Benson Henderson vs Jim Miller on top for next edition of UFC on Versus
Jim Miller's new lot in life may be testing the mettle of former WEC lightweights. After destroying Kamal Shalorus at UFC 128 many were calling for Miller to get a crack at the lightweight championship. After all, Miller had run off seven consecutive UFC wins and only Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar hold wins over him.
With Edgar and Maynard injured and their third fight postponed, a title fight wasn't coming any time soon and it now appears that former WEC lightweight champion Ben Henderson is next.
WEC's former GM Reed Harris now UFC vice president of community relations
As expected former World Extreme Cagefighting General Manager Reed Harris is sticking around following the organization's recent merger with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
And he now has a new job title: UFC vice president of community relations.
Harris today stopped by the MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) studio with UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and briefly discussed the position.
"I'll handle all the community work with the UFC," the longtime fight executive said. "I've been really busy trying to get this moving."
WEC 53: 615,000 Viewers
World Extreme Cagefighting went out with a bang in the cage, and the promotion didn't do too bad in the ratings, either. With a pair of titles on the line in the final event in WEC history, "WEC 53: Henderson vs. Pettis" scored an impressive 0.62 household rating and an average audience of 615,000 viewers on Versus. The ratings figure marks the third-straight WEC event to experience a gain in viewership, and WEC 53 finishes as the seventh-highest rated event in the promotion's history. The post-event special on Versus drew 352,000 viewers.
Donald Cerrone unhappy with WEC 53 win, wants shot at UFC's Cole Miller
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Donald Cerrone picked up a quality win against a notable opponent, but following the WEC 53 performance, he wasn't exactly in a celebratory mood.
Cerrone (13-3 MMA 5-3 WEC), a five-time "Fight of the Night" winner with the WEC, saw plenty of problems in his second-round submission win over Chris Horodecki (16-3 MMA, 2-2 WEC).
More specifically, he wanted to beat the former kickboxer at his own game.
The fight was one of four that aired on Versus from Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Ariz. It was the final WEC show before the organization's merger with its sister promotion, the UFC. With roster spots at a premium, it was important for Cerrone and other fighters to make a good impression in the WEC's final show.
Trainer Roufus says Pettis' WEC 53 kick inspired by "Ong Bak" cult movie
Believe it or not, the sensational kick Anthony Pettis used to floor Benson Henderson was inspired by the cult martial-arts classic, "Ong Bak."
Pettis' coach, Duke Roufus, said he's played around with "old-school" Muay Thai techniques for several years, and the crazy kick that Pettis landed is just one such attack.
"I just believe in being creative," Roufus today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "Anthony is a lifelong martial artist, and I'm a lifelong martial artist, and we're just trying to keep evolving and blend it all together."
A great piece on the Showtime Kick, with embedded video of the kick itself! Also, if you have not already, watch the original Ong-Bak the Thai Warrior. No handed cartwheel between two pieces of glass? Amazing
WEC 53 winner Eddie Wineland: "All I saw was Rampage in my eyes"
GLENDALE, Ariz. – While Anthony Pettis was the talk of the town following WEC 53, it was Eddie Wineland who nearly walked away with the evening's SportsCenter moment.
Fighting on the evening's preliminary card, Wineland earned the card's "Knockout of the Night" with a vicious first-round slam of WEC newcomer Ken Stone.
The first WEC Bantamweight Champion Eddie Wineland discusses his powerful knockout slam against WEC newcomer Ken Stone
Anthony Pettis' Striking Coach Duke Roufus Talks About 'Showtime' Kick
It was the Kick Heard 'Round the World, a climbing, twisting, off-the-wall, out-of-the-video-games-and-into-Ben-Henderson's-face, mind-scrambler of a strike in the 25th and final minute of a WEC championship match that shot Anthony Pettis into the consciousness of sports fans everywhere.
While his aim is to stay there for more than just one night, it's safe to say that regardless of his future, the 23-year-old cemented himself a place in MMA history by authoring one of the sport's most incredible moments.
I want more!!!
WEC 53 Draws 6348 Fans
Thursday's WEC 53 event at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Ariz., scored an attendance figure of 6,348. If the Arizona State Boxing Commission verifies the figure in the coming week, it'll rank as the seventh-best-attended event in the WEC's nearly 10-year and 53-event history. It was also the second-highest attendance mark for a show outside of California (only WEC 47 in Ohio drew more). Glendale, a Phoenix-area city, earned the right to host WEC 53 by winning the Amp Energy "Hometown Throwdown" contest. Fans could vote for 30 potential host sites, and Phoenix/Glendale – which is home to WEC 53 competitors Benson Henderson and Jamie Varner – emerged victorious. The show marked the WEC's debut in Arizona.
WEC 53 Bonuses Announced
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Eddie Wineland, Shane Roller, Anthony Pettis and Benson Henderson each earned $10,000 "Fight Night" bonuses for their performances at Thursday's WE3 52 event.
Wineland earned the event's "Knockout of the Night" award, Roller picked up the "Submission of the Night" bonus, and Pettis and Henderson earned "Fight of the Night" honors.
WEC 53 Main Card re-cap
GLENDALE, Ariz. – It's only fitting that World Extreme Cagefighting closed its doors with an awe-inspiring kick and closely contested main event that saw the crowning of a new and final WEC lightweight champion.
A late-fight fence walk that resulted in a highlight-reel head kick allowed challenger Anthony Pettis to edge champ Benson Henderson in the main event of Thursday's WEC 53 event.
