Aldo vs. Faber: 2010’s Biggest Fight
Preview by Brady Crytzer
In the WEC’s first venture into the world of PPV it presents its most meaningful and intriguing fight ever as world featherweight champion Jose Aldo defends his title for the first time against seasoned veteran Urijah Faber. With the proverbial pound for pound deck being reshuffled over recent weeks, this fight stands out as the biggest so far in MMA’s emerging 2010 as the winner catapults into the top five. The 23 year old Aldo has proven to be unstoppable so far, and “The California Kid,” still in his prime, wants his belt back. While pundits have struggled with predictions, one prognostication is guaranteed…buckle up, and don’t blink.
Striking: Though it’s not his specialty, Jose Aldo has won fans and a world title due to his penchant for throwing a hurricane-like volume of strikes. With a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt in tow, Aldo stormed onto the WEC scene and ripped off five brutal knockout victories en route to his recent showdown with Mike Thomas Brown. The 23 year old Aldo wasted no time stopping Brown with piercing ground n’ pound and taking his world title bout. Though he is wild, Aldo has avoided any consequences for his sloppy, and often non-existent defense, due to sheer athletic gifts. He is not the most technically sound, but he has fight ending one-shot power in both his hands and knees. Faber is first and foremost a technician, but for the first time in a very long time he will not enjoy a speed advantage.
Faber can be hesitant to throw punches in some cases, and though he is usually the faster man he won’t be on Saturday night. The story of the stand up is Aldo’s more diverse, and more explosive, striking ability. He can finish “The California Kid” with punches or knees.
Grappling: Saturday night’s featherweight showdown will be an interesting one if it ever goes to the ground. With a decorated wrestling background, Faber has used his basic freestyle fundamentals to master the art of grappling in MMA. He is a powerful man for his size and abnormally quick when shooting for takedowns. Aldo however is a BJJ black belt with quick reflexes. Faber can outclass the 23 year old on the mat, and what he lacks in speed he’ll make up for in experience. In his last outing, Faber may have scored the most impressive win of his career by submitting jiu jitsu ace Raphael Assuncao.
Faber won’t be faster than Aldo in any dimension of this fight. But, with his well-translated wrestling background he will be fast enough to control his younger opponent when this fight goes to floor. Aldo will not be content on his back however and Faber’s submission defense will be tested.
How They Match Up: Following BJ Penn’s loss to Frankie Edgar and Anderson Silva’s unfortunate display against Damian Maia, there is going to be some reshuffling in the pound for pound rankings making this featherweight heater more meaningful than ever.
Jose Aldo is a top six fighter right now in any weight division, and a win over Faber will catapult him into third behind Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre. He’s that good and scarier yet…
He is still green.
Aldo does not have the punching power of Mike Brown, but knockouts are about more than brute strength. His speed transforms his fists into ballistic missiles, and Faber’s suspect chin will be the young Brazilian’s primary target.
Faber can win this fight if he can use his big fight experience against the youngster, but that’s only effective if Aldo isn’t up to the task. There hasn’t been any indication of difficulty yet.
Expect Aldo to close the show early in this fight. It may seem unfair to Faber to think that the champion will make quick work of him, but from what we’ve seen that’s all Aldo knows how to do. Faber’s best bet is to take Aldo into deep water and test his heart.
That’s a tall order, however. Aldo TKO 2.