Legends: My Top Five WEC Fighters

Posted on March 26, 2013, 12:46 PM by Rory Kernaghan
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The WEC may have become defunct back in 2010, but it produced a lot of really talented fighters during it's nine year running time. Boasting some of the best fighters in the world from the lower weight classes, the WEC could claim to have some of the fastest and most explosive fighters on the planet.

Nearly three years on from the merging with the UFC, I have picked my five favorite fighters from the WEC.

1.Jose Aldo

Aldo fought eight times in the WEC, finishing seven of his opponents by KO/TKO and going to the judges scorecards once against Urijah Faber. The Brazilian quickly became a feared striker in the featherweight division and claimed the title at WEC 44 in 2009, knocking out Mike Brown inside of two rounds. Aldo is now the UFC featherweight champion, unbeaten in four fights for the promotion and will square off next against Anthony Pettis. My favorite Aldo moment was the insane double flying knee knockout win over Cub Swanson at WEC 41, just eight seconds in to the first round.

2.Urijah Faber

Faber was one of the most exciting fighters on the WEC roster, he had the record for most consecutive title defenses in the WEC (five), he fought six times in 2006 and simultaneously held the KOTC bantamweight and WEC featherweight titles. 'The California Kid' has a lethal guillotine choke which scored him submission wins over Jens Pulver, Jeff Curran and Dominick Cruz. My Favorite Faber moment was his five round FOTN performance in his first bout with Jens Pulver in the WEC.

3.Benson Henderson

'Smooth' is one of my favorite fighters in the UFC and I was a big fan during his stint in the WEC. Henderson won the interim WEC title in his first bout against Donald Cerrone, providing a fight of the night and fight of the year performance. He later went on to unify the belt against Jamie Varner at WEC 46, defending it once before losing to Anthony Pettis in another fight of the night/year winner. My top Bendo moment was his super-tight guillotine choke that he used to submit Donald Cerrone at WEC 48 in the very first round.

4.Dominick Cruz

'The Dominator' compiled a record of 7-1 during his time in the WEC, his only loss coming to Urijah Faber in Cruz's WEC debut. I'm a big fan of Cruz's unorthodox style and flashy footwork which he used to beat Ian McCall, Ivan Lopez, Valencia">Charlie Valencia, Brian Bowles, Joseph Benavidez and Scott Jorgensen while in the WEC. My favorite 'Dominator' moment was his first fight against Joseph Benavidez, where the two slugged it out for three rounds to earn fight of the night honors at WEC 42.

5.Donald Cerrone

'Cowboy' may have fallen at every title shot he received in the WEC, but he is still one of my favorite fighters of the time. He had a solid BJJ game and nasty striking abilities, as well as a really cool cowboy hat. As well as the thrilling fight against Ben Henderson, my favorite 'Cowboy' moment was his rematch against Jamie Varner at WEC 51 which earned both men fight of the night honors.

Honorable mention goes to Mike Brown, Miguel Torres, Joseph Benavidez, Brian Bowles, Anthony Pettis and Brian Stann.

 


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  • thexperience1
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    Really? a Top 5 WEC fighters without Showtime? Interesting.... lol

    Reply 1 year ago
  • Rory Kernaghan
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    pettis is a beast i admit, just out of my personal top 5 though

    Reply 1 year ago
  • falcon4917
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    Yeah Pettis is really good. Faber is better than people give him credit for if they consider his size disadvantage for such a long time they will realize if they get over personality clashes they have with him he is up with the very best.

    Reply 1 year ago
  • KeithFarrell
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    I don't know if Rory made his choice for the same reasons I would've but I feel that while Pettis is beast, he has really bloomed in the UFC rather than the WEC.
    Of course he had the incredible performance against Bendo but seeing as his WEC career was half the length of Cerrone, it helps give Conald the nod as the better WEC fighter.
    Now things are different though

    Reply 1 year ago
  • dropkickmurphy
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    Carlos Condit??

    Reply 1 year ago
  • KeithFarrell
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    Carlos Condit is similar to Pettis, did good things in the WEC but has transformed in to a destroyed since being in the UFC.

    Reply 1 year ago
  • D
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    No, Condit defended the WEC title 3 times. Pettis won the belt in the last ever WEC 155 title fight. Not similar at all in terms of their WEC career. Condit absolutely belongs on the list. Pettis may or may not.

    Reply 1 year ago
  • thexperience1
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    Oh **** yeah.. Condit slipped my mind for a sec.. if there's anyone that should be on the list its Condit! He went 5-0 in the WEC and was the last champ...

    Reply 1 year ago
  • falcon4917
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    man, I cannot believe I left his name out. Makes me think a little deeper and list some other honorable mentions like Jamie Varner and Miguel torres.

    Reply 1 year ago
  • KeithFarrell
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    Great list for a great organisation.
    It's pretty crazy that from the WEC merger, they have produced 4 of the current UFC champions, with those 4 being in the top 10 P4P list right now.
    Aside form the Undisputed champions, Faber, Pettis and Barao could all be argued for a top 10 P4P spot.

    The only thing I wouldn't agree on is Bendo being in front of Cruz. I felt Cruz had a much more consistent diet of super elite opponents and he looks more dominant in his wins (Bendo could've lost to Cerrone), as well as the fact Ben went out with a loss.

    Reply 1 year ago
  • KeithFarrell
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    A bit of personal trivia - the first and only real time I properly watched a WEC event was their last show, it was also the first non-UFC event I watched.

    Luckily enough, it turned out to be one of the best events I have ever seen and produced one of the most epic fights and moments in the sport's history.

    WEC Never Forget

    Reply 1 year ago
  • Rory Kernaghan
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    Its also crazy the impact that strikeforce fighters are having in the UFC now, Robbie Lawler KTFOing Kos comes to mind. These guys are really proving themselves worthy of their spots in the UFC and its refreshing to watch

    Reply 1 year ago