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Featherweight Title Changes Hands Again as Jose Aldo Takes Out Mike Brown at WEC 44

(Aldo vs. Brown. Props: MMA Linker. If the video doesn’t load for you, click here.)

Last night at WEC 44 in Las Vegas, Jose "Junior" Aldo went from exciting prospect to King of the Featherweight Mountain. The 23-year-old Nova Uniao standout picked up his sixth-straight TKO victory in the WEC — as well as his first major title — by shutting down incumbent champion Mike Brown‘s advantages in strength and wrestling while unleashing his own fearsome finishing ability as soon as the opportunity presented itself.

The first round of their main event battle saw both men trade heavy strikes, with Aldo impressively defending Brown’s takedown efforts. Aldo found his moment early in the second frame, rattling the champ with a flying knee and punches, then shoving his off-balance opponent to the canvas when Brown came in with a left hook. Aldo quickly transitioned to back-mount on the ground, and began firing punches to the side of Brown’s head. Brown tried to roll out of danger, but found himself caught in a mousetrap-like body lock that kept him pinned on his stomach. Eventually he turtled, and "Worst Referee in the History of Fighting" Steve Mazzagatti had to step in and do his job.

WEC 44 was also a great night for Armenian fighters, as Karo‘s cuz Manny Gamburyan toughed out a unanimous decision against Leonard Garcia thanks to his takedowns and ability to avoid Garcia’s strikes, while Karen Darabedyan — a training partner of Parisyan and Gamburyan — made a promising WEC debut, scoring a split-decision over former lightweight champion Rob McCullough.

In the first fight of the televised broadcast, Iranian newcomer Kamal "Prince of Persia" Shalorus overwhelmed Will Kerr with swing-for-the-fences power-punches en route to a first-round TKO victory. It wasn’t the most graceful performance, but if Shalorus can tighten up his technique he could become a factor in the lightweight division. Full results from the event are below…

– Jose Aldo def. Mike Brown via TKO, 1:20 of round 2
– Manny Gamburyan def. Leonard Garcia via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x 2)
– Karen Darabedyan def. Rob McCullough via split decision (30-27 Darabedyan, 27-30 McCullough, 29-28 Darabedyan)
Shane Roller def. Danny Castillo via submission (rear-naked choke), 3:32 of round 3
– Kamal Shalorus def. Will Kerr via TKO, 1:26 of round 1
– L.C. Davis def. Diego Nunes via unanimous decision (30-26 x 3)
Cub Swanson def. John Franchi via submission (guillotine choke), 4:50 of round 3
Antonio Banuelos def. Kenji Osawa via unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)
Ricardo Lamas def. James Krause via unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
Frank Gomez def. Seth Dikun via unanimous decision (30-27 x 2, 29-28)

Cagepotato Comments

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Jubbie- November 19, 2009 at 6:49 pm
I was surprised by Aldo's size in general. He looked pretty big. Maybe my memory is just bad but I seemed to imagine him being kinda scrawny in his previous fights. Impressive win and I agree the stoppage was fine. Brown didn't complain when it got stopped.

Pretty nice card in general. Karen showed some nice boxing even if he couldn't finish.
bbbcswr- November 19, 2009 at 12:40 pm
respect fxdfp.

Frank Mir put the stoppage into perfect perspective. Every fighter knows they have to improve if they are in a vulnerable position or they run the risk of the fight being stopped. Aldo's legs were in so deep. No way Brown, or anyone else, was getting out of that position. And like the commentators said, he wasnt exactly throwing pitter-patter punches. Those are powerful blows. But enough of that bullshit.

I was impressed at the takedown defense of Aldo. And his strength. Brown got the leg a few times and couldnt do shit with it. Aldo just held his ground. I think Aldo will reign for a loonnng time. How old is he? 23?
fxdfp- November 19, 2009 at 12:13 pm
"Not to take anything away from Brown, but that was a shit stoppage, and most of those were punches to the back of the head. I might have to jump on Dana's Mazzagatti sucks bandwagon."

Mazzagatti did his job correctly. Listen to what Frank Mir says at the end of the fight. Brown was unable to improve his position and was taking unanswered strikes to the head. They were legal blows to the side of the head, there was more than 3 minutes left in the round and Aldo had the dominant position that Brown couldn't get out of. It was a good call by Mazzagatti so save Brown from further damage. If he let it go any longer Brown would have just taken more of a beating.
fxdfp- November 19, 2009 at 12:09 pm
Faber should fight brown again - he's lost twice in a row and needs to prove he can get past brown for a title shot...
robthom- November 19, 2009 at 11:54 am
A few errant blows is pretty common and acceptable. It wouldn't be good to suddenly stop a fight or call a foul because one or two blows went wild in a flurry. It should be more than a few by accident or done intentionally before a foul is called.
But it did start to look borderline IMO.
Aldo should work on being more careful from behind, flurry or not, because it was almost disrespectful.
But he's young. He deserves a warning and a chance to improve. The win was still legit, this time.
Endocat- November 19, 2009 at 10:40 am
I don't know why people keep crying about those blows to the back of the head, it happens, its not like he meant to do it. Like i said brown hit faber in the back of the head when he won the belt.
agentsmith- November 19, 2009 at 10:36 am
superflat Says:

My guess is we'll see Gamburyan up next for the featherweight belt.

Maybe, even though he'd surely get smashed by Aldo or any of the other top dogs. But he might get his shot anyway just because of timing... Faber's still nursing his hands, Garcia just lost to Gamburyan, Assuncao just barely won his last fight, Fabiano just lost to Semerzier, and Semerzier has only one fight in the WEC (and only 4 total).

