Top 5 Best Moments and Turning Points in WEC History

Posted on December 15, 2010, 06:38 AM by Anton Gurevich
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World Extreme Cagefighting will present its last event this Thursday, with a stacked WEC 51 fight card, which will feature WEC Lightweight title fight between Ben Henderson and Anthony Pettis, and Dominick Cruz who will defend his WEC Bantamweight Title against Scott Jorgensen. The event will celebrate 9 years of WEC history, what was an inseperatable part of Mixed Martial Arts as a sport and culture. WEC 53 will be the last farewell from a promotion that had its own highs, lows, dramas, magic during all these years.

WEC 53 will take place this Thursday on December 16th, at the Jobing.com Arena in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale, Arizona. The event will be headlined by two title fights, as Ben Henderson will defend his Lightweight title against Anthony Pettis, and Dominick Cruz will look for a second title defense, this time facing Scott Jorgensen.

So, before the first tear goes down your cheek, let's look back at history of WEC, and what made it one of the most enjoyable shows in Mixed Martial Arts.

World War III between Olaf Alfonso and John Polakowski (WEC 9, January 16th 2004)

If you guys want to see an all-out war, the first encounter between Olaf Alfonso and John Polakowski is the fight you simply have to see. When Polakowski took the fight against Olaf Alfonso on a two-hour notice, he didn't know about what he's signing up to. Broken noses, blood all over the place, you name it. This was probably not the most technical, but surely one of the best fights in the history of the sport. Both fighters left everything inside the cage, to the enjoyment of local crowd in Lemoore, California. This fight was a turning point in WEC history. It was a declaration that there's another player in the game, a player who puts up an exciting fight that leave the fans screaming for more.



Mike Brown Shocks the World (WEC 36, November 5th 2008)

WEC 36 was originally scheduled for September 5th 2008, but was postponed due to a threat of the devastating Hurricane Ike. But who knew that the event will be a home to another hurricane, when Mike Brown viciously knocked out the untouchable Urijah Faber in the middle of Round 1. Before the fight, Urijah Faber defended his WEC Featherweight title five times and was on an incredible 13-fight winning streak. Faber was considered by many as one of the Top 5 Pound for Pound fighters in the World during that time, as the victory of Mike Brown sent shockwaves around the world of Mixed Martial Arts. This fight completely changed the landscape of Featherweight division in MMA, opening doors for more exciting fighters into the stage and attracting more attention from the media.



WEC Go Mainstream (WEC 41, June 7th 2009)

Urijah Faber recovered well from defeat against Mike Brown at WEC 36, with a quick submission victory over the old rival Jens Pulver. Faber was back on track, and everything was set for the epic rematch against Mike Brown. WEC 41 is when things started to get big for World Extreme Cagefighting, as Zuffa heavily promoted the show, making it one of the most successful nights in WEC history. The numbers were revolutionary: 13,027 fans in attendance, for a total gate of $815,415. Little bit more than a year since WEC 41, Zuffa will make a decision to merge WEC into the Ultimate Fighting Championship.



The Last King has Fallen: Brian Bowles defeats Miguel Torres (WEC 42, August 9th 2009)


Alongside Urijah Faber, Miguel Torres was widely considered unbeatable in WEC. Miguel Torres was 5-0 in WEC (3 title defenses), holding a monstrous 17-fight winning streak. The Champion finally met someone of his caliber in Brian Bowles, who shocked the world with a quick right hand that sent Miguel Torres down to the canvas. Bowles was quick to finish the fight via a Ground and Pound, in what was final changing of the guard in WEC. It was a whole new world since WEC 42 with new stars and new champions, as WEC continued its growth in the World of Mixed Martial Arts.



