Sacramento, Ca. — Welcome to Heavy.com’s live coverage of tonight’s “Aldo vs. Faber” event. Heavy is on location at the ARCO Arena here in Sacramento, and we’ll be providing live coverage of tonight’s proceedings beginning with the preliminary card portion of the evening.
We get under way at 7 p.m. ET with the prelim bouts, so check back throughout the evening for real-time results and thoughts from the biggest event in WEC history.
WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber is underway. Early early crowd. Seats are easily at 80% capacity.
Fight 1: Tyler Toner vs. Brandon Visher
Tyler Toner utilized legs kicks early in the round to get his range. Visher made a move to bring some action, but ate a hard right on the way in that was followed by a knee. Toner then landed a huge head kick and a short punch that floored Visher. He followed him to the ground and landed a few elbows before the fight is stopped. Tyler Toner def. Brandon Visher via TKO at 2:36 of round 1
Fight 2: Rani Yahya vs. Takeya Mizugaki
The the first part of the opening round, Yahya displayed his expertise in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, riding Miaugaki’s back. By the end of round one though, the fight was back on the feet with Yahya willing to stand and trade, but Mizugaki getting the better of the exchanges.
The second round started like the first ended with both fighters willing to stand and trade. Yahya attempted to pull guard from the clinch but was unsuccessful. The fight did make it to the ground for a brief time but ref Josh Rosenthal had the fighters stand after the action became stale. The round was rather uneventful.
In the third round, Yahya fought hard to get the fight to the ground, eating elbows along the way. He was finally successful at the 3 minute mark and spent a solid minute and a half trying to work a rear naked choke. Mizugaki finally ends up on top in Yahya’s guard but was unable to do any real damage. The crowd grew frustrated and the boo’s began. The fight ended with Mizugaki on top in Yahya’s guard with little damage being done for the majority of the round. Takeya Mizugaki def. Rani Yahya via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
Fight 3: Anthony Morrison vs. Chad Mendes
A very biased crowd cheered extremely loudly for the hometown boy Chad Mendes as he entered to the O’Jays “For the Love of Money”. Morrison landed a couple of jabs early on in the first round, but Mendes quickly used his unbelievable wrestling to secure a takedown. Once it was on the ground, Mendes sunk in a guillotine choke that forced Morrison to tap. Chad Mendes def. Anthony Morrison via guillotine choke at 2:13 of round 1
Fight 4: Demetrious Johnson vs. Brad Pickett
The action was fast and furious to start the Johnson vs. Pickett fight. Both fighters wasted little time to unleash kicks and punches, which flew regularly for the first 2 minutes of the fight. Johnson missed a huge right hand that allowed Pickett to score a takedown. Pickett’s ground and pound was not working and the fight ended back up on the feet. Flurries of kicks and punches continued as Johnson attempted a flying knee that was caught by Pickett and lead to a slam. Pickett could not keep Johnson down and the round ended with both fighters going crazy. The crowd appreciated the action and let the guys know.
The second round started a bit slower as the fighters might have spent a lot of their energy in the first. That’s not to say the action was boring, just more technical. Pickett again scored a big takedown at the 3 minute mark, but Johnson was again able to reach his feet, only to be taken down again at the 2: 13 mark. Pickett spent the next minute and ten seconds trying to work ground and pound but Johson’s defense from the bottom negated any real offense. Pickett was to get yet another slam and ended up in mount, but was Johnson was saved from taking any punishment as the horn sounded to signal the end of the round.
The third round started with the fighters trading high fives and the crowd cheering loudly in approval. The fighters clinched for the majority of the first minute of the fight before Pickett was able to secure a takedown with 3:44 left in the first round. Again, Johnson’s defense from the bottom kept Pickett from dong any real damage. The fighters briefly makes it back to the feet, before the fighters trade takedowns at the 1:40 mark. Pickett makes his way into mount with one minute left in the fight, but Johnson escapes and Pickett is put back into half guard. The fight ends on the ground, but tons and tons of action throughout and the undercard fight gets a standing ovation. Brad Pickett def. Demetrious Johnson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Fight 5: Anthony Pettis vs. Alex Karalexis – Aired on Spike TV
The first 45 seconds of the first round saw the two lightweights feeling each other out. Pettis fired the first attack of the fight when he threw a head kick that was blocked by Karalexis. Karalesis was able to get a trip at the 3 minute mark and landed a couple of glancing blows while on top. Pettis managed to get back to his feet and displayed some very sound, technical striking. He threw mostly single shots, but did mix it up with some stinging leg kicks followed by hooks and more kicks.
