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WEC 39: Mike Brown-Leonard Garcia Gets March Off to a Good Start in MMA


I don't know if there's ever been a better time to be an MMA fan than during the five weeks from December 27 to January 31, which began with a tremendous UFC 92 card, ended with the great Georges St. Pierre-B.J. Penn fight, and also included Affliction: Day of Reckoning, UFC 93, WEC 38 and New Year's Eve in Japan.

The bad news is that February is kind of a lull for MMA The good news is that lull won't last very long, with March shaping up to be a very good month for the sport. And the best fight of the bunch might take place on March 1, in the main event at WEC 39, with featherweight champion Mike Brown taking on Leonard Garcia.

I love the Brown-Garcia fight. Brown is still little known beyond the hard-core fans, but I think he's one of the top 10 pound-for-pound fighters in MMA, and his first-round TKO win over Urijah Faber in November was no fluke. Brown is on an eight-fight winning streak, and he's probably the strongest featherweight in the sport.

But Garcia is going to give him a tough test. Last year he left the UFC's lightweight division and began fighting in the WEC's featherweight division, and that was the right move: He's won both of his featherweight fights, both by first-round TKO. Garcia has always had good submission skills, but moving down in weight class and fighting smaller opponents has allowed him to showcase his punching power as well.

WEC 39 is in Corpus Christi, and that also means Garcia, a Texan, will have the home crowd on his side. I still like Brown to win this fight, though, and I think fans who tune in are going to be impressed with how complete both of these fighters are. We're only three weeks away from one of the fights of the year.

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