WEC 44: Brown vs. Aldo goes down tonight, but I realize that many B.C. MMA fans are about as familiar with the goings on in World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) as they are with the latest season of Desperate Housewives. They may vaguely recognize some of the lead characters, but don't know when it's on or why they should care.
Let's solve one problem at a time then, shall we?
First, when is WEC on? Unfortunately, it's rarely shown on live television in British Columbia, which is frustrating since, in The United States, and I suppose in Canada as well if you've got the right dish setup, the WEC has a broadcast arrangement with the Versus Network. Americans seem to get Versus with their basic cable package, but most Canadians know it only as the American home of NHL hockey. Luckily for us, WEC fights are often shown on TSN within the same week that they happened live, which is almost as rad. In the case of tonight's WEC 44: Brown vs. Aldo, TSN will air it just three-days later on Saturday evening (Nov. 21st) from 5:00pm-to-7:00pm/PST. That's extra awesome because WEC 44 will end just as the PPV of UFC 106 is set to begin! Of course it's also a minor problem because during the second hour of TSN's WEC broadcast is when Spike is showing live under card fights from UFC 106. That means you'll need to put your finely honed remote control jockying skills to use. I know you've got what it takes.
Alright, now, why should you care? First, because the WEC is home to some of the very best lighter-weight fighters in the world. In fact, they pretty much have the monopoly on bantamweights (135lb) and featherweights (145lb), with sixteen of those two divisions' top-ten fighters on their roster. These pint-sized pugilists pack incredible excitement into every five-minute round-- it's like watching welterweights at 2x speed. The WEC also features a very solid Lightweight division.
At tonight's WEC 44, there's a title fight between Mike Thomas Brown (22-4, World #1 at FW) and Jose Aldo (15-1, #2 FW). Brown, who will attempt his third title defense, is primarily a hard-working grappler who uses his strength and wrestling to set up submissions, but he can also throw hands when called upon to do so. He'll look to be the first to defeat Aldo in the WEC. Aldo, who has (T)KO'ed all five of his previous WEC opponents including the last three by first-round stoppage, will look to be the first fighter to ever put Brown to sleep. Read more about the main event in this article from Top MMA News.
UFC fans will likely recognize the fighters in the co-main event fight between Ultimate Fighter 5 runner-up Manny Gamburyan (9-4, 2-3 UFC, 1-0 WEC) and that Mexican guy who had that totally awesome fight with Roger Huerta at UFC 69, Leonard Garcia (13-4, 1-2 UFC, 3-1 WEC). Both Manny and Leonard have dropped down from lightweight to featherweight where this fight will be contested.
Main Card Details:
145 lbs.: WEC Featherweight Champion Mike Thomas Brown (22-4) vs. Jose
"Junior" Aldo (15-1)
Main card (Televised):
145 lbs.: Manny "Pitbull" Gamburyan (9-4) vs. Leonard "Bad Boy" Garcia (13-4)
155 lbs.: "Razor" Rob McCullough (17-5) vs. Anthony "Showtime" Pettis (7-0)
155 lbs.: Shane Roller (6-2) vs. Danny Castillo (8-1)
So, to review, if you're an MMA nut like me you'll get the chance to watch these awesome fights, ones that you've already read all about of course (because you're a nut), this Saturday at 5:00pm/PST on TSN. If, on the other hand, you can resist the urge to look up results from WEC 44 before Saturday, you can watch it fully in suspense before dropping into UFC 106. To help you out with that goal, I promise not to publish the results on this site until after Saturday.