The second round started with Karalexis securing a takedown, but while in Pettis’ guard, Pettis locks in a tight triangle choke. Karalexis is forced to tap and the star of Pettis is getting brighter each and every time out. Anthony Pettis def. Alex Karalexis via triangle choke at 1:35 of round 2
Fight 6: Chan Sung Jung vs. Leonard Garcia – Aired on Spike TV
Jung came right out and landed a hard leg kick. Then all hell broke loose. For a solid 45 seconds, the fighters stood toe to toe and threw everything they possibly had at one another. They then clinched and the action slowed a bit for the next minute or so before the fighters went right back at it. Jung dropped Garcia with a hard right and as he went to the ground to try and finish, Garcia nearly caught him in an armbar. Garcia was able to get his wits and the fight got back to the feet. Both fighters began throwing all out bombs at each other. Kicks, knees, punches, elbows, anything. It was easily one of the best rounds in recent MMA history.
The second round begins the same as the first. Garcia lands a huge overhand right as the fighters were exchanging and momentarily floors Jung. He recovered and delivered a nasty combo of his own that made Garcia step back and flash a smile. Both fighters were obviously tired from the first round, but again, left it all in the cage. Jung landed six straight punches as Garcia smiled. The action only stopped for four seconds the entire round for Garcia to put his mouthpiece back in. Yet another one of the best rounds in recent MMA history.
The pace was far slower for the first minute of the third round, but at the 3:30 mark Garcia stuck Jung with a left jab and followed with a straight right. Jung seemed to have slowed as Garcia was able to slip a few of his attempts. Garcia landed a nice left counter as he slipped one of the big rights. Jung then threw a spinning back fist that clipped Garcia but lead to three straight rights that forced Garcia to back away from the toe to toe exchange. With a minute left in the fight, the fighters stood in the center of the cage and unloaded on each other. Garcia missed with two big head kicks that allowed Jung to catch him with two straight right hands. With ten seconds left, the fighters finish with the last they had in the tank and receive one of the biggest ovations ever for a prelim fight. This one will be replayed for years to come. Leonard Garcia def. Chan Sung Jung via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-29)
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Fight 7: Scott Jorgensen vs. Antonio Banuelos
The first round of the fight saw both fighters deliver very little damage to his opponent. Jorgensen would attack and miss. Banuelos the same. There might have been three solid punches landed the entire round. Although there was little action, Banuelos did land the more solid of the glancing blows.
The second round saw Jorgensen step it up. As his corner yelled for him to take Banuelos down, Jorgensen continued to throw jabs and right hands. At eh 3 minute mark, one of those right hands landed solid and stunned Banuelos, opening up Banuelos’ nose. Jorgensen continued the attack. He pursued Banuelos relentlessly and dropped him with a hard right with 55 seconds left in the round. Banuelos was able to survive the onslaught and made it to see the third round, however, the round was all Jorgensen.
