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Aldo-Faber is 'Clash of the Titans'

Story by Anthony Springer Jr.

To say that the upcoming bout between Jose Aldo and Urijah Faber is a clash of the titans is an understatement. If the WEC featherweight title and the title of best featherweight in the world weren’t enough, Aldo and Faber anchor the WEC’s first foray into the pay-per-view market.

In other words, this is a pretty big deal.

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, “The California Kid” and his impressive resume are already familiar. The head of Team Alpha Male ruled the 145 pound division for nearly three years. With five successful defenses to his name and a resume that includes victories over Jens Pulver (twice), current bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, and Jeff Curran, Faber earned the right to be the face of the UFC’s sister promotion.

And then there’s Jose Aldo (16-1). It’s safe to say that the WEC’s new reigning 145 pound king is the antithesis to his upcoming opponent. While Faber (23-3) is well known, Aldo is a virtual unknown to any non MMA-purist. One look at the Brazilian’s resume reveals that Saturday night’s main event will be no walk in the park for the man looking to reclaim the WEC featherweight championship.

Simply put, Aldo is a wrecking machine.

The champion rides a nine fight winning streak into the cage. With notable, highlight reel victories over Mike Brown and an eight second KO of Cub Swanson, anybody that doesn’t know the name Jose Aldo will get a proper introduction this weekend.

Despite facing the most dangerous opponent of his career, Faber insists his game plan hasn’t changed much from previous fights.

“As far as the preparation, it’s been fairly regular,” Faber said on a recent WEC conference call. “A little bit more kick box aligned because you have kicks and knees but other than that I’m just going to be ready to rock and throw down.”

Mincing no words, Aldo promises to be ready for the same and makes no secret about a desired end to the bout.

“I don’t think it’s any surprise what I’m going to do,” Aldo said via translator Ed Soares. “Everybody sees my style of fighting. I come in aggressive, I come in explosive and I’m going to come in and look for the knockout.”

While the stakes are high for both men, Aldo is essentially a gladiator stepping into a lion’s den. The bout takes place in Faber’s backyard of Sacramento, which all but guarantees a pro-challenger crowd. With one of the better featherweights in the world staring back at him, the only Aldo supporters at the Arco Arena are likely the ones in his corner. These daunting odds might cause other fighters to wilt, yet Aldo says there’s no additional pressure to perform.

“I’m here to defend my belt,” Aldo said. “I’m an employee of Zuffa and the WEC and this is the fight that they put in front of me so my goal is to go in there and give it my all and give everybody the show that I’m sure everyone wants to see.”

Putting on the fight that everyone wants to see is an understatement. Not only is Aldo squaring off against Faber in his home town, it was the champion who requested that the fight be in Sacramento, according to Zuffa President Dana White.

“When Aldo wanted the fight with Faber he wanted it in his hometown in Sacramento,” White revealed.

“That shows what kind of a fighter this kid is man, White continued. “To want to go into a guy’s hometown - it’s not just like walking into any hometown; you’re walking into Faber’s hometown. Faber is huge there, you know, he knows that he’s going to get the support of the people.”

And just in case you weren’t sure what side the crowd would be on, White makes it very clear who the crowd is coming to see.

“There will be 15,000 people there that night and they’re not going to be cheering for Aldo.”

Aldo vs. Faber goes live on pay-per-view at 7 p.m. PST.



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