World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) is set to pull the trigger on the last event of its 2009 fight season TONIGHT (Nov. 18) with "Brown vs. Aldo" from "The Pearl" at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.
WEC 44 features a 10-fight card, including a main event featherweight title fight between the champion from American Top Team, Mike Thomas Brown, and perhaps his most difficult challenger to date in the talented striker from Brazil, Jose "Junior" Aldo.
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE blow-by-blow, round-by-round coverage of WEC 44 below on fight night, beginning with the Versus telecast at 9 p.m. ET. In addition, up-to-the-minute quick results of all the other under card bouts will begin to flow around 7:30 p.m. ET.
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Keep in mind that we will also be the spot for the latest news, recaps and post-fight analysis after WEC 44.
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WEC 44 QUICK RESULTS:
Jose "Junior" Aldo defeats Mike Thomas Brown via technical knockout (strikes) at 1:20 of round two to become the new WEC featherweight champion
Manny "Pitbull" Gamburyan defeats Leonard "Bad Boy" Garcia via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Karen Darabedyan defeats "Razor" Rob McCullough via split decision (30-27, 27-30, 29-29)
Shane Roller defeats Danny Castillo via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:32 of round three
L.C. Davis defeats Diego "The Gun" Nunes via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Cub Swanson defeats John Franchi via submission (guillotine choke) at 4:50 of round three
Ricardo Lamas defeats James Krause via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Frank Gomez defeats Seth Dikun via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Kamal Shalorus defeats Will Kerr via technical knockout (strikes) at 1:26 of round one
Antonio Banuelos defeats Kenji Osawa via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
WEC 44 PLAY-BY-PLAY LIVE MAIN CARD COMMENTARY:
WEC Featherweight Champion Mike Thomas Brown (22-4) vs. Jose "Junior" Aldo (15-1)
Round one: Gloves touch and we're underway. Double jab from the champ. Big exchange and Mike Brown lands a huge overhand right that stuns the challenger momentarily. Big kick from Aldo. Brown initiates a clinch, but Aldo pushes him off. Nice combo lands for Aldo. Brown is stalking and he eats a hard leg kick. Another. Brown tries one of his own that finds it's mark. Aldo has Brown on the run now and he lands a high kick followed up by a big punch. The champion gathers himself and grabs Aldo for a takedown attempt. He doesn't get it, but he still has a body lock. Aldo defends another takedown attempt nicely, but Brown maintains the clinch. The champ is working the knees from there as he has Aldo pinned against the fence. Aldo finally pushes out and then lands a straight kick. Hard body kick from Aldo lands as Brown half heartedly shoots for a takedown. High kick misses from Aldo, but a low kick finds a home. Another hard leg kick from Aldo. The round ends with Aldo leaning in with an overhand right that gets blocked. The challenger likely stole round one and Mike Brown has a fight on his hands.
Round two: Brown has a cut above his right eye coming out for round two. Brown leans in with a flurry and Aldo circles out. Hard leg kick lands for Aldo and he flurries now with a wild combination. Brown tries for a takedown to escape, but Aldo shrugs it off rather easily. Aldo now with a takedown and Aldo has mount. Brown gives up his back and Aldo is raining down the punches. Brown is not defending and he's getting drilled with some heavy ground strikes. Brown isn't even trying to escape and the referee has to step in and stop the fight. Jose Aldo has just won the WEC featherweight title in dominating fashion. This fight wasn't even close. Wow.
Final result: Jose "Junior" Aldo defeats Mike Thomas Brown via technical knockout (strikes) at 1:20 of round two to become the new WEC featherweight champion
Manny "Pitbull" Gamburyan (9-4) vs. Leonard "Bad Boy" Garcia (13-4)
Round one: Manny comes out stalking Garcia. He fakes a shot and Garcia lands a leg kick. Manny looks to be setting up the takedown as he continues to fake the shot. Garcia looks tentative to engage because of that, but he finally gets a combination off as Manny decides to actually shoot this time. Manny hangs on to the leg, but Garcia is able to escape. Leg kick from Garcia. Huge left hook gets blocked by Manny. Now Manny has a clinch with Garcia's back against the cage. A low knee from Manny causes a momentary halt in the action as Garcia gets a chance to recover. Back underway and Manny throws a wild overhand right, but he follows it up with a double leg takedown attempt. Garcia sprawls nicely, but Gamburyan hangs on. He continues to work for the takedown, but Garcia finally forces him back to his feet. They stay clinched though and Manny has Garcia pinned against the cage, working more knees and foot stomps. Herb Dean separates them after a lull and Manny connects on a big right hand as Garcia tries a body kick. Manny shoots in for another takedown and eats a big kick from Garcia. The round ends with Manny lifting Garcia in the air looking for a slam that gets stopped by Herb Dean after the bell. 10-9 for Gamburyan.
