by Ricardo Mendoza – MMAWeekly.com
MIKE BROWN VS. JOSE ALDO
WEC featherweight champion Mike Brown defends his title against Brazilian sensation Jose Aldo. Both fighters are undefeated in the WEC, so one of these fighters will keep their perfect record intact in the blue cage, but will also walk out with the title. Expect a close and evenly matched fight, as these are two of the best fighters in the division.
Brown has outworked and imposed his will on all of his opponents in the WEC, but it might be tough to do that to Aldo because the Brazilian enjoys the same control over his opponents. Brown will have the strength and wrestling advantage over Aldo, while Aldo has is better at striking and in submissions.
Each fighter’s strategy is simple. Brown will need to get into Aldo’s face and wrestle him to the ground, controlling the fight from top, not giving Aldo any space to go for submissions. Aldo will need to keep the distance and attack with combinations from the outside until he lands the big one to finish the fight. Whoever comes out on top when it’s all said and done won’t have much time to relax as there is a slew of contenders waiting to take their title away.
LEONARD GARCIA VS. MANNY GAMBURYAN
Jackson’s Submission Fighting featherweight Leonard Garcia faces off with Judo stylist Manny Gamburyan. Both fighters come off decision victories and with another win one will put himself into title contention sometime next year. Neither fighter shy away from a fight, so expect these two to be gunning for an exciting finish.
This is a classic striker vs. grappler match-up that has been prevalent in mixed martial arts since its conception.
Garcia is the much better striker, while Gamburyan is superior on the ground. Garcia needs to attack from the beginning and not give Gamburyan get a chance to get the fight to the ground, where he would control with ground and pound or go for a submission. Gamburyan would be wise to get the fight to the ground as soon as possible because Garcia will put out his lights if given the chance.
The fight will come down to whether or not Gamburyan gets the fight to the ground. If he can then his arm will be raised, if not then Garcia will have a good night.
ROB McCULLOUGH VS. KAREN DARABEDYAN
Former WEC lightweight champion “Razor” Rob McCullough faces off with debuting lightweight Karen Darabedyan. McCullough needs a solid win under his belt to get back on track, while Darabedyan will look to pull off an upset in his WEC debut. Don’t expect this fight to go to the scorecards, as these two will be looking for the kill from the onset.
McCullough is the better striker, while Darabedyan should be the stronger ground fighter thanks to his experience in Judo. One thing that could play as an advantage for Darabedyan is that McCullough just got married a couple weeks ago and may have been distracted in his preparation for the fight. Darabedyan will need to get in close to get the fight to the ground, but McCullough is good in close quarters, so it’s a blessing and a curse for Darabedyan.
Although McCullough might have not had the best camp, he should be able to handle the debuting Darabedyan and score a knockout victory.
DANNY CASTILLO VS. SHANE ROLLER
Team Alpha Male lightweight Danny Castillo faces off with former NCAA wrestling champion Shane Roller. In a thin lightweight division, the winner of the fight could be next in line for a title shot. Both fighters know what is on the line in this fight, so expect them to come out and put on a show for the fans and WEC brass.
Both fighters come from a wrestling background, but Roller is the more decorated of the two. He is a former NCAA wrestling champion and an NCAA All-American. If he can put Castillo on his back, then he has the advantage. If the fight stays on the feet, Castillo has the edge as he has drastically improved his striking. He stand-up looked especially impressive in his last fight against Ricardo Llamas.
Castillo will need to stay on the outside to avoid the takedown, while Roller will look to close the distance to get the takedown. The outcome of the fight will depend on whether or not Roller can get the fight on the ground.