WEC on Pay-Per-View (WEC 48, April 24th 2010)

WEC 48 was one of the last, but surely the biggest events in promotion's history. It was promotion's first PPV card, headlined by a Featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo and the local hero Urijah Faber, as Ben Henderson defended his title against Donald Cerrone in the co-main event. The ARCO Arena in Sacramento, California was packed with 12,555 excited fans, as around 200,000 watched the event at home. It was a WEC product with UFC covering, what turned out to be a huge success. With fights like Aldo vs. Faber, Korean Zombie vs. Leonard Garcia and Gamburyan vs. Brown, WEC 48 experiment proved Zuffa that merger is a necessary step, which would benefit everyone – from fighters to the promoters.


Comments

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  • TheRealDeal
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    I got Bowles beating Torres as being right up there. Up until that point Torres looked pretty unbeatable.



    Same goes for Brown beating Faber the first time. I think I'm not the only one that wanted to see Faber taken down a notch and get his a** whooped at least once.



    Both great fights that boosted the WEC, but in my opinion the WEC was incredible regardless because with the lighter divisions there were just so many exciting, fast fights on every card.



    I only hope this transposes well to the UFC, and the fast and furious lighter weight division clashes carry on.

    Reply 3 years ago
  • TheRealDeal
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    Almost forgot the slugfest between Zombie and Garcia. Too many to list really....

    Reply 3 years ago
  • sonny86
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    zobie vs garcia!! best fight this year and they got robbed!!!

    during that fight i was like standing on my couch screaming!! :-D

    PURE FUN!!!! :-) I F***** LOVE MMA!! :-)

    Reply 3 years ago
  • wolf
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    i never wanted the zuffa to merge them, but if the WEC fighters finally get the paychecks they deserve, then who are we to complaint! it's not like there not gonna go out there and do what they do!



    brown vs faber 2 - purely because of the balls it took for faber to hang in there, and he seemed to actually start doing better with just elbows!! mad fight.



    ALSO bendo vs cerrone! that fight was exhausting to watch!

    Reply 3 years ago
  • Ninja
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    Ya I think Henderson vs Cerrone was my fav fight from WEC, they have given many great fights and fighters and also, gave rise to many great fighters like Henderson, Aldo, Faber, Cruz, Torres, and even fighters like Nate Diaz, Stann, Vera, Filho, Condit, Melendez n Nick Diaz all came from there, it was a great organization for the time it lasted but I'm not too sad they r joining with UFC because now UFC will hve more events n better fights

    Reply 3 years ago
  • Krogan
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    Honestly I don't think it was a handful of guys that made the WEC what it was it was simply that pretty much ever card from top to bottom put on amazing shows. To me that is the main reason the UFC is taking these guys in right now and honestly I think the fact that the WEC put on better cards then the UFC was a problem for the UFC.

    Reply 3 years ago
  • sonny86
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    yes.. WEC was kind of stealing the show!!

    many UFC main events and cards sucked bigtime this year!!

    Reply 3 years ago
  • wolf
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    fully agree with you, i'd rather have any wec card fight as headliner over ****ing bisping... the man pisses me off more than any other fighter, and i am british!

    Reply 3 years ago
  • MMA ADDICT
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    WEC had some awesome fights.

    Reply 3 years ago
  • HunterB
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    I never saw one boring card in the WEC. My old trainer used to take me to the events in Cali before it was mainstream. It was so cool to go there and meet the fighters, little did i know alot of them would become future legends of the sport.

    Reply 3 years ago
  • Ryan Ventura
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    *sigh* I'm going to miss the WEC....

    Reply 3 years ago
  • Rigo
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    It feels like Pride all over again! ofcourse the WEC dosent compared to the many years Pride bring joy to millions !

    But the WEC was the best part of MMA this 2010!

    and maybe even 2009! i would not dare to miss a WEC event!



    It was always non stop action! the fighters really went all the way!

    no BS outpointing guys! they just fight and if they could finish they did!

    and if not they almost die trying!



    1 more year and the WEC would have made look the UFC like idiots!

    lets just hope Dana use the fighters correctly and not just put them on the undercards!

    Reply 3 years ago