Round two: High kick from Garcia gets blocked and he slips momentarily. He stays on his feet just long enough to sidestep a takedown attempt from Gamburyan. Garcia is really swinging for the fences as another huge looping right hand gets blocked by Manny. Manny shoots and he gets the takedown after some work. Garcia gets right back to his feet, but Manny maintains the clinch, landing two or three hard punches in the process. Garcia finally gets some separation and he lands another leg kick. Manny circles away from a big body kick from Garcia then grabs for a double leg takedown. He gets it and Garcia is looking for a guillotine. Manny escapes and moves to side mount. He works some ground strikes and Garcia gets half guard back. More punches from Manny, but he's surprisingly having a hard time keeping Garcia on his back. Garcia gets back to his feet, but a relentless Gamburyan immediately takes him right back to the mat as the round comes to a close. Another 10-9 round for Manny. Garcia has his work cut out for him heading into round three.
Round three: A hug from the two fighters to start round three. Garcia misses on a bomb of a right hand. He tries another and misses again, but follows it up with a hard left hook that hits it's mark. Garcia avoids another takedown, but eats a right hand in the process. Straight kick, right hand combo from Garcia. Manny leans in with a big combination of his own and an angry Leonard Garcia is begging him to come in with more. Manny obliges and takes advantage with another takedown. Garcia has full guard and he's showing some solid defense from his back. He tries a sweep, but Manny is too powerful. North south position for Manny now and he's looking for a choke. Garcia escapes easily this time, but Manny is right back on him with a clinch. Slamming takedown from Manny, but Garcia gets right back to his feet. Manny is holding on to Garcia's legs for dear life, looking to get the fight back to the mat, and Garcia finally has no choice but to succumb to it and he's on his back again. Ground strikes for Manny. Garcia sweeps and squirms his way out, but the round and fight come to an end. Manny had control of this entire fight and should win this decision 3 rounds to 0.
Final result: Manny "The Pitbull" Gamburyan defeats Leonard "Bad Boy" Garcia via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
"Razor" Rob McCullough (17-5) vs. Karen Darabedyan (8-1)
Round one: Big exchange to open up the action with both fighters landing a few hard shots. McCullough's working some leg kicks now and there's another big exchange. These guys look like they want to bang. Darabedyan is trying to push the pace and force some more exchanges, but Razor Rob is keeping the distance with leg kicks. Darabedyan leans in for another combination and he eats a big left hand from McCullough. Darabedyan looks very comfortable on his feet. McCullough lands another leg kick, then a few more. There's a little bit of blood trickling down from McCullough's nose now. He's really working to establish those leg kicks and he's landing them in bunches. McCullough leans in for a punch and gets drilled by a right hand from Darabedyan. McCullough goes for another leg kick, but Darabedyan times it perfectly and answers with another big right hand. Double jab from Darabedyan. McCullough tries to counter, but Darabedyan lands another combo, including a very hard body shot. McCullough lands another leg kick as a close round comes to an end. Very close, but Darabedyan seemed to be winning the majority of the exchanges. McCullough landed a lot of leg kicks, but I'm scoring it 10-9 for Darabedyan.
Round two: Nice jab from the newcomer to open up round two. He lands another hard one. McCullough tries a leg kick and again Darabedyan times it perfectly, this time shooting for and scoring a big takedown. He's raining down some nasty ground and pound, but Razor Rob sweeps and he's back to his feet. After a brief clinch they separate. McCullough looks to be getting frustrated as he eats more jabs from Darabedyan. Another big combination from Darabedyan finds it's home. McCullough must have caught him with a punch in that exchange too though because now Darabedyan is bleeding from under his eye. More jabs from the newcomer. McCullough is trying to push the pace now, but he keeps running right into the technical boxing of Karen Darabedyan. More kicks from McCullough land, but Darabedyan is really doing a nice job of countering those with punches as McCullough closes the distance. Another big exchange ends with Razor Rob narrowly missing with a big left hook. The round ends there and Darabedyan likely has a 2-0 lead heading into the final frame.
