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Brown Breaks Down Faber, Aldo Destroys Swanson, Pulver Says Farewell at WEC 41

(Mike Brown — toughest ginger alive. Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly.)

I know we say this almost every time there’s a WEC show — but how insane was that card last night? The main event rematch between featherweight champ Mike Brown and Urijah Faber became the latest Legendary WEC Title Fight, with the two best 145-pounders in the world slugging it out for all 25 minutes. Though every round was close, Brown got the edge from the judges thanks to his consistent takedowns and submission attempts. But who knows what would have happened if Faber didn’t break his right hand in the first round? The California Kid showed a tremendous display of guts in pushing through the pain; instead of punching with the busted paw, Faber switched to standing elbows, which turned out to be surprisingly effective. Still, the champ took everything Faber dished out, and aside from a couple of close guillotine attempts from the hometown hero, Brown steadily pushed the pace, ground down the challenger, and stayed out of trouble.

Faber’s loss may not be enough to drop him from the #2-spot in the featherweight rankings, especially when you take his injury into account. Brown and Faber have become the Federer and Nadal of the WEC — they should just keep fighting every year, no matter what the score is.

Brown’s gritty performance kept the WEC featherweight belt in Coconut Creek, and set him up for a future title defense against Jose Aldo, who earned his title shot last night with an eight-second demolition of Cub Swanson. Aldo did his best Kid Yamamoto impression, throwing a flying knee off the bell that crushed Cub’s left eye into paste. Aldo got in a couple more punches to the downed Swanson before the referee made it over to stop the fight. That makes it five-straight highlight-reel victories for Aldo during his WEC stint. Watch your back, Brown.

The first fight on the televised card turned into an emotional farewell, as Jens Pulver tapped to a guillotine choke against Josh Grispi in just 33 seconds after leaving his neck out in a takedown attempt. Pulver looked devastated following the stoppage, and Grispi didn’t seem to enjoy it much either. In his post-fight interview, Pulver said, "I’m not gonna be that guy to keep saying I’m retiring, but I think I just ended in the same place I started…this has been an incredible run…thank you for making an old man feel good." We’ll see how he feels after the adrenaline wears off, but last night could have been Lil’ Evil’s last stand.

In other action, Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone carved through the outmatched James Krause, sinking on a rear-naked choke at the end of the first round after dropping him with punches. Cerrone will likely have a rematch with lightweight champ Jamie Varner sometime this fall.

$10,000 end-of-night bonuses went to Brown and Faber for their memorable Fight of the Night, Jose Aldo for the KO that Cub Swanson is probably still feeling the day after, and Seth Dikun for his flying triangle victory over Rolando Perez that kicked off the undercard. The show brought 13,027 fans to Sacramento’s Arco Arena for a live gate of $818,415 — both records for the WEC. And I hope you followed my betting advice, because the shit was flawless. Full results from the event are below.

Main Card
- Mike Brown def. Urijah Faber via unanimous decision (49-46 x 2, 48-47)
- Jose Aldo def. Cub Swanson via TKO (strikes), 0:08 of round 1
- Donald Cerrone def. James Krause via submission (rear-naked choke), 4:38 of round 1
- Josh Grispi def. Jens Pulver via submission (guillotine choke), 0:33 of round 1

Preliminary Card
- Manny Gamburyan def. John Franchi via unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
- Rafael Rebello def. Kyle Dietz via submission (rear-naked choke), 2:55 of round 1
- Anthony Pettis def. Mike Campbell via submission (triangle choke), 1:49 of round 1
- Antonio Banuelos def. Scott Jorgensen via split decision (29-28 x 2, 28-29)
- Frank Gomez def. Noah Thomas via submission (arm-triangle choke), 3:12 of round 2
- Seth Dikun def. Rolando Perez via submission (triangle choke), 2:30 of round 1

Cagepotato Comments

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Terjay- June 9, 2009 at 3:00 am
Aldo will be something huge someday.... He's so fucking good it's scary.
IronClad- June 8, 2009 at 9:29 pm

Word, im also thinking a blend between Danny Bonaduce and Spencer Fisher.....say they got gay and could produce a child, there he is.
IronClad- June 8, 2009 at 9:28 pm
Jose Aldo is fucking scary i tell you. Watch out Brownie. Homeboy doesn't have a speed that you could reference anything too...
Savage- June 8, 2009 at 4:09 pm
yeah without a doubt Faber would have beat the crap out of Brown if he didnt break his hand early in the fight. he fought the whole time with one hand and still didnt get knocked out or submitted, i bet Brown couldnt pull off surviving with Faber if Brown only had one hand to fight with.
se7en0we2- June 8, 2009 at 1:08 pm
I bet Manny Gamburyan just layed on John Franchi for 15 minutes...sorry ass mofo!
Richard Fitzentite- June 8, 2009 at 10:34 am
Did anyone notice that Faber had the hottest female cop in California walking him out to the cage?
Richard Fitzentite- June 8, 2009 at 10:33 am
Did anyone notice that Faber had the hottest female cop in California walking him out to the cage?
Fuckyerfrat- June 8, 2009 at 10:06 am
Brown kinda looks like Spencer Fisher in that photo.
831 Son- June 8, 2009 at 9:49 am
Faber would have fucked Brown up if he didnt wreck both his hands.

