Five Conclusions from WEC 53


With WEC 53 now in the books, the promotion officially merges with the UFC, and the doors close on the WEC. With the merger, Anthony Pettis will face with winner of UFC 125’s Lightweight title bout between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard in a title unification bout. As of last night, Dominick Cruz successfully defended his WEC Bantamweight title, and was also rewarded with the first ever UFC BW title. With the merger, influx of talent from overseas, as well as the now seriously stacked Lightweight division; the UFC has ensured that WEC’s memory will live on, as the two companies finally become one.

Anthony Pettis is a worthy UFC Lightweight Challenger

Last night, Anthony Pettis stole the show, surprising many by taking the belt from wrestling stand out Ben Henderson. Despite losing the 1st two rounds, Pettis’ rallied from the third round onwards, to take the belt from the former Champ. With his explosive stand up, coupled with his ability to stuff some of Henderson’s takedowns (a better wrestler than Maynard in my eyes) ensures he will give either Frankie Edgar or Gray Maynard a worthy challenge when the dust settles after their January 1st fight. Pettis proved he can hang with the best in his win last night, and showed some insane stand up/ free running skills.

Dominick Cruz deserves to be ranked on any P4P list

Dominick Cruz proved last night proved he is the best. From completely dominating Scott Jorgenson, Cruz showed he can hang with the best that the 135lbs division has to offer. And as the new Japanese talent looking in, Cruz needed a win last night to cement his status. With an impressive record of 17-1, (only losing to Urijah Faber at the peak of his power) and an impressive 8-fight winning streak, Dominick Cruz is surely one of the best Mixed Martial Artists in the World.

WEC may be gone, but it won’t be forgotten

Last night delivered the type of card fans of the promotion were used to, with an impressive array of Knockouts, submissions and barn burners fans expect. As always, WEC delivered. With cards like last night, and even individual parts like Anthony Pettis‘ “Matrix kick”, the WEC will never be forgotten, and deserves in the future to be regarded the way that PRIDE is now. From epic barn burners (Korean Zombie vs Garcia, Brown vs Faber) to gut wrenching submissions (Benavidez’ bloody Guillotine Choke vs Torres) moments like these stay with the fans forever, making sure that WEC will always be remembered.

UFC bonuses just got a lot harder to earn

Dana White recently stated that UFC guys are going to work harder to earn fight bonuses following the UFC – WEC merger, as last night’s event proved his words were nothing but truth. WEC is known for its fast paced, action filled scraps, giving Reed Harris a tough time to decide who gets the prestigious prize money. With the influx of talent in the lighter weight classes, there are going to be a lot of previous winners missing out, due to the frantic pace often exhibited in WEC fights.

Dana White needs to name Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber as TUF 13 coaches

While The Ultimate Fighter is hugely important for the fighters involved, it is also equally important for the coaches. The amount of exposure these guys get is second to none. Introduction of former WEC fighters is necessary for their marketing to casual MMA audience. Were White to do it, in my eyes, a super fight between Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz seems most logical and likely. There’s a lot of TUF-worthy bad blood between the two, which will fit well in the standard setting of the show.

Photos: SBNation Arizona

  • i think its too soon for wec coaches on tuf 13….let all these guys fight on ufc cards and get more recognition, then have them on tuf 14

  • Those WEC fighters come out to fight whenever they get into the octagon

  • I think Pettis will smash Maynard or Edgar. He’s just a new breed of fighter a la Aldo, Silva.

    Pettis, Henderson, & Cerrone are gonna bring it to the other 155’s in the UFC. It was amazing seeing Pettis & Henderson on the mat.

    Dominik is something else & i think this time around he’ll get the best of Faber.

  • I totally agree…these guys are super exciting, but they do need more exposure. How cool would it be if they have Cain and JDS to give the casual fan more exposure to them? Blackhouse and AKA as coaches 🙂

  • Pettis had the craziest kick of all time in MMA history. But i still think Henderson may be the better all around guy on a steady basis. Pettis definitly won last night but I think he will lose a few to the top 155ers in the ufc. it will be great to see matchups like dunham v. cerrone. florian v. henderson. and sherk v. varner cause they both suck.

