World Extreme Cagefighting tonight (April 24, 2010) pulled the trigger on its inaugural pay-per-view (PPV) event from the Arco Arena in Sacramento, California.
And if the great action -- and tremendous crowd turnout -- is any indication, it certainly won't be the last.
Hometown favorite "The California Kid" Urijah Faber was tasked with derailing 145-pound champion, Jose "Junior" Aldo, in the main event of the evening and reclaiming the top spot as the best featherweight in the world.
Unfortunately, Aldo, and his brutal leg kicks, were just too much for Faber to handle.
Aldo chipped away at Faber's front leg with vicious precision for three straight rounds, hobbling the former champion and sapping him of his explosive mobility. In fact, Faber's cornerman carried him to the corner at the end of the third round because Faber was so injured.
It was a calculated and patient dissection from the champion, chopping Faber down from the bottom up and then beating him up from the top down.
Finally, in the fourth round, Faber had no other choice but to pull guard and hope to somehow pull off a come-from-behind victory from his back. All that got him, however, was in the wrong side of a mounted crucifix position. Faber was able to hang on to the fifth in final round, basically, on sheer guts alone.
It was that close to being stopped.
The fifth round was a mere footnote in an otherwise lopsided fight. Aldo coasted to a dominant unanimous decision win over a very good and talented Faber. Aldo is so good that in the end he didn't look remotely tired or even touched for that matter.
And he's just 23 years young. Scary business.
WEC Lightweight Champion Ben Henderson and Donald Cerrone rematched in the co main event of the evening, hoping to somehow recapture the epic action that earned them one of the best fights of 2009.
Henderson proved that their first encounter was no fluke, sinking in a tight guillotine choke just minutes into the first round that had the "Cowboy" tapping furiously to escape.
It almost seemed incredulous because Cerrone has never been finished in his career. But he must have been in deep trouble to submit so quickly. The Hasim Rachman/Elephant Man-esque growth on Cerrone's forehead from a Henderson knee more than likely didn't help the situation.
Huge win for Henderson. He set himself apart from the rest of the division tonight with such an impressive (and decisive) performance ... or is an Octagon debut in his near future?
Former featherweight champion Mike Brown was looking to put away Manny Gamburyan tonight and challenge the winner of the main event between Jose Aldo -- the man who took the belt from him -- and Urijah Faber -- the man who he defeated twice to keep the title.
It didn't happen.
Gamburyan landed a crushing short right hook in the first round that stunned Brown, as well as most of those watching ringside and on television. He capitalized quickly and basically had the super tough Brown snoring on the canvas shortly thereafter.
Brown initially disputed the stoppage, but it was just. He was out and Gamburyan was landing several unanswered blows.
What an upset. And not just because Gamburyan pulled off the win, but the way in which he did it.
Time will tell if it's impressive enough to get him a title shot some time soon. It would certainly be nice to see him get at least one more big win, but three straight consecutive victories over Brown, Leonard Garcia and John Franchi are nothing to sneeze at.
Lethal kickboxing extraordinaire Anthony Njokuani wanted to make Shane Roller his fourth "Knockout of the Night" victim, but the decorated collegiate wrestling standout had other plans.
Roller implemented his gameplan to a tee, taking down the lethal Njokuani seconds into the first round. Njokuani tried his best to get to his feet, but Roller's skills on the ground were just too much to overcome.
It was academic from that point forward, as Roller smothered Njokuani, took his back twice and eventually sunk-in a fight-ending rear naked choke.
Njokuani looked totally out of his element on the ground. And if Roller were more skilled in the jiu-jitsu department, it could have been over sooner than it was.
Regardless, it was a huge win for Roller -- his third straight -- and a reminder to Njokuani that he needs to work on putting a little more mixed into his martial arts.
Antonio Banuelos and Scott Jorgensen had the insurmountable task of following the absolute war between Leonard Garcia and Chan Sung Jung to kick off the promotion's first-ever televised match on PPV.
It clearly wasn't able to match the ridiculous action, but it was entertaining to watch nonetheless.
Jorgensen, on relatively short notice, was out to avenge a controversial split decision loss from last June. And despite a hairy first round in which he was dropped with a big left, he was able to recover and thoroughly beat up a game Banuelos for two full rounds.
He went on to earn a unanimous decision from all three judges sitting ringside, but Banuelos did anything but roll over and hand it to him. Jorgensen had him hurt and in a few very bad positions, but he just didn't quit.
With three straight wins -- and five out of his last six -- Jorgensen has set himself up to take on the best in the division. With a win over former champions Brian Bowles or Miguel Torres in his next fight (is that's what happens), don't be surprised to see Jorgensen getting his shot at Dominic Cruz's 135-pound title sometime soon in 2010.
That’s enough from us — now it’s your turn to discuss "Aldo vs. Faber" in the comments section below. Sound off, Maniacs.
Who on Earth can possibly usurp Aldo's crown at this point? Is Henderson ready for UFC competition? Was the UFC-style production much-improved over the WEC we've come to know and love or do you want to see it go back to the way it was/normally is?
Lot's to talk about -- Let’s hear what you have to say in the comments section below.
For complete WEC 48 results and detailed blow-by-blow commentary of the televised main card fights click here.