Mike Brown looks amish. Straight fuckin' amish.
ScarTissue- June 8, 2009 at 9:44 am
Antonio Banuelos vs. Scott Jorgensen needs to get some props. Was an awesome war! Those guys had no quit in them.
One Two- June 8, 2009 at 9:16 am
did CP nail the parlay!?
PHELPS- June 8, 2009 at 8:44 am
Awesome weekend for fights, from Strikeforce to WEC it was great. I've been looking forward to Jose Aldo getting bigger fights for a while. The kid has serious talent, and I actually thought Swanson would put up a fight. Not sure if Brown can handle this guys muay thai.
MC Obscene- June 8, 2009 at 8:29 am
I was at the fight last night and it was fucking epic! I definately think if Faber didn't break his hand(s) he would have been able to do more and therfore pull out a win. Either way, it was a great night of fights. The place was the loudest event I have ever been to by far. Sacramento has the best fans, hands down!!!!

Faber will be back. Awesome talent and unbelevable heart.
My Fight Wiffa Cheeto- June 8, 2009 at 8:27 am
Brown is the man. I can't wait to see him fight again. Even when Faber had his hands in the first round Brownie was shrugging off his punches. Shrugged off his elbows.

Faber can scramble out of a takedown. Scrappy lil fucker.
The Mauler- June 8, 2009 at 8:17 am
Looks like Prince Charming has been kidnapped by the 'orrible troll
Blackleg- June 8, 2009 at 8:08 am
Their post-fight guy is absolute garbage. And I mean aside from his ridiculously affected "ANNOUNCER" voice.

Cub may not have been outright shooting, but he thought Aldo was going high and was looking for a double/single out of it, I hope they have a clip of the slo-mo 'cause he hit Cub with both knees not just one. End result was pretty harsh looked almost like the cut was a perfect circle around his eye.

I don't mind Jens hanging it up, I'd rather he do that than continue losing badly the way he has been.
mayhem- June 8, 2009 at 7:26 am
Good card all around.
Pulver (if he decides to hang it up) will be missed.... War Pulver!
Manny won his fight and that sucks, since I cant stand him!
Other than that it was a good night of fights.
ben- June 8, 2009 at 6:53 am
@ techzen:Awesome, glad to hear it!
Diggler- June 8, 2009 at 6:52 am
Hey Bens please find a photo of Cub right after he looks up from the ground. I think you could see his skull!

Aldo v Brown is gonne be sick.
Swedish- June 8, 2009 at 6:44 am
wow... I hope strikeforce took notes. This card was the best this weekend in every single way.

I'm pretty sure Faber hurt both hands, he was slapping with his left in the 3-5 rounds.

Great night of fights. WEC is without a doubt the number 2 promotion in the world
Bare Grappler- June 8, 2009 at 6:41 am
dumbass announcer not letting Pulver say he's probably done. Announcer goes into rant on how Pulver will still fight on. How fucking stupid?

What was Swanson doing when he leaned into that knee anyways? It wasn't a takedown attempt. His eye had to hurt after it came back from the back of his neck.

Nice win/win for the WEC with Faber breaking his hand. Faber now saves face and makes us all want to see another fight with Brown.

I love Faber's no guard strategy. Wrestlers know how to defend legs so it's plausable to just give up your back and work up to your feet. Sweet stuff that Faber paves his own way with his own strengths. That's what MMA is all about.
LockDown- June 8, 2009 at 6:36 am
Well... Brown can put Aldo wherever he wants to with his wrestling.
The problem is, Aldo has mad striking skills and is a world champion BJJ black-belt.
Unless Brown keep GnPing, he will be out soon.
techzen- June 8, 2009 at 6:34 am
I couldn't decide on a parlay bet or to bet on brown, I took your parlay advice and won a shitload of money. Awesome!
Wade- June 8, 2009 at 6:23 am
Card of the Damn Year
Amancio- June 8, 2009 at 6:22 am
If this really is the end of his career, Lil' Evil will be sorely missed.