Heavy.com is live in Broomfield, Colorado for this evening’s highly anticipated “WEC 51: Aldo vs. Gamburyan”.
The main card is headlined by a featherweight title fight between champion Jose Aldo and top contender Manny Gamburyan. The stacked card also includes a bantamweight bout between former champion Miguel Torres and Charlie Valencia, as well as a lightweight contender bout between bitter rivals Donald Cerrone and Jamie Varner.
To round out the card, the always entertaining Leonard Garcia faces off against Mark Hominick, while Chan Sung Jung (also known as “The Korean Zombie”) takes on George Roop.
Tune in at 9 p.m. ET for post-fight recaps from this evening’s WEC event.
Main Card Results
Leonard Garcia vs. Mark Hominick
Hominick came out utilizing a strong jab, while Garcia quickly went to his looping overhand right. Both fighters traded shots pretty equally for the first two minutes, but neither had a great deal of success within that time frame. Garcia continuously looked for a knockout punch, but struggled to find it, as Hominick effortlessly moved in and out of the pocket. With 30 seconds to go, Hominick began pushing the pace, but, once again, failed to land anything notable.
The second round started off with a lot more intensity than we had seen in the first. Both fighters stormed out of the gate, but nothing really landed for either. Hominick, however, seemed to really be finding his range, but Garcia quickly reminded him of his power with a nice combination. Hominick continued to work the jab, and both guys went back-and-forth with their shots. The action slowed as the round went on, but only a bit. Hominick’s boxing looked absolutely fantastic, while Garcia’s was much looser, as anyone would have expected. With 10 seconds to go, the fighters exchanged nice shots.
Hominick really seemed to be fresh starting off the third, pushing the pace. However, Garcia continued to throw combinations often. The pace of the fight slowed down again, as the round reached its midpoint. Garcia looked for a takedown, but Hominick threw him off, avoiding the ground game. At 2:00 mark, it was clear that Garcia was just about spent, yet he continued to throw bomb after bomb. With ten seconds remaining, both fighters went to work in hopes of a good finish. Nothing significant landed for either, but the effort was there, and the fans appreciated it. Hominick def. Garcia via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).
Chan Sung Jung vs. George Roop
Fresh off his “Fight of the Year” candidate, Jung faced off against Roop at the 145-pound mark. He seemed very crisp with his striking early, staying aggressive and keeping the pressure on Roop. Meanwhile, Roop attempted to counterstrike without much luck whatsoever. However, Roop caused Jung to look for the clinch after landing a nice head kick. The two separated after a brief exchange against the fence, and Jung landed a vicious combination, but Roop took it and came back with a few shots of his own. The final 30 seconds were rather uneventful, and “The Korean Zombie” appeared to be up on the scorecards.
Roop opened up the second round well with a solid lead jab. The two fighters got a bit tangled up, but quickly separated. Roop came back again with a nice head kick, but Jung exploded forward with a plethora of punches. When Roop went back to the head kick, Jung would not fare so well. The underdog landed a vicious head kick after a failed combination, and Jung immediately collapsed. No more punches were thrown, as Roop could see that he had done enough to earn what is likely the biggest win of his career thus far. Roop def. Jung via knockout at 1:30 of Round 2.
Miguel Torres vs. Charlie Valencia
Torres entered the cage this evening seeking redemption, while Valencia looked to make a big leap up the ladder of the bantamweight division. The first minute featured little action, as each fighter tried to get comfortable. Valencia broke the ice, barely missing with a head kick. However, Torres was the most active one, landing his jab consistently and constantly tracking down his shorter opponent. Basically out of nowhere, Torres exploded forward, sending Valencia into the cage. Torres broke away after a short clinch, and Valencia attempted to close the distance in the striking, but came up short. The fight had a short break after Torres landed a kick right to the groin of Valencia, but was quickly restarted. Valencia came out with a head kick, seemingly a bit more active. Torres quickly reasserted himself as the aggressor with only moments left in the fight, unleashing a flurry that had Valencia clearly hurt. The stoppage seemed close, but Valencia managed to flip Torres over as the bell rang.
