Urijah Faber used to be the king of featherweight mountain. After his WEC 48 fight against current 145 champ Jose Aldo, Faber is lucky if he could take two steps up that mountain without falling down in excrutiating pain.
The Brazilian landed a bevy of nasty leg kicks in the first three rounds and sealed the win in the fourth when he got Faber in a crucifix and pounded away. Aldo cruised in the fifth to pick up a dominant, unanimous decision win, 49-45, 49-45 and 50-45, over one of the top 20 fighters in the world to retain his WEC featherweight title belt in the main event at Arco Arena in Sacramento. The win held extra significance since it marked the first time WEC was placed on pay-per-view.
Faber, a good wrestler with nasty submission skills, chose to duke it out with the much bigger, longer Aldo. Faber consistently tried to work a body-head combo, but Aldo was able to scoot away or counter with nasty leg kicks. By the middle of the second round, Aldo was landing the kicks whenever he wanted and had Faber limping badly. After the third round, Faber's trainer Master Thong actually ran to his fighter and carried him to the corner. Once he sat down, it looked like the corner was ready to stop the fight. They allowed it to go on and Faber took a massive beating in the fourth.
Faber, who tried roughly 10 shots to get Aldo to the floor during the first three-and-a-half rounds, tried one more with 2:25 left in the fourth. Aldo escaped and Faber laid on the ground, nursing his injured legs. Aldo decided to jump into Faber's guard where he was quickly able to get to side control. From there, he converted it to a crucifix where he had both of Faber's arms pinned down. That's when the beating began as Faber was in survival mode with 1:40 left in the round. Not every shot was a hard one, but most hit their mark. In all, Aldo landed 64 punches and 27 elbows to Faber's unprotected head. Referee Josh Rosenthal stood by closely to see if anything knocked Faber silly. Nothing did, but you can guarantee his head will be knotted up Sunday after enduring 120 seconds of blows.
This was a huge win for the 23-year-old Aldo. He beat a guy in Faber (23-4, 8-3 WEC), who ruled the featherweight roost from 2005 to 2008 with 13 straight wins. Faber's now lost three-of-five fights, including two against Mike Brown.
Aldo destroyed Brown back in December to pick up the WEC 145 hardware. Aldo possesses a rare blend of size and athleticism that the division hasn't seen. He appears to be stronger and faster than everyone else right now.
Faber needs to go back to the drawing board. His game plan was flawed. He had trouble catching Aldo on the feet and couldn't defend himself against those nasty kicks. He got destroyed whether he was in a conventional or southpaw stance. He'll also need time to let that left leg (pictured on the left) recover.