I suppose what happened on Friday night was a foregone conclusion, but the gut feeling deep within me thought the grimy veteran would be able to outwork the young , hard hitting phenom was wrong. How wrong, you ask?
Mike Thomas Brown was so thoroughly dominated in the second round that I couldn’t with a decent conscience grant him any advantages in that time period. Brown engaged in a kickboxing match with Aldo for the first half of the first, until a combination from Aldo forced him to abandon his previous approach. He bullied Aldo into the cage for the rest of the first, and used his wrestling to try and overcome Aldo, but as the kid was too fast and too strong, he ended up eating some hard shots and shooting directly into a double or single because of a precise Aldo combination.
An impressive display, by all means, but Aldo’s performance was not without flaws. His strike defense in the first was on and off, and in my opinion, an opponent of equal or greater height and reach should be able to capitalize on this lack of defense. His precision worked as a major advantage when it came to his striking, but as the fight wore on, he seemed to abandon this accuracy and throw his hands with abandon. While this eventually worked to his advantage as Brown tired, I can foresee this tactic hindering his career in the long-run.
Maybe it was just his expectation of a spectacular knock-out victory, but I could see holes in Aldo’s game (whether perceived by others or not), and when Brown finally caved and gave up his back, it was elementary for Aldo to mount and gorilla punch away. Not that I want to take away from Aldo’s Championship-winning fight, but as they say, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”
Aldo is the new Feather-weight Champ for the WEC and from now on, my main focus in training and teaching is to be able to counteract some of the work that Aldo has showcased. Eventually(possibly soon), the day will come when Aldo meets a force of equal or greater power and precision, and we shall see whether he has the endurance and fortitude to withstand such a threat. Until then, we will all be watching these videos, analyzing flaws in footwork and striking range, considering possible transitions into takedowns from clinch range, and pondering the ACTUAL threat of his ground game, as we have not seen any submission work from Aldo. Sometimes a great day in the gym is out-done by a day analyzing your opponent, figuring out his (perceived) weaknesses and how, if possible, to exploit them. I know that I, along with many others, will be watching and waiting in the wings, ready to challenge his supremacy.