World Extreme Cagefighting cards often are maligned by the fans and media alike for not mattering much in the long run or for featuring fighters only the hardcore fans could possibly care about.
But even if a WEC show lacked the level of star power one would see on a UFC show, you could confidently tune in and expect to see a fast-paced, exciting show.
Saturday, when the WEC hits the air for "WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber," it will go on the air with a card that features the promotion's best and most visible fighters and one that deserves everybody's respect.
Although this show carries the usual hefty UFC price tag ($44.99 USD), it is not only a show you can't miss, but it's a can't miss show. I'll give you three reasons why after the jump.
1) Jose Aldo
That's not. The No. 1 reason to buy this show isn't a concept or a thought. It's one man: Jose Aldo.
Aldo not only has taken the featherweight division by storm, but the mixed martial arts world, as well, skyrocketing up many pound-for-pound rankings (No. 5 by Sherdog.com, No. 6 by Yahoo! Sports) because of his high-flying, devastating style.
Aldo is 6-0 in the WEC, capturing the featherweight title in his last fight, TKO'ing Mike Brown early in the second round.
His fight with hometown hero Urijah Faber is tailor made for another highlight reel finish for one of Brazil's top exports.
2) Solid undercard
Not only is the main event guaranteed to produce fireworks, the undercard should be full of them as well, starting on SpikeTV.
The fight between Leonard "Bad Boy" Garcia and "The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung features two fighters heading in opposite directions. Garcia is looking to climb back to the top of the featherweight divison while Jung is making his WEC debut and looking to make a statement. This should be an exciting, hard-hitting affair.
Then, on the pay-per-view broadcast, Antonio Banuelos and Scott Jorgensen rematch their WEC 41 battle that saw Banuelos win a controversial split decision. The fight could determine the next contender at bantamweight.
Next, Shane Roller and Anthony Njokuani battle in a fight that likely will determine the next contender to the WEC lightweight championship. This is going to be a contrast of styles as Roller's wrestling and submissions clash with Njokuani's vicious striking. Njokuani is a fighter on the rise and could be a force in the lightweight division in the coming years.
The potential No. 1 contender bouts keep rolling when Brown faces Manny Gamburyan at 145 pounds. This is going to be a tough, gritty matchup that likely will finish in the first round.
The co-main event features a rematch of a fight many considered to be 2009's Fight of the Year as Ben Henderson and Donald Cerrone battle for the WEC lightweight championship. This undoubtedly will be an up-and-down back-and-forth affair. There's no reason to believe these two won't have a battle much like their first, won by Henderson by unanimous decision on Oct. 10, 2009.
All-in-all, each fight on the pay-per-view card means something for the long-term future of the promotion. You can't ask for, or get, much more than that.
This might just be me, but when an arena or stadium is rocking, it instantly adds to the experience, whether in-person or watching on television.
Arco has been WEC's hottest stop by far and always are into all the fights. And they especially get into Faber's fights. This should be one of the hottest crowds an MMA event has ever seen, and this is coming from somebody who was in attendance at UFC 68 when Randy Couture beat Tim Sylvia for the UFC heavyweight title. That was and is considered to be one of the hottest crowds ever. This could surpass even that.
Everybody should be pumped, and when Faber hits the cage, the proverbial roof will blow off Arco.
Now, I know you've probably already made up your mind about whether you're going to watch or buy this show. All I suggest is that you reexamine that position. The WEC is stepping up its game (and rightfully so) for this show and is going all-out. This show features the promotion's current dream fight and below that is six solid, if not spectacular, televised bouts.
For years, the fans have complained about the WEC fighters deserving more money and more exposure. Put your money where your mouth is, whether by ordering this show at home or by going to your local sports bar, and support the show and its fighters because the best thing for MMA is for this show to succeed.
Matt Bishop is the host of Lights Out Radio and an MMAForReal.com staff reporter. He can be reached at email@example.com.