The third round again saw Jorgensen stalking Banuelos. His corner was instructing him to pressure Banuelos and that is what he did. In the pursuit, he landed another big right hand at the 2:15 mark that dropped Banuelos. He pounced, but Banuelos was able to turtle and survive. Jorgensen nearly secured a rear naked choke, but Banuelos again denied him the finish. The round ended with a scramble and both men landing a couple of hammer fists to his opponent while on the ground. The last two rounds certainly made up for the first round. Lots and lots of action. Scott Jorgensen def. Antonio Banuelos via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Fight 8: Shane Roller vs. Anthony Njokuani
The fight began with Roller immediately going to his bread and butter and attempting a takedown. He fought hard for it for a solid 45 seconds before finally getting Njokuani to the ground. By the 3:30 mark he had Njokuani’s back and had locked in a body triangle. Njokuani was unable to do anything as Roller continually worked the rear naked choke. He finally locked it in and forced the tap. Shane Roller def. Anthony Njokuani via rear naked choke at 3:07 of round 1
Fight 9: Manny Gamburyan vs. Mike Brown
The Sacramento crowd is a very knowledgeable crowd and they certainly remembered who beat their hometown hero. Mike Brown got a great ovation as he walked out to “Simple Man”. The opening frame saw little action for the first two minutes as both fighters were fighting very cautiously until Manny Gamburyan caught Brown right on the button with a counter right hook that floored the former champ. He jumped right on Brown and landed a few hammer fists to finish his opponent off. Manny Gamburyan def. Mike Brown via KO at 2:22 of round 1
Fight 10: Donald Cowboy Cerrone vs. Ben Henderson – Lightweight Title
The two fighters are openly friends and Cowboy even said in the pre-fight press conference that he would be attending Henderson’s wedding later this year. No animosity entering this contest. Henderson got a clinch early and was able to land some knees to Cerrone. He got the takedown at the 3:20 mark and started dropping elbows and punches. Cerrone scrambled and left his neck exposed. Henderson immediately slapped on a guillotine. Henderson sat back and locked it down forcing Ceronne to tap. Ben Henderson def. Donald Cerrone via guillotine choke at 1:57 of round 1
Fight 11: Urijah Faber vs. Jose Aldo – Featherweight Title
The arena totally blew up when their hometown hero Urijah Faber made his way to the cage to “California Love”. Jose Aldo entered to “Run this Town” , as if to send a message to Faber. No action was needed to get the crowd to their feet. They started that way. The chants of Faber were early and often. Faber entered the aggressor, throwing push kicks and pawing punches. Aldo retaliated with some leg kicks at the former champ. Faber looked to check one of Aldo’s kicks and ended up on the ground, but hopped right back up. Through the first two and a half minutes Aldo continued to work leg kicks and Faber kept the distance with push kicks. Faber ‘s strategy seemed to be get in, get out, and not stay in the pocket for too long. He landed several two punch combos that scored, but did not seem to hurt the champ. Aldo countered the quick ins with knees to the body. Very technical smart round by both fighters.
The second frame started much like the first. Also fighting very cautious while Faber was utilizing getting in and getting out of Aldo’s power zone. Like the first round, Aldo continued to land kicks to Faber’s legs and body. Faber tried his first shot of the match at the midway point of the round, but Aldo quickly backed away. Faber started to toggle back and forth between traditional and southpaw stances, though he never stayed in the southpaw stance for more than a couple seconds. Aldo continued to punish Faber with leg and body kicks throughout the round and Faber started to favor his lead leg at the end of the second round.
Faber looked for a shot early in the third round, but Aldo was too quick. He continued to punish Faber’s legs and Faber was forced to switch to a southpaw stance to have any hope of competing. He was able to catch one of Aldo’s kicks with 2 minutes left in the round, and get him to the ground, but Aldo slipped out and right back to his feet. By the one minute mark, Faber was fighting off of one leg. Aldo’s precision with his kicks is truly amazing. Faber is dropped as the round ends and Master Thong carries him back to the corner.
Entering the fourth, Faber’s left leg was very badly injured due to three rounds of intense punishment from Aldo’s leg kicks. Faber finally got the fight to the ground by someone playing possum to one of Aldo’s kicks, but is unable to mount any sort of offense. On the ground again, Aldo gets Faber into a crucifix position and starts raining down punches and elbows. Faber takes a solid two minutes of punishment, but none of the shots were terribly damaging as he was able to get his hand in the way of several. He showed tons of heart, but was totally dominated.
As the final frame began, the crowd rallied around their hometown boy, but it would take a knockout or a submission for Faber to pull out the fight. The action slowed for the first 1:45 of the round when Faber was able to get a hold of Aldo’s leg. However, like all of the other times in the fight, Aldo was able to slip away. The rest of the round saw Aldo continue throwing kicks and Faber missing shots. Faber attempted to draw Aldo in so he could try a hail mary punch to end the fight, but Aldo would have nothing of it. The fifth ended just as the previous four. Faber should be commended for a hard fought effort, but Jose Aldo is just on another level. Jose Aldo def. Urijah Faber via unanimous decision (49-45, 49-45, 50-45)