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The Future is Bright for WEC’s 145 Pound Division

Mike Brown pulled off what so many didn’t think he could when he dethroned top ranked featherweight and WEC champion Urijah Faber. The stunning first round knockout has the MMA community still recovering from an upset that has left most that have seen or heard about it in a state of shock.Following his huge upset win over Faber, Brown looks nearly unstoppable at 145 pounds. The knockout over Faber marks the eighth consecutive victory for Brown with wins over top fighters Yves Edwards and Jeff Curran in the last two years. Being that Brown spent a good portion of his career fighting some of the top competition at 155 pounds, he’s about as big as they come in the featherweight division. His size, strength, wrestling, submission skills, knockout power and momentum is sure to be a major problem for anyone looking to tear the championship belt from his waist anytime soon.

Faber got caught trying something crazy against the kind of guy that leaves no room for error in Brown. The level that Faber and Brown are competing at, it only takes one mistake and either guy will be sure to capitalize. Faber made the mistake and Brown capitalized on it.

The 29-ear old has proven time after time that he is a real fighter and a true champion. He will bounce right back from this and be a much better fighter from a great lesson learned. Unless Faber is granted an immediate rematch with Brown, I would expect him to carve a path of destruction through WEC’s featherweight division on his road to regain the championship. Regardless of who Faber fights next, he will be coming harder than ever before.

The other big featherweight fight of the night saw Leonard Garcia knocking out former UFC champion Jens Pulver in spectacular fashion. Following his war with Roger Huerta that was easily one of the best fights of 2007, Garcia went 1-2 in the UFC before dropping 10 pounds and making the move to WEC’s featherweight division. Garcia made an immediate impact in his WEC debut when he knocked out Hiroyuki Takaya just :91 seconds into the first round. With his most recent fight with Pulver lasting a mere 72 seconds, Garcia seems to have reinvented himself at the new weight.

Making it known immediately after his win over Pulver that he wanted the winner of Faber/Brown, it remains to be seen if his wish will be granted by the WEC. With his never say attitude in the cage and tenacious fighting style, this Greg Jackson trained fighter is sure to be a serious force in the future of 145.

There was another featherweight on the WEC 36 card that is sure to make a big impact very soon that goes by the name of Jose Aldo. This young Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt boasts a 12-1 record with 7 of those victories coming by knockout. He has gone 2-0 with 2 knockouts since signing with the WEC with his last win coming in an exciting fight with Jonathan Brookins at WEC 36. If you don’t know who Aldo is yet, you will soon.

First and final IFL featherweight champion Wagnney Fabiano will be making his WEC debut when he faces off with Akitoshi Tamura at WEC 37 on Dec. 3. The highly touted Fabiano only loss came in the form of a split decision to Curran in a fight that many ringside observers felt could have gone Fabiano’s way. Putting that close loss behind him Fabiano joined the IFL where he became their champion and won all six of his fights by stoppage. There will be many eyes pointed in Fabiano’s direction as he will be looking make an immediate impact with an impressive victory over the seasoned Akitoshi Tamura.

When talking about the future of the mixed martial arts featherweight division it’s impossible to ignore the heavy handed 20 year old Josh Grispi. This distant relative of former heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano holds a 12-1 record. Grispi has gone the distance only once in his career and every single one of his victories have come by stoppage in the first round. Whether it be by knockout or submission Grispi likes to get right down to business as soon as possible in the cage. Since joining the WEC, the 20-year old Grispi has scored a first round submission over UFC veteran Mark Hominick and most recently knocked out Micah Miller only fifty seconds into the bout. At only 20 years of age, Grispi could be a force at 145 for many years to come.

Pulver has fallen on some bad luck lately in his mixed martial arts career but he would provide a tough challenge for anyone in the featherweight division. His punching power and experience would provide a problem for a lot of guys in the WEC and you can be sure that Pulver’s far from done yet.

On top of the fighter’s already mentioned you have guys like Cub Swanson, Dominick Cruz, Stephen Ledbetter and a bunch of others jockeying for position in WEC’s crowded 145 pound division.

The WEC’s featherweight division is without a doubt one of the most talent filled and promising in all of mixed martial arts. The fall of a champion that had once seemed nearly unbeatable has added new life to a division that for a long period of time, had everyone competing for a spot at second place. With Faber’s loss this extremely stacked division just became that much more interesting.

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