Fight Facts Flashback: WEC 48

Fight Facts Flashback is a branch of the Fight Facts series that takes a look back at historic events and noteworthy moments in the sport of MMA. These jaunts down memory lane serve as snapshot reviews of what the landscape looked like when they occurred, while also analyzing what happened after for those involved.

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World Extreme Cagefighting attempted to break into the pay-per-view market in a big way 10 years ago. The Zuffa-owned Ultimate Fighting Championship chipped in to make the broadcast as massive as possible. Celebrate this historic card a decade after it went down in April 2010.

A CARD BY ANY OTHER NAME: Due to UFC intervention and marketing purposes, the letters “WEC” were almost completely absent from the broadcast. The event was simply titled “Aldo vs. Faber,” while microphones, fight gear and the cage itself had no WEC markings or logos of any kind.

DON’T BRING ME DOWN, BRUCE!: Instead of WEC mainstay Joe Martinez, Bruce Buffer stepped in as the event’s ring announcer. This proved to be the norm for the company until its end, as Buffer called four of World Extreme Cagefighting’s final five events after WEC 48.

PULLING OUT THE BIG GUNS: In addition to Buffer, the UFC also brought in the commentary duo of Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan to call the action. For this card, it replaced Todd Harris and the standard choice of either Frank Mir or Stephan Bonnar.

HEAT OF THE MOMENT: Mir served as the WEC color commentator up until his removal prior to WEC 47. He was rumored to have been pulled from his position because of comments he made prior to his rematch with Brock Lesnar in which he said he wanted Lesnar to be “the first person that dies due to Octagon-related injuries.” He was replaced by Bonnar at WEC 49.

CONTRACTS AND LOOPHOLES: Three prelims were shown on Spike TV, despite the WEC holding a broadcasting agreement with Versus. It marked the only time that live WEC fights took place on Spike.

WEC IS STILL VERY MUCH ALIVE: Of the 22 fighters on the 2010 card, 12 are currently still engaged in active competition, with six competing on the UFC roster. Five are ranked in the official Sherdog.com rankings: Jose Aldo, Donald Cerrone, Chan Sung Jung, Anthony Pettis and Demetrious Johnson.

FABRAMENTO: This event was the fourth and final time the promotion traveled to Sacramento, California. All four of those events were headlined by Sacramento native Urijah Faber’s title fights.

OPPOSITION LEVELED UP: Before defeating Faber across 25 minutes, Aldo had never fought beyond the third round. After the Faber fight, seven of the next 10 bouts for Aldo saw the champ fight into Round 4.

KING OF THE WEC: Faber headlined this event, just as he had done for six previous shows. “The California Kid” later served as the marquee attraction for WEC 52, and with eight headlining assignments, no other fighter came close to as many main event appearances as Faber.

ONE ALPHA MALE IN EVERY DIVISION: WEC 48 was the last time Faber fought in the featherweight division for five years. When he moved over to the UFC, Faber fought almost exclusively at bantamweight, beyond a one-off 145-pound match with Frankie Edgar in 2015.

THE WOES CONTINUE: The last time Faber won a title fight came in 2008 at WEC 34, where he took a spirited decision over Jens Pulver. Faber went on to lose seven more title matches in the WEC and UFC, including this defeat against Aldo.

HE IS THE ONE WHO TAPS: Benson Henderson submitted Cerrone with a guillotine choke in the first round of their rematch to retain the WEC lightweight crown. Cerrone had never tapped out before, and the future hall of famer has not been submitted since.

ROLLED RIGHT INTO IT: Shane Roller tapped Anthony Njokuani with a rear-naked choke, handing Njokuani his third career defeat. All of his losses to that point had come by submission, and “The Assassin” retired without a submission victory on his record.

THE OTHER TACHI PALACE KID: Although he dropped a decision to Scott Jorgensen, Antonio Banuelos set a WEC record when he competed at this event. The bout was his 13th under the WEC banner—the most in company history—and he later added to that total with one final appearance at WEC 51.

THE SPLIT MASTER: Prior to his incredible split decision battle over Jung, Leonard Garcia fought to a split draw against George Roop. His next fight was an unsuccessful split verdict against Mark Hominick. Garcia is one of two fighters in major MMA history to have three consecutive matches result in a split draw, along with a win and a loss by split decision. He did so nine years before Zubaira Tukhugov in the UFC.

IT’S ALMOST SHOWTIME: Pettis dispatched Alex Karalexis with a second-round triangle choke, and 10 of his 11 victories at the time had come by stoppage. It was his first finish to take place beyond the first round.

THE BLACK SHEEP OF TAM: Lifting his unbeaten record to 7-0, Chad Mendes tapped Anthony Morrison with a guillotine choke. Despite training throughout his entire career at Team Alpha Male—a camp renowned for their guillotine choke prowess—that submission was the only one in Mendes’ career by guillotine.

TONED HIM UP: When he smashed Brandon Visher with elbows in the opening round, Tyler Toner became the first and only WEC featherweight to finish an opponent with elbow strikes.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into WEC 48, Jung had never lost consecutive bouts (12 fights), Johnson had never been defeated (10 fights) and Visher had never been finished (15 fights).

Related Coverage »
Rivalries: Donald Cerrone
The Bottom Line: The Top 10 Lightweights of All-Time
By The Numbers: Urijah Faber
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