In a somewhat uneventful first round, World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight champion Jose Aldo appeared to be trying to get a read on challenger Manny Gamburyan.
It didn’t take long for Aldo to show he had his opponent all figured out, as the champion retained the belt by stopping Gamburyan 1:32 into the second round in the main event of WEC 51 near Denver on Thursday.
Aldo rocked Gamburyan with a right hook, then followed with an uppercut as Gamburyan ducked in for a takedown. Aldo took Gamburyan’s back, but instead of going for a submission, elected to land a series of hard right hands that prompted the referee to stop the fight.
Gambruryan, who won the first round on two of the three scorecards, landed several hard shots in the round as Aldo patiently stalked him and concentrated on landing leg kicks. The lack of activity drew boos from the crowd.
The displeasure dissipated quickly with Aldo’s second-round fireworks.
Aldo improved to 8-0 in the WEC and marked his second successful title defense.
Donald Cerrone finally avenged a controversial technical split decision with a unanimous decision over Jamie Varner.
Cerrone knocked down the former champion twice in the first round and secured several takedowns against the supposedly superior wrestler. The rivals nearly continued to fight after the final bell, but cooler heads prevailed. Cerrone won 30-27 on all three scorecards.
Two other former champions — Miguel Torres and Mike Brown — were able to rebound from losses on the card. Torres submitted Charlie Valencia in the second round, and Brown knocked out Cole Province in 1:18.
Three Las Vegas-trained fighters also picked up victories.
George Roop, who entered as a huge underdog against “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung, knocked the fan favorite out cold with a head kick in the second round.
Mark Hominick took a split decision from Leonard Garcia, and Chris Horodecki also defeated Ed Ratcliff by split decision.
Contact reporter Adam Hill at email@example.com or 702-224-5509.