As if the World Extreme Cagefighting organization had not provided fight fans with enough excitement during its tenure, WEC 53 was the perfect final act to close down the show. With two title fights, submissions and knockouts, this show was exactly what everyone could have asked for.
Anthony Pettis provided one of the types of sports moments that will hold a spot on highlight reels for years to come. He and Benson Henderson provided fans with an amazing main event for the WEC Lightweight Title. Both fighters went back and forth exchanging blows, takedowns and submissions attempts. Pettis was able to continue pushing the pace and secure more dominant positioning as the fight went one. What shocked fans and MMA experts alike was when Pettis sprang off the cage and landed a right kick squarely to Henderson’s chin. This move dropped the defending champion and allowed Pettis to continue punishing him until the final bell.
Pettis walked away with a unanimous decision victory and now he has an opportunity to face the winner of Frankie Edgar versus Gray Maynard. That bout will unify the lightweight title under the UFC banner.
Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz used constant movement, striking and wrestling to completely control Scott Jorgensen for five rounds. Cruz consistently rocked the challenger with leg kicks and shots to the body throughout the battle. Jorgensen looked very frustrated as the fight went on because he was unable to close the distance on the champion and take him down.
Immediately after the fight, Cruz took the time to call out Uriah Faber. Faber is the only fighter to hold a victory over Cruz, which happened at WEC 26 in 2007.
Donald Cerrone staked his claim to a roster spot in the UFC’s lightweight division with a submission victory over Chris Horodecki with a triangle choke in the second round. Cerrone used his length and striking abilities to keep Horodecki at bay while scoring a few takedowns in both the first and second round.
Kamal Shalorus took a step back to his wrestling roots to keep his undefeated streak alive with a defeat of Bart Palaszewski. He earned a split decision by taking an early lead by dominating the first round of the fight. Shalorus was able to take his opponent down multiple times during the competition but Palaszewski was able to land strikes of his own. The final scores for the fight were 30-27 and 29-28 while one judge had the fight 29-28 for Palaszewski.
The final WEC card brought a number of shocking moments for mixed martial arts fans that will be talked about for a long time to come.
Full Card Results
Anthony Pettis defeats Benson Henderson by Unanimous Decision
Dominick Cruz defeats Scott Jorgensen by Unanimous Decision
Donald Cerrone defeats Chris Horodecki by Submission (Triangle Choke – Round 2 2:43)
Kamal Shalorus defeats Bart Palaszewski by Split Decision
Daniel Downes defeats Tie Quan Zhang by Unanimous Decision
Shane Roller defeats Jamie Varner by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke – Round 1 3:55)
Brad Pickett defeats Ivan Menjivar by Unanimous Decision
Eddie Wineland defeats Ken Stone by Knockout (Slam – Round 1 – 2:11)
Danny Castillo defeats Will Kerr by Knockout (Punches – Round 1 – 1:25)
Yuri Alcantara defeats Ricardo Lamas by Knockout (Punches – Round 1 – 3:26)
Renan do Nascimento Mota Pegado defeats Chris Cariaso by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke – Round 1 – 3:47)
Anthony Pettis and Benson Henderson – $10,000 for Fight of the Night
Shane Roller – $10,000 for Submission of the Night
Eddie Wineland – $10,000 for Knockout of the Night
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