down for a late round stoppage.
Pick: Cerrone, Round.5, TKO
Another match-up featuring a former champion will be featherweight fighters Mike Thomas Brown (23-5,No.2 FW, No.8 PFP) vs. Manny Gamburyan (10-4). Brown is an outstanding wrestler with an explosive right hand. He will look to knockout Gamburyan and not let it go to a decision. He has beaten the likes of Faber and Garcia via KO. Gamburyan moved down from 155lbs. where he was a little to small to make and impact. Since moving down, he has beaten the tough Leonard Garcia. Brown cannot be too careful when exchanging punches with his opponent because Gamburyan swings for the fences. If it comes to wrestling though, Brown will not have a problem taking his opponent down.
Pick: Brown, Rd.2, TKO
A fun bantamweight match-up will be a rematch between Scott Jorgenson (9-3,No.6 BW) and Antonio Banuelos (17-5). In their previous fight, Banuelos won a very close spit decision victory over Jorgenson. Banuelos fights with a lot of heart and likes to throw caution to the wind at times. He does have a good arsenal of striking and wrestling, but his submission game is not very aggressive. Jorgenson, however, has great striking and his submissions are not only varied, but they are powerful. His guillotine chokes are second to none. If Jorgenson does not stop Banuelos with a ko or a submission, he might lose again because of the workman like effort that Banuelos brings to the table is appreciated by the judges.
Pick: Jorgenson, Rd.1, KO
Enjoy the fights!
Overall Prediction Record: 10-3