Jose Aldo file photo: Sherdog.com
If there were any questions surrounding featherweight champion Jose Aldo after a dominating first title defense against former champion Urijah Faber in April, they were put to bed Thursday night at WEC 51 in Broomfield, Colo.
Aldo destroyed challenger Manny Gamburyan with a second round knockout, earning the Nova UniÃ£o product his 18th career victory.
“I did everything I trained for. I had a clear mind, and thankfully, I executed my game plan,” said Aldo.
After a slow-paced first round, the crowd became uneasy and let the fighters know with a spattering of boos.
“I think [the crowd booing] is normal if the fight is a little stale,” stated Aldo. “But I think they were happy with end.”
The fight picked up in the second round, as Gamburyan became more active with his hands, and the champion responded with sharp leg kicks and counter punches. Although Aldo holds several first round knockouts to his credit, the formula of using the first round as a feeling out process may be something fans see out of the champion more often in the future.
“The same thing happened against Urijah [Faber]. I try to study my opponent in the first round, and then in the second round I execute my game plan,” said Aldo. “I saw what Manny was doing, and I wanted to take the shortest route to end the fight.”
When asked whether he would remain at 145 pounds to defend his title or make the move to the UFC's lightweight division, Aldo indicated he would most likely remain at featherweight for the time being.
“There are a lot of guys who have earned a title shot. I'm there for the WEC, whoever they put in front of me,” said Aldo.
WEC General Manager Reed Harris gave Aldo high praise after the fight.
“Obviously I was impressed. Manny is tough dude. Jose did what he needed to do to win the fight. He’s the best pound-for-pound fighter in world in my opinion,” declared Harris.
When asked about the champion's future at 145 pounds, a smiling Harris wouldn't divulge any specifics.
“We've got a stacked division at featherweight. Lots of guys want him,” said Harris. “I think he's got a few fights in front of him [at 145], but I'll have to sit down next week with [WEC Matchmaker] Sean Shelby.”
During the discussion centered on Aldo potentially moving up to lightweight, Donald Cerrone made a comment under his breath. Though difficult to hear, it was certainly in reference to a possible match-up between the two. Aldo responded in his native Portuguese.
A smiling Harris responded jokingly to the banter between fighters from different nations: “See, they can’t really talk s--t, cause they don’t speak the same language.”