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Jose Aldo takes out another featherweight, but there’s plenty more

WEC General Manager Reed Harris says lots of fights still for Aldo at 145 pounds

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Galen Nathanson, Denver Post

Jose Aldo makes his entrance to the cage at WEC 51 on Sept. 30, 2010, at 1st Bank Center in Broomfield, Colo.

WEC 51

Jose Aldo throws a right uppercut toward Manny Gamburyan during their featherweight title fight at WEC 51 on Sept. 30, 2010, at 1st Bank Center in Broomfield, Colo. Aldo won by TKO in the second round. Launch slideshow »

BROOMFIELD, Colo. — Jose Aldo may very well become the third fighter in UFC/WEC history to win titles in two separate weight classes.

But according to WEC General Manager Reed Harris, he still has a lot to prove in his own division before he gets that chance.

Aldo (18-1) posted his second successful title defense Thursday, stopping Manny Gamburyan (11-5) in the second round of their WEC 51 main event bout at 1st Bank Center.

The win makes it eight in a row for Aldo under the WEC banner, seven of which have come by stoppage.

As impressive a streak as that’s been, Harris says he doesn’t believe Aldo has quite done enough to justify a move up or down in weight.

“I’m obviously pretty impressed by his performance tonight,” Harris said. “Manny Gamburyan is tough, and Jose Aldo once again did what he needed to do to win that fight.

“We’ve got a stacked division at featherweight. There are a lot of guys who want to fight him. I’m still looking forward to those.”

The biggest challenges that remain for Aldo at 145 pounds include Josh Grispi, Mark Hominick and Javier Vazquez.

Regardless of whether Aldo tries to join B.J. Penn and Randy Couture as a champion in multiple weight divisions, he’s certainly become one of the most entertaining fighters to watch.

The 24-year-old Brazilian is so confident in his abilities right now that he apparently feels comfortable giving away rounds to his opponents.

In Thursday’s fight against Gamburyan, Aldo ignored boos from the crowd and remained almost completely non-active in the first round.

His unwillingness to exchange for most of the round cost Aldo on the scorecards, as two judges gave it to Gamburyan.

After the fight, Aldo said he felt extremely confident in the first round, despite knowing there was a good chance the judges had sided with his opponent.

“I did everything I trained to do,” Aldo said through an interpreter. “I came in with a clear mind and was able to execute my game plan.

“It was the same thing that happened against Urijah (Faber). I tried to look at my opponent in the first round and come out and execute my game plan in the second round.”

As he has done throughout his entire career to this point, Aldo managed to look even better Thursday than he did in a dominant performance over Faber in his last fight.

After finishing his evaluation of Gamburyan midway through the first round, Aldo immediately began to dominate the action.

Two hard leg kicks nearly swept Gamburyan off his feet and when Aldo began letting his hands go, it was a quick finish from there.

“I saw what Manny was doing and I wanted to take the shortest route to the end of the fight,” Aldo said.

While he usually prefers the shortest routes to finish his fights, Aldo may take the long way through the 145-pound division and mixed martial arts history.

At this point in his career, Aldo expresses no rush to move around in weight classes and said he is "here for the WEC" following the win over Gamburyan.

In Harris’s opinion, Aldo experimenting in the bantamweight or lightweight divisions is a ways off, but his most electric champion has already proved one thing.

“Jose Aldo is the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world right now,” Harris said.

Brett Okamoto can be reached at 948-7817 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at LVSunFighting

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