It was the final fight in the history of the always-entertaining WEC, which now merges with its sister promotion, the UFC.
Jens Pulver changes things up, could be looking for a come back
Jens talks about his move to Team Curran as well as what he thinks his future in the sport might be and when he'd consider hanging up the gloves.
The video is really old but I never saw anything on here about this and I know everyone loves their Jens Pulver news. Plus today happened to be the first day I got to train with Jens.
Donald Cerrone eyes WEC 53 win, future dates with Jose Aldo, Nate Diaz, Cole Miller
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Three-time WEC title challenger Donald Cerrone (12-3 MMA, 5-3 WEC) is not looking past his WEC 53 fight with Canadian slugger Chris Horodecki (16-2 MMA, 2-1 WEC).
In fact, with roster spots at a premium due to the pending UFC and WEC merger, Cerrone considers the Thursday night contest to be one of the most important of his career.
Cerrone badly wants to claim victory over Horodecki and guarantee himself a spot in the world's premier mixed martial arts organization. From there, Cerrone eyes opportunities from 145 pounds on up to 170, and Jose Aldo, Nate Diaz and Cole Miller are just a few of the names on his to-do list.
Dominick Cruz Out 4-6 Months After WEC 53
The fight between Dominick Cruz and Scott Jorgensen will determine the first ever UFC bantamweight champion, but win, lose, or draw the current titleholder will be taking some time off after the bout. Cruz recently said he will have hand surgery after the fight regardless of the fight result and he's expected to be out at least 4-6 months. Cruz naturally is hoping it's closer to only 4 months.
WEC 53: Henderson vs. Pettis Fight Card Finalized
WEC 53, , is set for Dec. 16 in Glendale, Ariz., in the Phoenix area.
A lightweight title fight between champion Ben Henderson and challenger Anthony Pettis headlines the WEC 53 fight card. Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz defends his title against Scott Jorgensen in the co-main event.
“This event will go down as one of the most important in the history of the lighter weight classes,” WEC General Manager Reed Harris said. “The winner of Henderson and Pettis will fight for the UFC lightweight title next year, while the winner of Cruz-Jorgensen will immediately become the UFC bantamweight champion. The stakes have never been higher.”
Pederneiras: Convincing Aldo Not to Fight was ‘Hell’
While fans were no doubt disappointed to learn of Jose Aldo’s withdrawal from UFC 125, the top-ranked featherweight’s trainer says the news hit no one harder than Aldo himself.
“It was such a really tough task for me to convince him not to fight. He wanted to fight anyway. He was really excited to make his UFC debut, but I told him [fighting] in such a crisis state, he may have really serious problems,” Andre Pederneiras, head of Nova Uniao, told Sherdog.com. “He argued that he wanted to fight anyway, that people would think he was chickening out, but I insisted and convinced him.”
On Tuesday, it was reported that the newly-christened UFC featherweight champion had been forced to pull out of his New Year’s Day title defense against Josh Grispi, but Pederneiras says the injury existed long before Aldo traveled to Michigan last weekend to receive his new belt at UFC 123.
“He’s felt this pain in his right arm for a long time, but you know how the tough guys behave. He just took an anti-inflammatory and kept training,” said Pederneiras. “But during training for his last two fights, it started to be more painful and, even with the medicine, he was complaining. Before we traveled for UFC 123, we went to a doctor and he said that he believed Aldo had some problem in his cervical spine, but he could only confirm after seeing the images from the exam.”
Featherweights Mike Brown and Diego Nunes official for UFC 125 clash
Nearly seven years after first fighting in the octagon, one-time UFC veteran Mike Brown (24-6 MMA, 6-2 WEC) returns to the promotion's cage on Jan. 1.
UFC brass today officially announced that the former lightweight contender meets Brazilian featherweight Diego Nunes (15-1 MMA, 4-1 WEC) at UFC 125 in both fighters' first bout after the pending UFC-WEC merger.
WEC 52: 570,000 Viewers
Urijah Faber is a proven draw. No doubt about it. Bolstered by the World Extreme Cagefighting star's main event with Takeya Mizugaki, the Nov. 11 broadcast of WEC 52 scored an impressive 0.57 household rating and an average audience of 570,000 viewers on Versus. Only WEC 46 drew more viewers so far this year-and that event also featured Faber. In fact, 4 of the 6 most-viewed WEC events since WEC 34 (Faber-Pulver 1) have had Faber in the main event or co-main.
UFC-WEC Merger Will Not Include Alex Karalexis
We now know that not all current WEC fighters are going to UFC as part of the upcoming merger-Alex Karalexis is not UFC-bound. In fact, he actually has been released by Zuffa. Karalexis last fought in April, losing by submission to ANthony Pettis. He was to have faced Zhang Tie Quan at WEC 51 but withdrew due to injury. He was 4-3 in WEC but just 1-3 in his last 4 fights.
WEC 52 Medical Suspensions
The NSAC has posted the official WEC 52 results on it's website, which also reveal the medical suspensions coming out of last night's event. Of note: If Urijah Faber does not have his left shoulder cleared by a doctor, his UFC debut will not come until at least mid-May. Also, Takeya Mizugaki only got 45 days despite being choked legit unconscious by Faber in the main event.
WEC 52 Fighter Payouts
The NSAC has revealed the official fighter payouts from last night's WEC 52 event. The total disclosed payouts were $284,500 with the biggest share-$56,000-going to Urijah Faber.