WEC 44, which aired Wednesday on the Versus network and probably pre-empted an important rodeo meet, climaxed with an indirect example of Anderson Silva’s greatness.
Silva is entering his fourth year as middleweight champion, which is not unlike being Miss Teen USA for two decades running: It is incredibly difficult to avoid making mistakes or running into someone who can deconstruct you. Despite this negativity, Mike Thomas Brown, who defeated Urijah Faber for the featherweight title and then successfully defended it twice, was believed to have a fairly solid grip on his division. (Good wrestlers who can punch often do.) But he was not able to bully Jose Aldo, a harrowing striker that seemed bent on breaking Brown’s ribs with kicks or knees. Unable to score a takedown, it was Brown who was mounted and tenderized.
Brown held the belt for one year and 13 days. This is not a sport that lets its fighters stay happy for very long. And yet Silva is always smiling.
Next for Brown: Rethinking his stated desire to compete at 155 lbs; perhaps the loser of Faber/Raphael Assuncao in January.
Next for Aldo: The winner of Faber/Assuncao.
Nickname of the Night Award: Kamal Shalorus, who put down Will Kerr and looked royally dangerous in his first televised fight.
The This-is-Not-Pure-Wrestling Award: Danny Castillo, a NAIA community college wrestler who managed to take down All-American Oklahoma State alum Shane Roller. The threat of punches, kicks, and knees to your dental work changes everything, including your takedown defense.
The Baiting-Bullies Award: Karen Darabedyan, who probably put up with no end of harassment over his first name (pronounced Car-en) but appears capable of ending lives if you push your luck.
The Corrective-Lenses Award: Judge Tony Weeks, for believing Rob McCullough had done enough to win every round against Darabedyan. Weeks apparently had more sympathy for Darabedyan’s hands than McCullough’s head.