Fighters touched glove to start the second, and Torres once again was the one pushing forward. Valencia looked for a takedown, but Torres pushed him off effortlessly. The former champion then stepped it up in a big way, pounding away at Valencia, who withered under the pressure. Torres followed him to the ground and quickly moved to Valencia’s back. Body triangle squeezed at Valencia’s midsection, as Torres slipped in the choke, forcing the tap. Dominant performance by Torres. Torres def. Valencia via submission (rear naked choke) at 2:25 of Round 2.
Jamie Varner vs. Donald Cerrone
This match up was the definition of a grudge match. Each guy came out very strong, colliding in the center of the cage. Cerrone immediately pressed Varner up against the cage, but the former champion reversed. When they separated, Varner ate several big shots and turned to evade. Cerrone followed with a big knee that barely missed. When the action slowed, Herb Dean stopped the fight to give Varner his mouthpiece back. Cerrone immediately came back on fire. Varner did the same. “Cowboy’s” corner urged him to press forward, while Varner seemed content to wait back. When he finally did come forward, Cerrone scored a big takedown, but Varner worked his way back up. The action slowed down in a big way, and the fans started to chant “Cowboy” in support of Cerrone. Varner moved forward again and ate a big left hand that buckled him. Cerrone pressed forward as time ticked down, as each fighter landed several nice shots. It was an incredible first round to say the least.
One minute later, the second round began, and it appeared as though every bit of hatred was still feverishly rushing through each fighter’s veins. They each traded a few shots in the center, but, for the majority of the first minute, no significant damage was dealt. Varner attempted to move forward once again, but, just as he had done before, Cerrene scored the takedown. Varner looked for the guillotine choke, but Cerrone avoided, but could not stop Varner from standing up. Cerrone then came forward with a nice one-two, and Varner seemed a bit timid to engage. However, he did stuff two takedown attempts to keep the fight standing. With one minute to go, Cerrone looked for another takedown, but Varner was having none of it, just like before. He attempted to turn the tables and get a takedown, but Cerrone stuffed it and raised his hands in the air, taunting Varner. He finished with a quick combination, and the second round came to a close.
Varner entered the third likely down two rounds and in need of a stoppage for the victory. Cerrone had other plans. Surprisingly, the round opened with a touch of gloves. Both fighters also seemed incredibly fresh and ready for a good showing in the last frame. Varner came forward with a nice flurry, but was nearly taken down due to his aggression. Cerrone could not get the fight down, but he landed a big head kick that staggered Varner, who came back with several big right hands. Varner was finally getting his feel in the striking game, but Cerrone was taking everything and still moving forward. However, he appeared to be wearing down, but he still managed to score a big takedown. Elbows came down from the top, and blood began to spill out of Varner’s forehead. Varner attempted to work his way back up, an he was able to, but time was against him. With one minute to go, Varner began to move forward, but was forced to stuff another takedown. With 10 seconds to go, neither fighter had anything left. Cerrone def. Varner via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Jose Aldo vs. Manny Gamburyan for the WEC Featherweight Title
Gamburyan started off strong with a big right hand, but Aldo looked completely fine with his power. Aldo looked to get his timing down, while the challenger looked to get to work quickly. Two minutes into the fight, and Aldo seemed content to display his patience. The fans, however, were not thrilled, pleading for some action. Aldo went back to the same style he had in his fight against Urijah Faber, landing several big kicks to the leg of Gamburyan. With 10 seconds to go, the challenger looked for a takedown, but the incredible balance of Aldo prevented that from happening.
Gamburyan came out with some leg kicks of his own to start the second, followed by a takedown, which Aldo easily avoided. Aldo looked completely focused, trying to find his opening to finish the fight. He found one with a quick one-two that staggered Gamburyan. A follow-up uppercut sent Gamburyan to the floor, and Aldo went to work. The Brazilian sensation unloaded on his downed opponent, putting him out after an incredible amount of punishment. Aldo def. Gamburyan via knockout at 1:32 of Round 2.