  • if you’re talking wait before making any wec coaches, cause you want to give them more exposure, what gives more exposure than being on tuf?

    every season is bringing more and more fans in.

    sure, you won’t see cruz or faber in the octagon soon, but cruz just ended a fight last night and will have a few months off anyway.

    mark it up, dana.

  • They’ve already picked the cast for TUF 13, too, and they’re MW’s. Generally the coaches are the same size or bigger, but that’s just been the trend, this isn’t totally impossible. However, it does seem a bit silly to throw them in with guys so much bigger… Faber wouldn’t be much of a presence in a room full of guys over 6 feet.

    Aside from the presence, having those guys coach seems to go along better with having smaller guys on the show – serious advertising for the divisions, and it would allow for not only Cruz and Faber to become household names but also introduce us to a few future stars. Everyone loves watching a guy come up right from the ground to the highest levels. They need to build fans’ relationship with those divisions.

  • straight from the Matrix. Petis won a slew of fans with that matrix kick haha

  • Those guys excite you lol…j/k I agree bad ass fights

  • Pat Barry in the pic with Pettis go figure

  • Ya they go for it all, It’s going to be sick to see them fight in the UFC and now I’ll be cheering for Pettis to become the Undisputed Champ

  • I think Pettis will have more success against Edgar then Maynard but he could definitely beat Maynard he has the skills to do it, I’m hoping Pettis becomes the champ the guy is amazing to watch

  • Idk man, I thought Pettis was out striking Henderson n out grappling him the whole fight, so idk if Henderson is better then Pettis all around

  • Henderson vs Pettis was one of the best fights i have ever seen, that kick from Pettis was unbelievable. Best WEC showing ever in my eyes

  • Maynard and Edgar better watch their backs thats for sure

  • Loser of the Maynard/Edgar fight to take on Henderson and then depending on how that match goes, winner gets a title shot?

  • I hope Edgar beats Maynard. Pettis – Edgar will be a dream match up. Even if Maynard wins, they gotta get Edgar pettis on sometime, their styles make for an awesome fight.

    I wouldn’t be too quick to write off Edgar like some seem to be though, he has been the underdog for many fights and still has yet to get the respect he deserves in some quarters, thougth that is not to say Pettis is without a chance if can fight at that level he did against henderson on a conistent basis.

  • LW division is sick now. never been so deep with world class fighters. I still would give the advantage to Edgar / Maynard against anyone from the WEC though.

  • I think you misunderstand what the purpose of TUF is, to me its clearly a tool to build big fights and get new fans into the sport so why would you need “established” UFC fighters? Also Faber is a superstar and you know that Cruz will be entertaining and on top of that its a big grudge match. Faber really really dislikes Cruz and he also beat Fabers friend twice while Cruz’s only loss came to Faber.

    Honestly I think its just plain stupid if Dana goes with any other coaches.

  • It’s easy to feel now after a fight like that that Pettis is unstoppable but I really don’t see that if I look at that fight more closely.

  • whoa whoa…..Pettis lost the first 2 rounds and won the last 3??? What fight were you watching because Henderson won rds 1 and 4. Pettis won rds 2 3 and 5.

  • I agree with Krogan. TUF would be great with those two and it can only help with the exposure of those lighter fighters.

  • I definitely think Pettis will have a harder time beating all of the established UFC vets but he may beat a majority of them.

  • MW’s again! Man they really need someone to beat Anderson haha.

  • fightmetric gave Pettis round 4…..i guess they dont take into account how long Henderson had Pettis’ back and how close a RNC it was.

  • This division was stacked before the merger, it’s only gotten worse; considerably worse. If and when Penn comes back to 155, it will be even worse, still. Bring Jose Aldo up to 155 (which I hope happens soon; year or so) and that is the worst division in The World.

    To be Champ of the 155’s, with all that talent under him, particularly if he can consistently defend it, would make that man the most dominant P4P Champ in The World; IMO. The division is that tough, that stacked, that dynamic and that competitive. In most divisions we would only be able to pick a handful of people that might become champ, in this division, you could almost throw a dart at it and say – that guy.

    Of all the business moves The UFC has orchestrated, this proffers the biggest payout.