Jose Aldo file photo: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com
Regardless of promotion or location, September belonged to the featherweights.
The month got off to a roaring start in San Antonio, when former Greco-Roman wrestling world champion Joe Warren showed he has more than wrestling in his game, overcoming an early beating from Joe Soto to take the Bellator featherweight title. Warren’s win might not have cemented his claim as the “baddest man on the planet,” but it was the biggest win of his burgeoning MMA career and earned him another piece of the hardware he so richly covets.
Across the Pacific, Dream 16 on Sept. 25 in Nagoya, Japan, was built around the featherweight division and featured strong performances from the likes of Joachim Hansen, Hiroyuki Takaya and Kazuyuki Miyata. However, Japan’s top featherweight, Michihiro Omigawa, reaffirmed his place in the division with a quick and brutal first-round submission of veteran Cole Escovedo, coolly crushing his foe with an inverted armbar that forced a tap just halfway through the first round.
Fittingly, WEC 51 punctuated the month. Former champion Mike Thomas Brown got back on track with a first-round stoppage over Cole Province, while Diego Nunes, Mark Hominick and George Roop all scored major victories to move them along in the WEC featherweight title picture.
However, it was divisional kingpin Jose Aldo who stole the show again. In the second defense of his 145-pound title, Aldo was surgical in his demolishing of Manny Gamburyan. Aldo finished with a flourish in the second round, prompting more fans and media alike to ask who exactly can challenge the brutal Brazilian.