So unless they give Faber an immediate title shot when he comes back, or they decide to throw Sermerzier into the deep end, there really isn't anyone else besides Gamburyan in a position to challenge for the title right now.
831 Son- November 19, 2009 at 10:25 am
It was a totally justified stoppage. Only a few of the blows were to the back of the head, but it is sort of inevitable in a fight when you are going 110%. And anyone using the whole he didnt look hurt excuse is retarded. Just because someone isnt KO'd doesnt mean their head isnt rattled and hurting. After only a few of those shots, Brown clearly didnt want anymore.
bozothebrown- November 19, 2009 at 10:22 am
brown's still the fuckin man.....they should put grispi against aldo
G Funk- November 19, 2009 at 10:22 am
Good Stoppage, punches were NOT landing directly to the back of the head losers! stop bitchin and pull that sand coated wahd of panty out your vags

Skeletor, who gives a flying fuck who Faber's next opponent is going to be? He is not the champ, he has not fought since his loss and he sure as hell aint gonna fight for the title without at least one win. Who's he going to fight? A CAN!!!
Kimbos Bread- November 19, 2009 at 10:16 am
Fuck that shit. Most of those blows were clearly to the back of the head.

Either take the rule out, or enforce it properly.
for the love of mma- November 19, 2009 at 10:12 am
wow aldo was impressive!! i didnt relaize how strong he was! he man handled mike brown!!
frndlylion- November 19, 2009 at 10:10 am
Dana White takes back all the nasty things he said about you.


not likely.
petro- November 19, 2009 at 10:09 am
I don't see what the controversy here is. Brown got beat up, he was flat on his stomach, legs not moving, covering up and thats what you call not defending yourself intelligently. Yeah there were some hits to the back of the head, but that's inevitable and wasn't done intentionally. What I was surprised to see was how strong Aldo was, holy looked like Brown was up against a welterweight. Aldo was tossing him around like he was his kid brother, and Brown is supposed to be the powerful guy @ 145.
robthom- November 19, 2009 at 10:06 am
Wow. I dont think the muricans have any titles left do we?
Except for Brock? At least we still dance better. Or do we?
Endocat- November 19, 2009 at 9:49 am
Punches to the back of the head? thats how brown won the title the first time from Faber
skeletor- November 19, 2009 at 8:55 am
That should be an easy first title defense for Aldo. Who is fabers next opponent going to be?
mthomas- November 19, 2009 at 8:51 am
Even Brown said in an interview afterwards that it was a good stoppage. He said that his legs were trapped and he wasn't going to be able to het out of there any time soon. Congrats Mazagatti: You CORRECTLY stopped a fight! Dana White takes back all the nasty things he said about you...
superflat- November 19, 2009 at 8:49 am
No, it was not an early stoppage -- after the fight, Brown looked and talked like a man who'd just lost. And I know Brown's usually humble regardless, but he was getting beat up.

My guess is we'll see Gamburyan up next for the featherweight belt.
Kindling- November 19, 2009 at 8:19 am
I agree with you, I do. And to an extent I'm playing a bit of devil's advocate here, but to me Brown didn't look very hurt. Instead, to me he looked like a man biding his time, not one who gave up. I think he underestimated what a truly terrible position he was in and what scant tolerance a referee would have to his just trying to absorb as little damage as possible while figuring a way out of that particular kettle of fish. He made a mistake for sure, I just think that as a champion, you earn maybe a few seconds more. Do I think Brown would have eventually come back to win it? No. I had Aldo winning this one from the moment it was announced. But considering what a grey area "the right time" is for a stoppage these days, I think give the champ a little leeway.
Hamma Fist Elbow Bam-Bam- November 19, 2009 at 8:17 am
Yes, I meant Aldo. I'm not saying Brown would've won, but if you're turtled and a guy's punching the other fighter in the back of the head, either:

A. You stop the action and give him a warning...


B. You give the turtled guy a little longer to roll or change position. Just a few seconds.

I dunno, I just don't like when they stop it just because a guy throws punches that aren't landing faster. They still aren't really landing.
portland mma- November 19, 2009 at 7:43 am
I'm shocked there are guys on here saying that was a bad stoppage, its probably because a certain guy said the ref of the fight was the worst ever, but this stoppage was obvious. Brown couldn't get out and got hit how many times unanswered? You aren't intelligently defending yourself when your flat on your stomach, unable to move and getting hit in the head over and over again.
shitbag- November 19, 2009 at 7:15 am
I thought it was stopped late if anything! Brown was getting hammered, Aldo has power, he has that extra pop/devasting power in his punches not all fighters have. Watch out, this kid is somethin - no one beats him for awhile.
Gogo Platypus- November 19, 2009 at 7:09 am
If you look at Brown's legs, he was making an effort to get out, but it was never going to happen. Good stoppage, imo.

What surprises me is that Brown tried to get up, instead of letting Aldo spend some time in his guard. It's a full five rounds. There's plenty of time to work a game plan. But instead Aldo easily rolls him, passes his guard and game over. Seems like a huge tactical error.
Soda Popinski- November 19, 2009 at 7:07 am
i agree with skeletor. when they showed the replay of the over head view, all you see is Brown's legs flailing in an attempt to get out of Aldo's grip and you could easily see that it just wasnt gonna happen. yeah, maz could have let it go on but i think it would have been no different.