by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
It was billed as the biggest fight in WEC history, and in the end Jose Aldo proved to be the most dominant fighter the promotion has ever seen as he pounded Urijah Faber for five consecutive rounds to defend the featherweight title in Sacramento.
Aldo entered the Arco Arena to Jay-Z’s “Run This Town” and it was almost like he knew by the end of the night that he would do away with Sacramento’s hometown hero, and show who truly is the best 145lb fighter in the world.
While the fighters found their footing in the first round, Aldo saw Faber planting his left foot forward and decided to chop him down like a tree. The Brazilian threw leg kick after leg kick throughout the fight that went like a buzzsaw through Faber’s lead leg.
The Californian didn’t give up, and showed tremendous heart by switching stances, and still trying to faint and throw strikes, but Aldo’s leg kicks were so punishing he could barely stand as the fight moved on. Noticeably limping in the fight, in between rounds Faber’s corner man actually carried him back to the stool to avoid any more pressure being put on the leg than totally necessary.
With each thunderous clap, Aldo’s confidence soared, while Faber’s leg would seem to wobble just a little bit more. In the fourth round, the fight made its way to the ground where Aldo used his grappling to trap Faber in a crucifix position, and started to reign down punches and forearm strikes.
Referee Josh Rosenthal gave Faber the opportunity to continue, and the fight moved into a largely uneventful fifth round. The bout was already secured at this point, and Aldo went mostly into a defensive mode to avoid giving up any kind of haymaker Faber might have thrown at him, and with that the fight was over.
“We were planning for it to be a really tough fight, with Urijah being the tough competitor that he is, the great champion that he is,” said Aldo. “I was just waiting for the right time, and try to finish. Every time I step in the Octagon, I always try to finish and unfortunately I wasn’t able to tonight.”
The crowd voiced their displeasure towards the end of the fight, as the pace slowed down, but the judges saw the fight just like it happened, and Aldo defended his title in a lopsided decision. Regardless of fighting in Faber’s hometown, Aldo thanked Sacramento and hoped to be their new hometown hero after the win.
“I hope that you guys can adopt me as one of the next champions from this city also, this is my home away from home,” said Aldo.
Sacramento was firmly behind Urijah Faber all night, and in the end he simply didn’t have an answer for Aldo’s vicious attack on his leg.
“I trained a lot of defense for those leg kicks, but he’s just very effective with them,” said Faber after the fight.
Aldo now secures his place as not only the top featherweight in the sport, but will surely gain mentions in the pound-for-pound rankings in MMA as well. As impressive as his performance was, it seemed Aldo didn’t pull the trigger tonight to put Faber away, but he still dominated for the first decision of his WEC career.