Faber, Aldo, Henderson, Cerrone on WEC PPV Debut
In what will be one of the biggest nights in MMA history, World Extreme Cagefighting® presents its most explosive card ever. On Saturday, April 24, live on Pay-Per-View from the ARCO Arena in Sacramento, Calif., hometown hero “The California Kid” Urijah Faber attempts to capture the featherweight title from feared Brazilian knockout artist and ESPN’s 2009 Fighter of the Year Jose Aldo.
If that wasn’t enough, lightweight champion Ben Henderson collides with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in a rematch of the 2009 Fight of the Year. Their first bout featured five grueling rounds of nonstop action and both promise even more fireworks when they meet again in April. Plus, former featherweight champion Mike Brown locks horns with Armenian judo ace and The Ultimate Fighter™ finalist Manny Gamburyan in one of the most anticipated fights of 2010.
“We are building the most action-packed card we’ve ever done for our first Pay-Per-View,” WEC General Manager Reed Harris said, adding that at least five fights will make the PPV broadcast. “The Jose Aldo-Urijah Faber fight is something fans have been talking about for a long time. When those two step inside the cage, it could be one of the best fights in the history of the sport. With the Cerrone-Henderson rematch and the Brown-Gamburyan fight also scheduled, this guarantees that fans get the most bang for their buck.”
Tickets for WEC: Aldo vs. Faber go on sale Saturday, Feb. 6 at 10 a.m. PT and will be priced at $185, $135, $75, and $40. A special Internet ticket pre-sale will be available to WEC newsletter subscribers on Friday, Feb. 5 starting at 10 a.m. PT. To access this presale, users must register for the WEC newsletter through wec.tv. Tickets may be purchased by calling Ticketmaster Charge-By-Phone at 1-800-745-3000 or by visiting the ARCO Arena Box Office. Tickets also are available online through www.wec.tv or www.ticketmaster.com.
WEC: Aldo vs. Faber will be available live on pay-per-view on iN DEMAND, DIRECTV, DISH Network, TVN, BellTV, Shaw Communications and Viewer’s Choice Canada for a suggested retail price of $44.99 ($49.99/Canada) for standard definition or high-definition broadcasts (where available).
Named ESPN MMA Live’s 2009 Fighter of the Year, featherweight champion Jose Aldo (16-1) has proved to be one of the most devastating fighters to ever grace the WEC cage. After scoring consecutive knockouts in his first five WEC fights, Aldo earned a shot against then-champion Mike Brown last November. Using blazing speed and heavy strikes, the 23-year-old Brazilian upended Brown in two rounds to earn his first world championship. He now makes his first title defense against number one contender Urijah Faber and believes a win could serve as the beginning of one of the most dominant championship reigns in history.
“Urijah is a good fighter, but he’s not taking my belt,” Aldo said. “My dream has been to be the world champion. Now that I have the belt, I am not giving it up.”
Having already completed a two-year run as WEC featherweight champion in his stellar career, Sacramento, California’s Urijah Faber (23-3) is poised to recapture the belt when he takes on Aldo at ARCO Arena. Riding the momentum of his January victory over Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt Raphael Assuncao, “The California Kid” believes he can diffuse the champion’s speed by using his top-notch wrestling and slick defense. What’s more, Faber has made it clear that when Aldo brings the belt to Sacramento on April 24, he’s leaving it at ARCO Arena.
“It’s Jose Aldo’s belt right now – but in my mind, that’s my belt,” Faber, who owns wins over Dominick Cruz, Jeff Curran, and Jens Pulver (twice), said. “My belief is that I should have that belt, and I’m gonna go in there and try to get it. I’m out here ready to prove it.”
“I think the guy that poses a threat to Aldo is a guy that’s just as fast as he is,” Faber continued. “That guy also has dangerous strikes, but has the advantage of dictating where the fight goes. That guy might just be me. I’ve got a proven record of submitting and grounding and pounding guys and I’m very difficult to knock out.”
WEC lightweight champion Ben “Smooth” Henderson (11-1) has defeated a Who’s Who of elite lightweights since joining the division in 2009. Owning wins over Anthony Njokuani, Shane Roller, Donald Cerrone, and most recently Jamie Varner, the 26-year-old has relied on his tremendous grappling and precision striking en route to capturing lightweight gold. The Glendale, Ariz. resident now turns his attention to a fight with Cerrone, who he battled for five grueling rounds last October.
“I expect another great fight and hopefully I’ll be able to end it this time, like I do with most of my fights,” Henderson, who unified the lightweight titles with a win over Varner at ARCO Arena in January, said. “Call me crazy, but I’m ready for another five-round war with Cerrone. Let’s have the exact same five-round, hard, all-out war. I love that, I’m not going to lie. But at the end, I want to finish it. I don’t want it to go to a judges’ decision, I don’t want any controversy; I don’t want any ifs, ands or buts. I want to end it.”
Fan favorite Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone is blunt when he speaks of his upcoming rematch with champion Ben Henderson. When the 26-year-old meets Henderson on April 24, he plans to pick up where the two left off last fall. Except this time, Cerrone doesn’t believe the fight will make it to the judges’ scorecards.
“What’s different this time is that I know what he has,” Cerrone, who scored a victory over Ed Ratcliff in his last fight in December, said. “He gave me everything he had last time. I know what I did wrong and what I need to fix. I feel like Ben can be finished and I’m ready to show the world that he can be put away.”
Former featherweight champion Mike Brown (23-5) believes a win over Manny Gamburyan in April will put him first in line for a crack at the winner of the Jose Aldo-Urijah Faber bout. With that said, the 34-year-old, who owns wins over Jeff Curran, Urijah Faber (twice), Leonard Garcia, and Anthony Morrison, plans to make a big statement when he fights the Armenian judo ace.
“It’s the perfect step for me right now to make my way back to the title,” Brown, who returns to scene of his last victory in Sacramento,” said. “We’re both solid takedown guys with solid jiu-jitsu, but I’m the bigger, harder puncher. I just have to crack him hard. If I hit him hard, I think he won’t want any part of it.”
Unbeaten since dropping to featherweight last year, Manny Gamburyan (12-5) considers himself among the best 145-pounders in the sport. Thanks to a dominant performance against Leonard Garcia in his last fight in November, “The Anvil” finds himself facing former champion Brown in a pivotal fight. The significance of the bout is not lost on the 28-year-old, and he believes fans will see the best Gamburyan ever on April 24.
“He’s a former world champion and I give him props,” Gamburyan said. “But I’m going to find his weaknesses and beat him. It’s going to be a good fight. I can’t wait for this fight.”
Remaining bouts for WEC: Aldo vs. Faber will be announced at a later date. For more information, visit www.wec.tv. Follow WEC at http://twitter.com/WEConVERSUS.