WEC 44: Brown vs. Aldo takes place this Wednesday night from The Pearl at The Palms in Las Vegas.
With such a short time frame before the fights take place?and coming off the busy week that was UFC 105?the week-long Fight Week Previews series will be coming to you in condensed form over the next two days, beginning with The Prelims.
Before we get there though, a recommendation to all those claiming MMA fandom who have no idea who Mike Brown or Jose Aldo are: you need to check out this show and old and future WEC shows.
Without fail, each and every WEC event delivers some of the best bell-to-bell action in the sport, and while these guys certainly do not receive anywhere near the acclaim and attention of their UFC counterparts, you're not going to find a more exciting brand of action than the WEC.
On to the previews...
Seth Dikun (7-3-0) vs. Frank Gomez (7-1-0)
Dikun enters the fight after a fantastic flying triangle submission of Rolando Perez at WEC 41 that evened his company record at 1-1. Gomez comes in off of a rebound win over TUF veteran Noah Thomas following the first loss of his career. Regardless of who comes away with the win, expect a finish as these two have just four decisions between them in 18 fights.
Ricardo Lamas (6-1-0) vs. James Krause (10-1-0)
Both fighters are coming off the first defeat of their careers, Lamas dropping a decision to Danny Castillo and Krause getting stopped by Donald Cerrone. Though Krause comes in off the bigger name fight, Lamas is a fast and promising prospect who was on the wrong end of an excellent punch last time out, and looks to be the stronger of the two.
Antonio Banuelos (17-5-0) vs. Kenji Osawa (15-8-2)
Banuelos is a WEC mainstay, making his eighth appearance for the company and coming in off a win over Scotty "Young Guns" Jorgensen back in June. Osawa has 25 fights under his belt, including a win over title contender Takeya Mizugaki and a loss to the aforementioned Jorgensen.
Cub Swanson (13-3-0) vs. John Franchi (5-1-0)
If you're not a huge follower of the WEC and are wondering where you've heard the name Cub Swanson before, it could be because he was the guy on the receiving end of a double flying knee from Jose Aldo last time he stepped into the cage. While he hasn't quite found his footing in the WEC as of yet, Swanson is still a very talented prospect with a bright future ahead of him.
The verdict is still out on John Franchi. He suffered his first loss last time out, falling to*UFC veteran Manny Gamburyan, and wasn't overly impressive in his WEC debut against Mike Budnik.
Diego Nunes (13-0-0) vs. LC Davis (14-2-0)
This is going to be your Fight of the Night.
The unbeaten Nunes has looked dominant in two, three-round victories over Cole Province and Rafael Dias. Meanwhile Davis has come over following the fall of Affliction, looking to continue his success as a part of the Featherweight division.
Davis' two losses come to Sengoku Featherweight Grand Prix finalist Michihiro Omigawa and highly-regarded Wagnney Fabiano; the skilled wrestler will surely be the toughest test to date for the Brazilian Nunes.
Kamal Shalorus (4-0-1) vs. Will Kerr (8-1-0)
Shalorus is a wrestler who has competed in a number of submission grappling events in addition to making the transition to MMA, while Kerr is a replacement for injured Alex*Karalexis.
Normally when you replace a solid veteran against a guy with little experience*and name recognition, it means the guy no one has heard of is also pretty solid.
Still, Kerr could be in for a painful night.
Watching video of Shalorus slamming Joachim "Hellboy" Hansen at the 2005 European Qualifiers for the ADCC's only confirmed that suspicion.