First off, I would like to say I would rather get this fight for free on Versus.
I will also say that if the WEC was going to move into PPV territory, that this is definitely the right fight to do so. The whole card is intriguing. It all action packed fights, so this is the perfect opportunity for the WEC to look to get into the PPV market.
This event is guaranteed to put an explosive end to this excruciatingly bad April. There are a number of potential fight of the year opportunities on this card. I will be shocked if there isn’t at least one match that will have you on the edge of your seat.
With that said, here is my "Preview and Prediction" part of this article. It will cover the main card portion, you can find the Spike TV Card Preview and Predictions here.
Fight 1 : Antonio Banuelos (17-5-0) VS. Scott Jorgenson (9-3-0) -Bantamweight Bout
Antonio Banuelos will look to make his thirteenth appearance in the WEC, having gone (8-4) in that time. Banuelos is looking to repeat victory over Jorgenson. He beat Scott Jorgenson at WEC 41, the fight was called “fight of the year” by some.
Banuelos should look to sprawl and brawl against the better grappler Jorgenson. Banuelos should mix-up his striking and take-downs, he should try to keep Scott Jorgenson off balance by his unpredictability in attacking.
Getting off power shots will be hard for Banuelos, he will have to get past the longer reach of Jorgenson to do so.
Scott Jorgenson will be looking to get this fight to the ground. Jorgenson is the better grappler, and Banuelos looks to have the advantage in the stand-up.
Jorgenson should look to use his reach advantage to keep Banuelos from taking him down at will. He should also look to catch an over- aggressive Banuelos with a submission should he be given the opportunity.
Scott Jorgenson wants to get the submission, he shouldn’t let Banuelos dictate where the fight goes to try to get one.
Rather than looking for an opening against Banuelos striking, is his best bet to get a take-down. He should look to avoid brawling with the heavy-handed Banuelos.
The Breakdown: I like Jorgenson in the re-match. He is coming into the match as -250 favorite, so I might bet on Banuelos as their first match was really close.
In the end, I see Jorgenson being the more improved fighter, that will make the difference in this re-match. The winner will be Jorgenson (Rnd 2) Submission.
Fight 2 : Shane Roller (7-2-0) VS. Anthony Njokuani (12-2-0-1NC) – Lightweight Bout.
Anthony Njokuani may not be a household name, but he is making more than just a name for himself with three consecutive KO of the night awards.
Njokuani has had notable wins over Chris Horodecki, Bart Palaszewski, and Muhsin Corbbrey winning KOTN in all three of those bouts. His only losses are to Donald Cerrone and Benson Henderson, he is someone to keep your eye on.
Njokuani will look to depend on his viscous striking power and keep it standing against Roller. He should also use long reach to keep Roller from taking him down. Njokuani will need to utilize his leg kicks without them being a liability to be taken down.
If in the fight Njokuani should be taken down, look for him to use his long limbs for choke-holds on Roller.
Shane Roller gives away his game plan on his Wikipedia page. Coming from Team Takedown, you’d have to be slightly retarded to not know what Roller is going to look to do.
He looks to have a more than sufficient grappling base as he has 50% of his wins by submission. The game-plan is to get the superior striker to the ground where Roller has the advantage.
Roller will look to use the long limbs of Njokuani against him on the ground. He should try to avoid the stand-up as much as possible, maybe going to Team Takedown was a tactical move?
The Breakdown: Shane Roller is coming into this fight as the favorite at -130. I would bet on Njokuani as he is coming in at +110, the power of his striking should justify in doing so.
I have Njokuani winning this fight by using his great reach and striking advantage. The only way he doesn’t win is if he show problems dealing with the wrestling of Roller. I don’t think he will so I the winner being Anthony Njokuani (Rnd 2) TKO.
Fight 3 : Mike Brown (23-5-0) VS. Manvel Gamburyan (10-4-0) - Featherweight Bout.
Mike Brown over his long career has wins over the likes of Uriah Faber(2), Leonard Garcia, and Yves Edwards. Brown looks to make it back to the top to reclaim his championship, he will have to make it past TUF alum Manvel Gamburyan in order to do so.
Mike Brown, since having lost to Jose Aldo, defeated Anthony Morrison in the first round at WEC 46.
Brown will look to use his reach against the very short Manvel Gamburyan, while also mixing in takedowns. He may want to avoid the clench as Gamburyan is an experienced Judo player.
Mike Brown will no doubt look to impose his will, and look to get his sixth win in the WEC and second since losing the title.
Manvel Gamburyan is the cousin of our favorite drugged-out Judo master Karo Parisyan. That will give Manny the advantage when in the clench as Brown the wrestler will be looking for any take-down if given the chance.
Manny will want to avoid the double leg of Brown, and his height actually might be a good advantage for this.
Gamburyan should look to use the power in his throws and look to get Brown ,the wrestler, out of his element. Putting Brown on his back is easier said then done, but if he does it will take away Brown’s most powerful weapon.
