FIGHT! Picks: WEC 48 Aldo vs. Faber

Sacramento, Calif.’s Arco Arena, home to WEC landmark events WEC 34 and WEC 41, hosts the WEC’s graduation from the Versus network to pay-per-view after three years under Zuffa’s tutelage. 135-pound and 145-pound fighters take mixed martial arts major center cage for the first time and have a little help from 155-pounders to deliver a card worth premium prices. Here are our picks for Saturday nights bouts with odds courtesy of bodog – FIGHT! is currently 44-18 with its picks in 2010.

Jose Aldo (-325) vs. Urijah Faber (+250)

WEC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo captured the belt from the man that defeated Urijah Faber twice, Mike Thomas Brown. The Brazilian is a perfect 6-0 in the WEC with all victories due to strikes, creating an unbeatable aura around the pound-for-pound fighter. Aldo defends his belt for the first time against Faber, a 5-time champion billed as the most dominant 145-pounder in history.

While the 22-year-old appears to be as flawless as he is ferocious, a veteran of Faber’s caliber can force Aldo to make mistakes over 25-minutes. Faber’s speed matches Aldo relatively well standing, but working with Greco-Roman Pan American Champion Joe Warren, “The California Kid” understands the best way to slow Aldo is by putting him on his back.

Aldo is dangerous at all times; however, sound strategy usually defuses bombs like the young Brazilian. Expect a dynamic back and forth scrap before Faber’s wear and tear game takes over.

FIGHT! Pick: Faber

Go here to watch video of WEC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo.
Go here to watch video of former WEC Featherweight Champion Urijah Faber.

Benson Henderson (-115) vs. Donald Cerrone (-115)

In a rematch of a 2009 Fight of the Year candidate, WEC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson and challenger Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone are prepared for another five rounds. A razor thin decision crowned Henderson the victor last time, so it’s likely both are unwilling to go the distance again. For all of Cerrone’s outward ruggedness, Henderson matches, and his wrestling allows him to rack up points between all the back and forth damage being dished out.

FIGHT! Pick: Henderson

Mike Thomas Brown (-650) vs. Manny Gamburyan (+450)

Former WEC Featherweight Champion Mike Thomas Brown sees Manny Gamburyan standing between him and a title shot with familiar foes Aldo and Faber. For Gamburyan, he needs to shove Brown aside to be included in the conversation at the top of the division. It’s a match between powerful, controlling fighters with heavy implications at 145-pounds.

Gamburyan lives and dies by imposing his stifling judo. Brown’s American Top Team roughhousing also comes with technical ability the Maine native translates to finishes and that’s a better possibility than the former featherweight king being overcome by a single minded game like Gamburyan’s clinch, control combination. Look for Brown’s hands to lead the way to victory.

FIGHT! Pick: Brown

Anthony Njokuani (-105) vs. Shane Roller (-125)

An exciting muay Thai stylist, Anthony Njokuani has never faced a wrestler of Shane Roller’s pedigree. A three-time All-American at Oklahoma State University, Roller has adapted to mixed martial arts enough to stand comfortably in order to capitalize on Njokuani’s openings with takedowns as he strikes.

FIGHT! Pick: Roller

Scott Jorgensen (-295) vs. Antonio Banuelos (+235)

FIGHT! Pick: Fight of the Night honors at WEC 41 skipped Urijah Faber and Mike Thomas Brown’s classic second bout in favor of Scott Jorgensen and Antonio Banuelos’ hotly contested 15-minute scrap. A Division I wrestler at Boise State University, Jorgensen’s come into his own since their initial outing and should have the improved stand-up to find a favorable outcome in all aspects of the fight against a game Banuelos.

FIGHT! Pick: Jorgensen

RECAP
Jose Aldo (-325) vs. Urijah Faber (+250)
FIGHT! Pick: Faber

Benson Henderson (-115) vs. Donald Cerrone (-115)
FIGHT! Pick: Henderson

Mike Thomas Brown (-650) vs. Manny Gamburyan (+450)
FIGHT! Pick: Brown

Anthony Njokuani (-105) vs. Shane Roller (-125)
FIGHT! Pick: Roller

Scott Jorgensen (-295) vs. Antonio Banuelos (+235)
FIGHT! Pick: Jorgensen

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