Round three: Razor Rob comes out and takes the center of the cage. He likely knows he needs a big round here. Darabedyan lands a leg kick, possibly the first for him in this fight. Jabs now from Darabedyan and more leg kicks from McCullough. Darabedyan leans in with a right hand and tries for a double leg takedown. McCullough shrugs it off and they separate. McCullough continues to work the leg kicks, but he's going to need to pick up the pace here if he wants to score with the judges. Another big jab lands for Darabedyan and McCullough looks like he's tired of getting hit with that. He lands a few more leg kicks and now a body kick as Darabedyan attempts another leg kick of his own. Big exchange won again by Darabedyan. McCullough has no answer for Darabedyan's hands as he continues to try to keep his distance and work the leg kicks. McCullough is really pushing the action now and his aggression might be enough to win this last round, but did he do enough to win round one will be the question. The fight ends with McCullough begging for another exchange. The round could easily be scored for McCullough, but I have the new guy winning this fight 2 rounds to 1. It's going to be interesting to see how these judges score it though.
Final result: Karen Darabedyan defeats "Razor" Rob McCullough via split decision (30-27, 27-30, 29-28)
Shane Roller (6-2) vs. Danny Castillo (8-1)
Round one: Castillo takes the center of the cage and starts feeling out a few jabs. Roller fakes a shot and Castillo leans in with a right hand that connects. A leg kick from Roller hits it's mark. Castillo continues to work the jab and is starting to land a few of them. Roller shoots in for a takedown. Castillo defends it well, but Roller hangs on with a clinch and pushes Castillo against the fence. After a few exchanges Castillo tries a takedown and get's it. Roller is right back to his feet and eats a few punches from Castillo in the process. Another takedown from Castillo is successful and again Roller is right back to his feet. Castillo shows some nice footwork, works a few more punches and again scores a takedown. Nice sweep from Roller, but Castillo gets back to the top position in Roller's full guard. The round ends with Castillo working the ground and pound and Roller defending from his back. A clear 10-9 round for Castillo.
Round two: Roller comes out with a small cut above his eye. He tries to take the center but Castillo punches his way to the middle to take back the position. Castillo initiates a clinch, works a few punches, then pushes out. Roller is backpedaling now as Castillo bull charges him with a barrage of punches. Roller covers up to defend himself and Castillo puts him on his back again. Roller is up and they're back in the clinch with Castillo's back against the cage. Roller spins his way out and now he's working some nice jabs. It's clear though that Castillo has the advantage there with more powerful and technical strikes. Roller shoots, Castillo tries to defend and now Roller has a guillotine. Castillo is in trouble as he tries to fight his way out. He finally frees himself, but gives up his back in the process. Roller gets his hooks in and he's working for the choke. He's softening Castillo up with punches ... a lot of them. Castillo is having trouble defending himself and Roller refuses to give up his dominate position. Castillo stands up, Roller loses his hooks and Castillo finally has some separation. Back on their feet with ten seconds to go in the round and Castillo flurries to end the round. Looks like Roller's round though, 10-9.
Round three: Roller opens up the action with a jab. Castillo answers with one of his own. Nice body shot lands for Castillo. Roller fakes an overhand right and shoots for a lazy takedown. Castillo sprawls easily to avoid it and now he's standing over Roller looking to rain down some bombs. He's working the ground and pound as Roller tries to mount an offense from his back. Castillo earns side control and he's scoring with some good ground and pound. Castillo continues to work and now he has Roller mounted. Roller bucks out and Castillo is back to his feet. Roller reluctantly stands up too, but he looks tired. Nice jab lands for Castillo, but Roller capitalizes on the distance being closed and slams Castillo to the mat. He has his back now and he's working for a rear naked choke. Castillo is trying to defend, but Roller has it sunk in deep now. Castillo hesitates for a moment, but he has no choice and he's forced t to tap. Solid fight and a big win for Shane Roller over a surging Danny Castillo to start the Versus telecast.
Final result: Shane Roller defeats Danny Castillo via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:32 of round three