WEC 51: Aldo vs. Gamburyan was a fine fight card to help fans get over the disappointment of UFC 119 but at the same time it wasn't quite the great show that everyone was hoping with the way things looked on paper.
- Jose Aldo proved that he belongs in the discussion of the pound-for-pound best in the sport with his absolute destruction of Manny Gamburyan. Some fans are no doubt displeased when a guy with the explosive ability of Aldo spends the first round getting a feel for range and the gameplan of the other fighter, but it's honestly the mark of maturity. As soon as Aldo felt that he had things figured out in the second round he opened up a little bit more and finally landed a crisp punch that set up the final flurry. You're likely not going to see too many times in his career going forward where Aldo flies out after the opening bell looking for the kill, it's what comes with being the champion.
- Donald Cerrone vs. Jamie Varner provided a good amount of excitement while also being quite one-sided. Cerrone fought a very good fight but his incredibly disappointing behavior and poor sportsmanship though the fight really only served to overshadow what he did well. It's a shame that while all he did was feed into the worst beliefs about the sport and those who compete in it he was rewarded with a fight of the night bonus.
- Another shame is that the bonus system doesn't serve to reward guys who fight smart, controlled fights as was the case in Mark Hominick's systematic domination of Leonard Garcia. Without getting the knockout or getting into a slugging war there was no way Hominick was leaving with a bonus despite having arguably the most impressive performance of the night. Of course, one of the judges somehow justifying scoring the bout for Leonard Garcia is a much, much bigger issue than any I may have with the bonuses. Garcia should now be on a 6 fight losing streak but awful judging has kept him in almost every fight and even when losing he's managing to win scorecards with his awful and amateurish style of winging wild punches that never seem to find their mark.
- Finally, George Roop's KO of Chan Sung Jung was a thing of beauty. Jung looked awful against someone who wasn't willing to get into a slugging match and when the high kick from Roop landed it flipped his switch straight off.
Photo by April Pishna via MMA Weekly