Fresh off his third straight technical knockout victory under the WEC banner less than two weeks ago at WEC 38: "Varner vs. Cerrone", Brazilian 145-pounder Jose Aldo (13-1) will make a speedy return to square off against submissions whiz Chris Mickle (26-11-1) at WEC 39: "Brown vs. Garcia" at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas on March 1.
"Junior" defeated Rolando Perez with a first round knockout at WEC 38 and is one of the fastest rising stars in the organization. In fact, outside of ex-champion Urijah Faber and of course Leonard Garcia,
Aldo is right there as far as top contenders for title contention in the WEC featherweight division.
The scary part about him is that not only he is a world class striker who can end a fight from just about anywhere on his feet, but he's also a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt who is equally dangerous on the ground.
The 21 year-old Brazilian is currently on a six fight winning streak, including the three straight stoppages in the WEC over Alexandre Franca Nogueira, Jonathan Brookins and the aforementioned Perez.
Opposing him will be Chris Mickle, who comes into his WEC debut with over four years of professional mixed martial arts experience. During that time, he's fought on average about once every six or seven weeks, squeezing together 38 pro bouts including matches against UFC veterans Jeremy Stephens, Clay Guida, and Rich Clementi.
The Iowa native is a submissions guru with 22 career wins by way of tap out. He's won seven of his last eight contests, with the one loss coming to the heavy handed Zac George in September of 2007.
He faces a very stiff test in Aldo. We know Junior has the BJJ black belt, but we haven't really had the opportunity to see him use those skills yet in the WEC. Perhaps this is the match-up that will call for him to show his all-around game.
WEC 39: "Brown vs. Garcia" features a 145-pound title fight between champion Mike Thomas Brown and challenger Leonard Garcia. The co-main event will be a lightweight number one contender match between Rich Crunkilton and Bart Palaszewski.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more on the developing fight card.