WEC 53 is currently underway at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
In the night’s main event, Ben Henderson and Scott Jorgensen meet for the opportunity to fight for the UFC lightweight title.
In the co-main event, WEC bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz and Scott Jorgensen fight to become the first-ever UFC bantamweight champion.
Donald Cerrone takes on Chris Horodecki in a lightweight bout.
Bart Palaszewski takes on Kamal Shalorus in another lightweight bout.
Results, thoughts, bonuses and live gate (when available) after the jump.
- Anthony Pettis defeats Benson Henderson via Unanimous Decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46)
- Dominick Cruz defeats Scott Jorgensen via Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
- Donald Cerrone defeats Chris Horodecki via Submission (Triangle Choke) in Round Two
- Kamal Shalorus defeats Bart Palaszewski via Split Decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
- Shane Roller defeats Jamie Varner via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) in Round One
- Brad Pickett defeats Ivan Menjivar via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Eddie Wineland defeats Ken Stone via Knockout (Slam) in Round One
- Yuri Alcantara defeats Ricardo Lamas via Knockout in Round One
- Danny Downes defeats Tiequan Zhang via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
- Danny Castillo defeats Will Kerr via Knockout in Round One
- Renan Barao defeats Chris Cariaso via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) in Round One
Thoughts & Recap
Bart Palaszewski vs. Kamal Shalorus: Bart Palaszewski and Kamal Shalorus kicked off the Versus broadcast with a very close fight. Shalorus took the first round with some solid ground and pound, but Palaszewski closed the gap in the second and third as Shalorus started to fade. Palaszewski made it interesting in the final minute of the fight with a surge of knees and punches, but it wasn’t enough to earn him the decision.
Donald Cerrone vs. Chris Horodecki: Cerrone-Horodecki was fairly even on the feet. Horodecki seemed to struggle with Cerrone’s length but he managed to get a few shots in nonetheless. Where the skill gap widened was on the ground. Horodecki escaped a dangerous full mount situation in the first but wasn’t quite as lucky in the second. About halfway through the round, the two went to the mat and Cerrone immediately went to work trying to lock in a triangle, an armbar, an omoplata and whatever else Horodecki gave him an opening for. Cerrone eventually locked in a triangle Horodecki tried to fight out of, but ultimately couldn’t escape. When asked who he wants to fight in the UFC, Cerrone said he’s coming after Cole Miller, who once beat his good friend Leonard Garcia.
Dominick Cruz vs. Scott Jorgensen: The first ever UFC bantamweight title fight was all Dominick Cruz. He danced his way around Scott Jorgensen peppering him with punches and leg kicks for five straight rounds, and mixed in a bunch of takedowns for good measure. Jorgensen let Cruz set the pace of the fight and just couldn’t keep up. Easy fight for the judges to score. With the unanimous decision, Cruz becomes the first-ever UFC bantamweight champion, and calls out Urijah Faber for his first UFC title defense.
Benson Henderson vs. Anthony Pettis: The final WEC fight was a classic. Ben Henderson and Anthony Pettis fought back and forth for five straight rounds and it only got better as the fight wore on. They literally took the fight everywhere with both fighters escaping threatening rear-naked chokes at various points of the fight. It was seemingly anybody’s fight heading into the fifth, but Anthony Pettis clinched it with the most incredible move I have ever witnessed in mixed martial arts. Pettis literally wall walked up the cage and laid Henderson out with flying roundhouse kick off the fence. Moves like that are only supposed to happen in movies with choreography and wires, but Pettis pulled it off perfectly in a real life MMA title fight. Perhaps even more shocking, Henderson remained conscious enough to grab a leg and hold on till the bell rang. In the end, Henderson didn’t win the fight, but he’ll surely get his shot to make his mark in the UFC. Meanwhile, Pettis certainly looks like he’s capable of giving the Edgar-Maynard winner a run for their money. Can’t wait to see it.
It was a glorious end to a promotion that has given us show after show chock full of action and excitement. The WEC will be missed, but it’s time to move on and I can’t wait to see the little guys tear it up in the UFC in 2011.
Knockout of the Night: Eddie Wineland
Submission of the Night: Shane Roller
Fight of the Night: Ben Henderson & Anthony Pettis
Live Gate & Attendance