WEC 44: Brown vs. Aldo takes place this Wednesday night from The Pearl at The Palms in Las Vegas.
With such a short time frame before the fights take place—and coming off the busy week that was UFC 105—the week-long Fight Week Previews series will be coming to you in condensed form over the next two days, beginning with The Prelims.
Before we get there though, a recommendation to all those claiming MMA fandom who have no idea who Mike Brown or Jose Aldo are: You need to check out this show and old and future WEC shows.
Without fail, each and every WEC event delivers some of the best bell-to-bell action in the sport, and while these guys certainly do not receive anywhere near the acclaim and attention of their UFC counterparts, you're not going to find a more exciting brand of action than the WEC.
Onto the previews...
Seth Dikun (7-3-0) vs. Frank Gomez (7-1-0)
Dikun enters the fight after a fantastic flying triangle submission of Rolando Perez at WEC 41 that evened his company record at 1-1. Gomez comes in off a rebound win over TUF veteran Noah Thomas following the first loss of his career. Regardless of who comes away with the win, expect a finish as these two have just four decisions between them in 18 fights.
Ricardo Lamas (6-1-0) vs. James Krause (10-1-0)
Both fighters are coming off the first defeat of their careers, Lamas dropping a decision to Danny Castillo and Krause getting stopped by Donald Cerrone. Though Krause comes in off the bigger name fight, Lamas is a fast and promising prospect, who was on the wrong end of an excellent punch last time out, and looks to be the stronger of the two.
Antonio Banuelos (17-5-0) vs. Kenji Osawa (15-8-2)
Banuelos is a WEC mainstay, making his eighth appearance for the company and coming in off a win over Scotty "Young Guns" Jorgensen back in June. Osawa has 25 fights under his belt, including a win over title contender Takeya Mizugaki and a loss to the aforementioned Jorgensen.
Cub Swanson (13-3-0) vs. John Franchi (5-1-0)
If you're not a huge follower of the WEC and are wondering where you've heard the name "Cub Swanson" before, it could be because he was the guy on the receiving end of a double flying knee from Jose Aldo last time he stepped into the cage. While he hasn't quite found his footing in the WEC yet, Swanson is still a very talented prospect with a bright future ahead.
The verdict is still out on John Franchi. He suffered his first loss last time out, falling to UFC veteran Manny Gamburyan, and wasn't overly impressive in his WEC debut against Mike Budnik.
Diego Nunes (13-0-0) vs. LC Davis (14-2-0)
This is going to be your Fight of the Night.
The unbeaten Nunes has looked dominant in two three-round victories over Cole Province and Rafael Dias. Meanwhile Davis has come over following the fall of Affliction, looking to continue his success as a part of the featherweight division.
Davis' two losses come to Sengoku Featherweight Grand Prix finalist Michihiro Omigawa and highly-regarded Wagnney Fabiano; the skilled wrestler will surely be the toughest test to date for the Brazilian Nunes.
Kamal Shalorus (4-0-1) vs. Will Kerr (8-1-0)
Shalorus is a wrestler who has competed in a number of submission grappling events in addition to making the transition to MMA, while Kerr is a replacement for injured Alex Karalexis.
Normally when you replace a solid veteran against a guy with little experience and name recognition, it means the guy no one has heard of is also pretty solid.
Still, Kerr could be in for a painful night.
Watching video of Shalorus slamming Joachim "Hellboy" Hansen at the 2005 European Qualifiers for the ADCC's only confirmed that suspicion.