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WEC 44:

Live Blog: Jose Aldo claims WEC featherweight belt by TKO

At 23, Aldo completes ‘rags to riches’ story with win in main event

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Justin M. Bowen

Jose Aldo knees Mike Brown during the World Featherweight Championship Wednesday at the Palms. Aldo won with stoppage in the second round.

WEC 44

Leonard Garcia swings at Manvel Gamburyan during their Featherweight bout Wednesday at the Palms.  Gamburyan won by unanimous decision. Launch slideshow »

WEC 44: Aldo-Brown

Jose Aldo (right) swings at Mike Brown during the World Featherweight Championship Wednesday at the Palms.  Aldo won with stoppage in the second round. Launch slideshow »

Jose Aldo entered Wednesday night's main event with Mike Brown as a slight underdog challenger, he emerged as the undisputed WEC featherweight champion.

Aldo (16-1) delivered a dominating performance in a second-round TKO win over Brown (22-5), who had recently been billed as possibly the best featherweight mixed martial artist of all time by WEC general manager Reed Harris.

"I've got to look at the tapes and do my homework, try to improve," Brown said. "He did a great job, exposed some holes I had. It's time for for me to go back and start driving again.

For Aldo, it took slightly longer than the eight seconds he needed to TKO Cub Swanson in his previous fight. As a whole however, it was equally as impressive.

Aldo dominated the first round of the fight, keeping the action on his feet and defending any attempt Brown made at a takedown.

In the second round, Aldo was able to knock Brown off balance and take his back near the cage. From the dominant position, Aldo rained down tough shots that forced referee Steve Mazzagatti to end the contest at 1:20 into the round.

"He had a great night," Brown said. "He was landing shots and I wasn't. That's how the game is. He's a great fighter."

Round Two:

Brown wisely looks to take the fight to the ground early. Aldo defends the takedown. Brown trips up and Aldo is on top and takes his back. He's raining down shots and Brown is in trouble. Brown just covering up now and Steve Mazzagatti calls it to a stop.

Round One:

Fighters touch gloves to start this five-round championship fight. Uppercut lands for Aldo. Brown looks to clinch but Aldo throws him off. Aldo misses a big uppercut. Aldo throws a hook then a leg kick and Brown wraps up his waist in a clinch against the cage. Aldo has dominated striking game so far. Brown working for a takedown, he gets a trip but Aldo quickly back to his feet. Minute left fighters break and move to center of cage. Nice leg kick by Aldo. Good round for the challenger ends.

As good as Mike Brown has been lately, the WEC featherweight champion says he can't remember the last time he felt like a true favorite coming into a fight.

After two successful title defenses, including a five-round war with Urijah Faber in his last fight, Brown (22-4) will finally know the feeling tonight when he enters the cage with 23-year-old challenger Jose Aldo (15-1) at The Pearl at The Palms.

At the same time ironically, many believe Aldo represents one of the biggest dangers to Brown's title.

The Brazilian knockout artist earned the title shot by finishing his last five opponents, including a eight-second knockout over Cub Swanson in his last fight.

In the co-main event, featherweights Manvel Gamburyan (13-4) takes on Leonard Garcia (17-4)

Undercard results:

Manvel Gamburyan def. Leonard Garcia by unanimous decision.

Karen Darabedyan def. Rob McCullough by split decision.

Shane Roller def. Danny Castillo by submission at 3:32 of the third round.

Kamal Shalorus def. Will Kerr by TKO at 1:26 of the first round.

L.C. Davis def. Diego Nunes by unanimous decision.

Cub Swanson def. John Franchi by guillotine choke at 4:50 of the third round.

Antonio Banuelos def. Kenji Osawa by unanimous decision.

Ricardo Lamas def. James Krause by unanimous decision.

Frank Gomes def. Seth Dikun by unanimous decision.

Brett Okamoto can be reached at 948-7817 or [email protected].

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