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Trading Punches: WEC 44 Preview & Predictions

wec 44Come along with the FiveOuncesofPain crew as managing editor Cory Brady verbally dukes it out with the always opinionated David Andrest over the main portion of Wednesday evening’s WEC 44 card.

WEC 44 is set for tomorrow evening, November 18, 2009 at The Pearl at The Palms in Las Vegas, Nevada, airing live on the Vs. network

Headlining the card will be a featherweight championship clash between Mike Brown and Jose Aldo, along with other promising match-ups featuring the likes of Leonard Garcia, Manny Gamburyan, Rob McCullough and more.

So without further adue, let’s kick things off with the main event….

Mike Thomas Brown vs. Jose Aldo

David Andrest: This is the fight I have been looking most forward to this entire month. Mike Brown is the goods, he is big and strong for 145, and has shown an ability to take over a fight. Aldo remains a bit of a mystery to most, and his fights haven’t exactly been long drawn out wars. I can say this much, Jose Aldo was brought to my attention a few years ago by a person working for his management company. I would hear all the typical hype surrounding a solid blue chip prospect. The one thing that has always stuck with me about those conversations was how they would just rave about Aldo’s ground game. He would KO someone and I’d speak with his people only to hear ” That’s nothing, you should see his ground game.” I think Mike Brown is the guy to grant them that wish. I feel the longer this fight goes, the better off Brown will be. I look at Brown to be the stronger fighter, and think he benefits from the experience of 5 round fights.

Winner: Mike Thomas Brown via decision (fight of the year)

Cory Brady: While Mike Brown is undoubtedly the goods, I don’t feel like there’s anyone at 145 pounds that wants to get into a striking exchange with the guy. Like my associate said before me; all I’ve been hearing about over the last ear or so is Aldo’s spectacular submission skills. I mean the kid’s a legit black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but little to nothing has been seen of it up until this point. However, there’s no question in my mind that Aldo will end up on his back at some point during the fight. From there it’s just a matter of how slick his submissions truly are, and how he reacts to the pressure and pain that Brown will definitely be bringing. All of Brown’s four losses have com via submission so it’s not as if he can’t be submitted, I just don’t know if Aldo is the guy to get it done. Should be an amazing fight. Hard not to get excited for this one.

Winner: Mike Brown via TKO (ground and pound in the 3rd or 4th)

Manny Gamburyan vs. Leonard Garcia

David Andrest: I think “The Anvil” is the best possible nickname for Gamburyan to enter this fight with. I see Leonard Garcia better everywhere in this fight, and think we will watch him beat on Gamburyan prior to the fight going to the canvas and Garcia picking up a nice submission victory.

Winner: Leonard Garcia via Key Lock 4:15 Round 1

Cory Brady: If Rob Emerson could knock Gamburyan senseless, trust me when I say that Garcia can do it as well. The key to victory for Manny is going to be to try to bring the fight to the canvas and remain in the top position for as long as humanly possible, but I don’t think he’s going to have the strength necessary to bully around Garcia like he would have to. Should be a fun fight, but a figh where Gamburyan winds up getting clipped at some point never the less.

Winner: Leonard Garcia via knockout

Rob McCullough vs. Karen Darabedyan

David Andrest: What can I say here. I’ll just go ahead and leave all the cheap jokes behind and say this, Rob McCullough was a good and marketable champion for the WEC. At times I’ve wondered if he has lost his desire , or if the game has just past him by. The majority McCullough’s defeats have come at the hands of some of the sports top stars. I view this fight as an excellent chance for McCullough to continue his winning ways. Karen Darabedyan makes his WEC debut tonight, with an impressive 8-1 record McCullough will be a marked step up in competition. Can Darabedyan out work McCullough for a decision? I think this is the clear path to victory for the newcomer. With McCullough getting married, and having a child on the way, a lapse in focus could spell defeat for the WEC vet.

Winner: Razor Rob McCullough via decision

Cory Brady: I’m not too proud for a cheap joke here and there… and when I first heard Rob was fighting Karen I had to throw my hands up in disbelief. I mean McCullough has a black belt in being no joke and the least they could have done is matched him up with Cyborg if that’s the spin they wer looking for. But all jokes aside, Daradebdyan recently knocked out an extremely tough and dangerous Estevan Payan which tells me that he’s going to bring the heat on Sunday night. Heat that a more experienced and well versed McCullough should manage to put a fire extinguisher to early on as the former WEC champion controls the bout with technical striking.

Winner: Rob McCullough via decision

Danny Castillo vs. Shane Roller

David Andrest: Both guys are strong wrestlers who lack complete games. By that I mean neither have shown strong bjj skills. I’d give the striking edge to Castillo while Roller has a slight edge should the fight go to the floor. This fight could possibly be one of the fastest paced fights in recent history, and that would be a marked advantage for Roller.

Winner: Shane Roller decision

Cory Brady: This should be an extremely competetive match-up with Roller having an edge on the mat and Castillo with the advantage on the feet. I feel like Castillo’s wrestling background will be enough to keep the fight standing long enough at some point to capitalize on Roller with punches near the midway mark.

Winner: Danny Castillo via TKO

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