Anthony Pettis believes WEC had the best lightweights in the world


While the UFC remains as the king of the mountain, there is some debate as to what organization has (or had) the best fighters in the world. With Strikeforce breathing its final breath in January, it means that some of the organizations top fighters will make their way into the UFC. Of the bunch, perhaps the most prominent name is that of Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez. Most believe that he could make waves in the lightweight division of the UFC but we won’t know for sure until he steps into the Octagon. The same can be said for Eddie Alvarez as he will likely come to the UFC after being considered one of the top lightweights during his run in Bellator.

But according to former WEC champion Anthony Pettis, neither Strikeforce, Bellator or the UFC can hold a candle to the lightweights of the now defunct World Extreme Cagefighting organization. 

“It surprised me how good the WEC guys did (in the UFC),” Pettis told With Benson Henderson currently holding the title while Pettis and former WEC fighter Donald Cerrone battle it out for the #1 contender slot in January, the WEC is making a strong case as having had the best lightweights in the world. “I mean, we’re at the top of the top. Everybody doubted the WEC – our skills weren’t good enough. And we proved everybody wrong. Henderson’s at the top, I’m right there, me and Cerrone are about to fight for the No. 1 contender. We’re all very well-skilled – the WEC had the best 155ers in the world, and now we’re fighting to be at the top again.”

He’s certainly makinga strong case and there’s no doubt that the lightweight division is the deepest in MMA. Do you agree with Pettis?

  • I believe him and I and guys like Rigo always thought the WEC guys were superior fighters with more heart.

  • Technically, right now Ben is the best LW in the world so I won't disagree fully. However, personally I don't think you can say any one promotion had the best LW's anymore. Ben just fought Frankie twice where both fights were arguable, and the second fight most thought he lost. Cerrone has a great UFC record, but he has one borderline top 10 win in Dennis Siver and got blown out in his only other top caliber fight against Nate Diaz. Anthony Pettis is 1-1-1 in the UFC at the moment.

    Again, it's all opinion but after what the guys did from the WEC coming over I don't think anybody should totally discount Gil, Masvidal, or Thompson from Strikeforce. Or guys like Chandler, Alvarez, and Hawn from Bellator.

    If all were able to fight one another IMO Mike Chandler would give anybody loads of problems.

  • Nate by destruction over Cerrone, thats just one flaw in his opinion.

    • and Pettis getting completely shut down by Guida

  • I think it dont matter what Pettis says once Gilbert steps in the Octagon the UFC Lw div will be his !

  • hmm I dunno about that Mr Pettis….

    I believe Ben is the only WEC LW not to have been dominated by a UFC LW yet;
    Pettis was shut down by Guida, Nate Diaz destroyed by Cowboy, Njokuani stifled by Dos Anjos, Roller viciously beaten a couple of UFC veterans, Castillo outdone by Volkmann and Palaszewski has been dominated twice. Varner has actually looked good but he was still finished by Lauzon.

    That is all the top WEC guys being dominated at least once but how many top UFC guys have been dominated by WEC guys? (except via the champ Benson).
    Cerrone and Pettis have had a couple of very quick finishes but not dominated any top 5s and arguably no tops 10s (Siver maybe).

    So what I'm trying to say is the WEC has done well to very quickly stop Lauzon and Guillard (borderline top 10s) but outside of that, except from the Champ Benson, any meetings with top UFC fighters has resulted in the WEC fighters being dominated.

    Quite a round about and awkward way of explaining it but just showing that when you really look at it, the UFC has proven to have the better LWs.

  • I would also like to note that only one of the top 3 UFC LWs of the past few years, being BJ Penn, Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard, has faced a WEC LW

    That was Frankie Edgar against the best WEC currently has to offer, Ben Henderson, and the fights were both extremely controversial with most of the MMA community agreeing Ben was beaten at least one of the times.

    Let's see the WEC face BJ Penn or even at least Gray Maynard before declaring their division was better