The Breakdown: I must say Manny coming in as a +500 dog, and his style match-up against Brown looks appealing for a good upset bet.
I would BET on Manny to win this fight way before I would pony up the money to bet on Mike Brown at his current odds(-650). Even after that though, my brain still says that Brown is going to win with his superior wrestling/experience advantage. That's why I am picking Mike Brown (Rnd 3) Decision.
Fight 4: Benson Henderson (c)(11-1-0) VS. Donald Cerrone (11-2-0-1NC) - Lightweight Championship Bout.
Benson Henderson is looking to repeat his result the last time he faced the “Cowboy”. The two fought it out in one of the years most memorable fights. Henderson’s advantage comes with his wrestling COMBINED with his amazing ability to avoid submissions.
Henderson has showed a lot of versatility when fighting as he is a black-belt in Taekwondo and purple-belt in Jiujitsu. This fight will certainly be another test for the champion Henderson as these two are really close in terms of talent. Henderson always shows a lot of heart, and to me has the best cardio in MMA.
Henderson should stay mixing up his strikes and take-downs. Henderson will definitely need to watch the submissions of Cerrone as he narrowly escaped many times last fight. Henderson should keep the Cowboy off balance with his relentless pace.
Donald Cerrone is exactly what his nickname implies, a cowboy. He is quick to bring the heat when fighting any opponent, and shows amazing submissions combined with good kickboxing skills.
The “Cowboy” is a threat anywhere he goes in the fight, and is able to keep the pace needed to take on a fighter the caliber of Henderson.
Look for Cerrone to try get another submission. Henderson diligently avoided them the last time, we’ll see if Cerrone find the missing piece in putting away Henderson. One thing is for sure,Cerrone won’t have a tough time being exciting, as he is four-time FOTN award winner.
The Breakdown: I expect this fight to be a barn burner, like the last time, this fight will be exciting.
These two are so close in skills, and that’s why the odds reflect that with Cerrone(-110) and Henderson(even money). I have the outcome being a different one, with the submission skills of Cerrone being the deciding factor. That’s why my bet is going to go on Donald Cerrone (Rnd 2) Submission.
Fight 5: Jose Aldo(c)(16-1-0) VS. Urijah Faber (23-3-0) – Featherweight Championship Bout.
Jose Aldo’s rise to the top can only be described as explosive. The champion has notable stoppages over Cub Swanson, Mike Brown, and Alexandre Noguiera. Aldo has one KOTN honors three times, and has the highlight-reel stoppage over Cub Swanson that makes ME squirm.
Aldo should look to use his fast heavy hands in the stand-up against the unorthodox striking of Faber. He should look to time the take-downs of “California Kid” then deliver one of his devastating flying knees.
Aldo is also a BJJ black-belt, so he should have some offense to go to should he get put on his back.
Aldo is best served to keep the fight standing, that’s where his advantage lies. Faber looks to be the better wrestler, and will look to take-down Jose Aldo.
Aldo should be expecting this, and should plan accordingly. This will be the second title fight of Aldo, his first defense, and probably his most trying match-up. This is undoubtedly Aldo biggest fight of his career and toughest opponent to date.
Urijah Faber is hands down the most prolific featherweight champion the WEC has had. Faber will look to gain the title he lost more than a year ago with his biggest test to date.
Faber has unorthodox striking, but having broken his hands twice already, he may be best served to rely on his wrestling strength. Faber should try to avoid the relentless/explosive strikes of Aldo by timing them, and getting take-downs to score points.
Faber shouldn’t get too over-aggressive as Aldo is a black-belt BJJ practitioner, and could capitalize on any mistake.
It is crucial Faber not put himself into any disadvantages by being too aggressive, as he has in the past. Faber has a mountain to climb in Aldo on his way to get back his title, we’ll see how he chooses to approach it Saturday.
I think it can be said for both of these fighters that this fight is their biggest test. We will see who puts them-self on top of the 145lb. division, and who will have to start the quest back over. This fight is the biggest of Aldo and Faber's career, we’ll see if the pressure gets to them on Saturday.
The Breakdown: This is probably the biggest fight the 145 lb. division has seen and it features it’s two most exciting fighters. Faber is coming in as the underdog at almost +300, which seems like the smarter bet.
Aldo may be a once and a lifetime fighter so his odds of -300 aren’t unwarranted, but he is against his biggest test to date and that seems a little to steep against his competition.
In the end I have the explosive/creative striking of Aldo being too much for the former champion. Faber has been the face of the WEC for years and I think this is sort of a passing of the torch. Aldo is champion, he is here to display his dominance over the “California Kid” in Urijah’s own backyard.
I have the winner being the defending champion Jose Aldo (Round 4) TKO.
That is the end of my WEC : First Impressions Preview and Prediction article.
Tell me, who will win Aldo or Faber? What do you think?