Well, WEC 51 came into town like a tornado & left some serious wreckage in the aftermath. This fight card had the hype of an F-5, and did not disappoint. We had everything from up & coming new faces to the veteran fighters we have become accustomed to in the WEC. Here’s how the fights went down, so let’s break them down & see where the pieces fit after the fantastic WEC fights.
Jose Aldo vs Manny Gamburyan:
We all knew that Jose Aldo is a monster at 145 lbs, and now he has proven his mettle yet again. Yes, he a monster at 145…but I also feel that he deserves the Pound for Pound title as well. The gap in skills between he and the next closest Featherweight is miles apart, and unless GSP is coming down to 145…that’s how it I think it will stay. During the fight with Gamburyan, Aldo was very patient and calculated. He struck with the efficiency & ferocity of a contract killer and ended any dreams that Manny had of holding the 145 lb belt. His trademarked vicious leg kicks again softened up Manny from the outset & set up Aldo’s uppercuts that were absolutely NASTY. It’s exactly that dynamic skillset that sent Manny to the canvas before finishing him with another violent TKO . At the post fight press conference, WEC General Manager, Reed Harris stated that a couple of guys in attendance had asked to fight Aldo next. So we do have a few guys that want to fight Aldo, but really….what will they be able to do to him? I asked esteemed MMA writer Ken Pishna of MMAWeekly.com before the fight if he had to fight either Brock Lesnar or Jose Aldo, who would he choose. Ken quickly stated: Lesnar. I agreed & told Ken “At least I know that if Brock hits me…I’ll be unconscious. If I had to fight Aldo…I would know that I am about to get put into a human food processor & I’ll most likely end up really hurt.”
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone vs Jamie Varner
We also knew that this rematch would contain real fireworks, and it did not disappoint at all. These two just flat out…don’t like each other & the results were obvious as they went at it from ding to dong. From the opening bell, you could see the emotions running high as the two walked to the cage. The fans were going crazy as both guys came out swinging with the intention of sending heads into the 7th row. Varner hit Cowboy with some great shots, but Cowboy is literally the WEC’s version of the 155 lb Terminator. Cowboy did seem to be the stronger man & literally walked down Varner’s punches and kicks all night. Varner showed a ton of heart by not giving up & delivering many big shots at Cerrone. These guys both have a very exciting fighting style & I expect to see Cowboy/Varner III in the near future. Even though they both currently fight for the WEC, Cowboy & Varner would both be fantastic additions to the stacked 155 lb UFC divisions if it ever ended up that way. When emotions run that high in a fight, many times it can be a detriment to a fighter, so I asked Donald about that at the post-fight press conference. Cowboy replied, “Normally yes, but not for this fight. I was so amped up for this rematch, that I had tears in my eyes backstage. I just wanted to get out there as soon as possible & get after Varner. I wanted to go after him so bad that I just couldn’t wait to get going man.”
Miguel Torres vs Charlie Valencia
Miguel Torres was just too much for Charlie Valencia right away. He didn’t have his usual wild style thanks to his time at TriStar Gym in Montreal. Instead, Torres showed patience, timing and a more disciplined approach. The results were fantastic as Torres really took it to the overmatched Charlie before ending the fight with a rear naked choke in the second round. I asked Miguel if he was tight during the fight because he didn’t have his normal wild style. Miguel said, “I have been working on controlling myself in the cage. My setbacks in the past in some of my other fights with Bowles, Mizugaki and Maeda, I would chase guys too much & try to put on a show for the fans. I guess it’s a bit of a bloodlust that I have from growing up in the hood I guess (smiling).That’s one of things about working with Firas & TriStar is I learned to be more patient and wait for opportunities to present themselves. The whole first round, I wanted to jump on Charlie, but having to sit back & wait…I had to be more calculated and just wait for it….like Jose’s fight. He was smart patient & waited for the opportunities to present themselves. I think now with wrestlers coming in to the sport, I have to be smarter with the way I fight.”
Chan Sung Jung “The Korean Zombie” vs George Roop
Well, the “Korean Zombie” showed that keeping your hands down in a fight is a sure fire way to almost be decapitated. We were so enamored with his fight against Leonard Garcia, that we expected to see him do the exact same thing against George too. George had other plans as he could easily see the hands of the Zombie falling lower & lower as the fight went on. George’s reach was clearly an issue for the Zombie from the outset, but his patience proved to be the difference by allowing the overzealous Zombie to come in swinging hard. In a furious exchange, George threw a nice combination that left the Zombie open for a perfectly placed & timed headkick. Once the kick landed, the lights went out on the Zombie & George helped him live up to his monicker. Zombie was the only fighter taken in for observation and was later released. It seems as though the Korean Zombie will have to improve his defense quickly or be matched up with fighters that just love to go toe to toe if he wants to have a successful future. The skills that WEC fighters have are so razor sharp that any slight mistake can lead to an overnight in the local hospital. We hope the Zombie is ok & comes back better than ever.
Mark Hominick vs Leonard Garcia
Well, we expected to see a stand up fight & that’s exactly what we got from these two veterans. Hominick was so fast & accurate that Leonard was really struggling to find an answer for Hominick’s superb striking skills. Leonard is as game as anyone in the fight sports, and Thursday night he showed it off again. He is a proud Mexican warrior, but he definitely came up short against the precision striking of the Canadian featherweight. Hominick got the split decision, but from my seat…Hominick should’ve easily won a unanimous decision.
Overall, we have come to expect the unbelievable excitement that the “little guys” provide in the WEC consistently & Thursday night did not disappoint at all. Reed Harris & the WEC ALWAYS put on a phenomenal show & really seem to showcase the guys that cant wait to come in and put on a helluva performance. It was also great to see the way the Broomfield crowd was going nuts during the event & really embraced the guys the WEC brought to the 1st Bank Center. It was a real pleasure covering the event with my fellow Denver MMA Examiner, John Burkard. His pictures of the event are located here, so make sure & check them out as well. Enjoy them!