Post-Hangover Thoughts - WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber

- April 24 may go down in history as one of the greatest days in the history of combat sports.  MMA delivered arguably the best top-to-bottom show I have ever watched, Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler put on the fight of the year front runner for boxing when they clashed in the second stage of the Super Six tournament, and Chris Arreola and Tomasz Adamek put on one of the best heavyweight boxing fights of the past few years.  As I write this I feel like I have been spoiled by too much goodness.

- Why don't we just get this out of the way right now?  Yes, I scored the Chan Sung Jung/Leonard Garcia fight for Garcia 29-28.  I have not yet re-watched the fight.  In fact, when it re-aired at the end of the PPV broadcast I just turned my TV off and went to lay in bed and watch the replay of Froch/Kessler.  There was just too much emotion going after arguing about the bout earlier in the night to re-score the bout right then.  I'm perfectly willing to say that I may score the fight differently the next time around.  There's a reason why judges aren't asked to type out detailed descriptions of the action on a website while trying to score the fight, sometimes you miss stuff.  That being said, I thought that Garcia won the second round fairly clearly and in the third round he landed a lot of early leg kicks and while he got hit with more punches than he landed, I thought his punches were the harder and better blows of the round.  I will re-watch and re-score the fight later today and do a piece fully explaining my card.

- The real downside to the Jung/Garcia fight is that fans have lost the ability to simply be entertained and accept that sometimes close decisions don't go the way you want them to. Anyone who says that fight wasn't close is out of their minds, and to focus on the decision rather that be grateful that they were given the chance to see one of the best fights in the history of MMA.  It's sad is all I'm saying.

- One last note on this epic fight: Enjoy it now because pretty soon it will go the way of Bonnar/Griffin where the trendy thing to do is ignore the incredible drama and deride it as semi-exciting sloppy kickboxing and nothing more.

- Anthony Pettis is going to be a handful for anyone in the world to try and handle.  He is looking better every time out.  Alex Karalexis had his lead leg taken away by leg kicks, Pettis used flashy kicks mixed in with very fundamentally strong boxing combinations, and then locked in a really quick triangle for the win.  Pettis is absolutely a guy to keep your eye on.

- I was shocked during the first round of the Antonio Baneulos/Scott Jorgensen fight.  I figured Jorgensen would come in and dominate start to finish, but Banuelos was able to land really sharp left hands and some good combinations while Jorgensen was in headhunting mode.  Before the second round started something must have clicked for Scott as he came out and stopped falling right into that left hand and started to strike rather than slug.  From there on out it was a wonderful performance by Jorgensen.

- As big of a fan of Anthony Njokuani as I am, once it was clear that Shane Roller had no interest in spending as much as 3 seconds of that fight on his feet it was all over.  Njokuani did a respectable job of trying to fight the choke and trying to break the body triangle, but Roller is light years better on the ground and it was just a matter of time before the tap would have to come.  On a side note: how amazing is it that this was probably the most boring fight to make the card?

- Mike Brown looked absolutely awful in the short time before Manny Gamburyan stopped him.  Brown was slow, he wasn't letting his strikes go, his footwork was plodding.  In sharp contrast Gamburyan was unexpectedly light on his feet and, while still looping, his punches looked much improved.  It seemed clear from the opening bell that we were in for an upset but when Manny caught him bending down with that short right hand it was still a real "wow" moment.  I am not shocked at all to hear that Brown had personal issues and was out of camp for some time.

- After the main event ended I felt like I was missing a fight somewhere.  After a few seconds of thought I just remembered that it was the epic rematch between Ben Henderson and Donald Cerrone.  It was a fine fight, but by that point in the night I was so spoiled that I felt like I got cheated by that fight not being another 5 rounds of insane action.  Cerrone has to be moved out of the title picture now.  There aren't many "right now" challengers out there for Henderson's crown.

- Make no mistake, Urijah Faber is one of the best featherweights ever.  Now, keeping that in mind, Jose Aldo put a rare type of hurting on Faber.  Aldo completely blew up Faber's lead leg with low kicks and used a great body attack that was sadly overlooked by most fans and the commentary team.  But it was Aldo's defense that I thought was the most impressive aspect of his game last night.  Faber was throwing his hands trying to make things happen but Aldo kept himself perfectly distanced to avoid the majority of punches thrown and when the distance was closed Aldo used really beautiful head movement to avoid any significant damage.  It wasn't as flashy as the exaggerated movements that Anderson Silva likes to use, but it was just as beautiful in its effectiveness.

- It took actual effort for me to go this long without typing the letters "WEC" (post title excluded).  I can only imagine how much effort it took everyone involved with yesterday's broadcast to not say it.  I expected them to use people tuning in to the broadcast under the "UFC presents" banner as an opportunity to push the WEC brand.  Instead we got an active effort to hide what promotion these men fought for.  At various times we were told that fighters had a specific record "in the cage" or  "in this cage" and time after time we heard references to "The Promotion."  The gloves were blank, the canvas and padding showed no WEC branding, the announcers wouldn't speak the three letters.  It doesn't really upset me (I'm in far too good of a mood after these fights to be upset) but it just strikes me as godawful levels of weird.

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