WEC Featherweight Contention: The Removal of Jose Aldo

Nate Lawson@NateLawsonCorrespondent IJune 12, 2009


Jose Aldo's success as a mixed martial artist can be traced back to his time at Nova Uniao, a camp that he is still a proud member of to this date. This camp has driven him through the competition and to the top of the WEC featherweight division. However, the same camp that has brought Aldo to this point in his career is also the reason Aldo's title shot is no longer just around the corner.

After his first round devastation of Cub Swanson at WEC 41 in Sacramento, California, it seemed all but guaranteed that Aldo would gain a shot at the title. Unfortunately, the chance for Aldo to gain WEC featherweight gold has been whisked away as quickly as it came, a problem that can be linked back to his camp.

Nova Uniao is called home by several stellar jiu-jitsu artists, including Aldo, who himself claims a black belt. Fighters that hail out of this solid camp also include Vitor Ribeiro, Thales Leites, and Wagnney Fabiano.

The last of these names is where the problems begins.

Both Jose Aldo and Wagnney Fabiano are rising stars in the WEC featherweight division. At this point, it is hard to argue against the fact that they are the number one and two contenders, especially considering Faber's injury, and the dominant destruction distributed by Mike Brown to Leonard Garcia at WEC 39.

But who gets Brown first?

After his first round knockout of Cub Swanson, it seemed undeniable that Aldo would have the next crack at Brown. Now that may not be the case.

Enter Wagnney Fabiano.

Fabiano has remained relatively unknown on the mixed martial arts scene, managing to fly under the radar on his way to title contention after just two fights in the WEC. 

This Brazilian is ranked by many sites, including Sherdog, as the No.2 featherweight on the planet: a claim that many believe should be enough to see him fight Mike Brown in what will be the champion's third title defense.

However, while Wagnney has only had two fights in the WEC, with one going to the judges' scorecards, Aldo has already had five fights in the WEC, finishing every opponent off in dominant fashion (4 TKO, 1 KO),

Unfortunately, regardless of his record in the WEC, it seems Aldo will have to make some changes as Wagnney Fabiano is comfortably placed as the number one contender of the WEC featherweight division.

It has been rumored that Jose Aldo may cut weight all the way down to the 135 pound division, gunning at Miguel Torres' long held belt.

While this would clear the situation up for the moment, the natural 145-pounder will surely wish to fight at featherweight once again, especially if his time in the bantamweight division is deemed unsuccessful.

If that should happen, Aldo may be thrown back into a division in which his teammate holds the crown, which brings up yet another issue for the young Brazilian.

At this point, it is undeniable that if Fabiano, would ever seize the belt, a title fight between the two is completely ruled out.Hailing out of the same camp, neither fighter wants a go at his teammate, which would result in Aldo's career stalling out so close to the top.

This situation has become unbelieveably unjust for Jose Aldo, as he will be robbed of a title shot, as to let his elder teammate have a shot at the belt.

However, perhaps the greatest tragedy is not just Aldo losing a title shot, but losing a title shot in a fight he could very well win.

Aldo's one flaw against Brown is that with aggresive striking comes certain vulnerabilities. Brown has proven before what he does with the smallest of openings.

That being said, Aldo is still a top level striker in the WEC and could most certainly roll with the punches.

To go along with his skill in stand up, Aldo also claims a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Aldo's skill on the ground has yet to be seen as he finishes fighters. However, one cannot deny that Aldo could very well be the best jiu-jitsu practitioner Brown has yet to face.

Unfortunately, regardless of the credentials Aldo may claim, it seems a title shot has slipped through his hands, only to be picked up by his teammate, Wagnney Fabiano: A tragedy that can only be traced back to his camp, Nova Uniao.