GLENDALE, Ariz. – Welcome to our live coverage of tonight’s historic final WEC event from the Jobing.com Arena in Glendale.
Our coverage will begin at 6:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. MT (local time) for the preliminary card bouts. Our coverage of the Versus-televised live event will begin at 9:00 p.m ET.
Tonight’s event features a pair of championship fights. In the co-main event, WEC bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz and Scott Jorgensen vie to become the first UFC bantamweight champion. In the main event, we’ll see lightweight champion Ben Henderson taking on Anthony Pettis, with the winner moving on to face the winner of the Jan. 1 Frankie Edgar/Gray Maynard bout to unify the UFC and WEC lightweight titles.
Want backstage news and tips from tonight’s final WEC event in Arizona? Stay tuned to @HeavyMMA on Twitter. We’ll be providing results from every fight on the card, photos from backstage and in the arena and more information that you won’t find anywhere else!
RENAN BARAO VS. CHRIS CARIASO
Round 1: Bruce Buffer is back on commentary tonight. Barao is allegedly 26-1 with 24 straight wins. I say “allegedly” because most of these fights happened in Brazil and you never know with those guys. Barao misses a headkick to start, but then lands a left. Bonnar compares Barao to Jose Aldo in terms of kicks, and I must admit that he looks a lot like the champ right now. Barao drops Cariaso with a flying knee, but he’s fine and Barao lands in his closed guard. Cariaso looking for an armbar, but Barao wiggles free and passes into half guard. Cariaso gets him back into the guard, so he’s safe for now. Cariaso may be looking for an omoplata, but Barao is having none of it and then passes completely into side control. Impressive. And just when I say that, Cariaso gets him back into guard. Barao suddenly moves into a kimura, but Cariaso gives up his back and Barao takes it. Really excellent technical stuff on the ground here. Barao has a figure four body lock and is looking for the choke. Barao keeps the body lock and goes briefly into a mount, but Cariaso gives up the back again. Barao gets the choke in and it’s tight. Cariaso briefly fights it, but is forced to tap out. That’s the 27th win in a row from Barao.
WINNER: Renan Barao by submission, round 1
YURI ALCANTARA VS. RICARDO LAMAS
Round 1: Alcantara rushes out of the gate with a bunch of punches, but doesn’t land anything. Alcantara grabs a clinch and pushes Lamas briefly against the cage. Lamas fires off a missed head kick. They separate again and Lamas pushes him against the cage. Alcantara does not want to be here and finally breaks free. Lamas grabs the clinch again. It’s becoming pretty apparent that Lamas doesn’t want a stand-up battle with Alcantara. And on that note, Lamas keeps the clinch held tight. Alcantara gets away and lands a knee, but Lamas escapes and they go back to the center of the cage. Alcantara presses forward and lands a MASSIVE hook that knocks Lamas out cold. He lands five or six more punches, but they weren’t needed at all. Huge KO.
Winner: Yuri Alcantara by knockout, round 1
DANNY CASTILLO VS. WILL KERR
Round 1: Kerr immediately comes out with a flying knee, then gets a guillotine. Castillo pops his head out. Kerr is looking for a heel hook and he appears to have it. Castillo is not tapping out. This looks painful. Castillo firing punches from the top. Holy crap, he knocked him out. Castillo landed 4 or 5 punches in a row and knocked Kerr out. Kerr did not want to give up the heel hook and he paid a steep price for it. At this rate, everybody at home is going to get to see the entire card.
Winner: Danny Castillo by TKO, round 1
KEN STONE VS. EDDIE WINELAND
Round 1: Inside leg kick from Stone to start things off. He’s got some real hand speed. And foot speed as well, as he lands another inside leg kick. Stone is very fast. Wineland might be faster. Another leg kick from Stone. Wineland lands a right that staggers Stone, but he recovers quickly. Huge spinning back fist from Stone, but it didn’t appear to hurt Wineland. In fact, Wineland may have landed a right at the same time. Stone shoots for a takedown, but then jumps guard. He’s looking for the guillotine, but Wineland carries him over to the cage. Huge slam from Eddie Wineland that knocks Stone out. Jesus. What a night of finishes already.
Winner: Eddie Wineland by KO, round 1
IVAN MENJIVAR VS. BRAD PICKETT
Round 1: This is the one fight on the prelim I would’ve guaranteed to end in the first round. But after the first four fights tonight, surely this fifth fight can’t end in the first. Menjivar is very experienced, having fought in the UFC before, but Pickett hits very hard. Pickett with a leg kick to open things up. Big overhand right from Menjivar. Menjivar misses a big spinning backfist and Pickett immediately shoots and takes him down. He telegraphed that one pretty big and Pickett was prepared. Menjivar went for an armbar, but Picket is having none of it and gets up and walks away. Menjivar is the aggressor here. Pickett wants a takedown but gets stuffed. Menjivar with some dirty boxing. They separate. Menjivar has a cut on his left eye and Pickett’s left eye is slightly swollen. Big knee from Menjivar glances off the forehead of Pickett, who tries for a takedown but gets stuffed. Menjivar wants a plum clinch but Picket scurries away before Menjivar can land. Head kick from Menjivar. Overhand right from Menjivar. He’s landing that every time. Pickett ducks a spinning backfist and goes for a takedown, but Menjivar lands a big knee. Menjivar lands three huge shots and a big knee. but Pickett fires back. Menjivar with another spinning backfist. These guys are going all out. Menjivar with yet another spinning backfist and Pickett gets another takedown. Pickett unloads from the top with crushing ground and pound. Good action in the first. Heavy.com scores the round for Brad Pickett.
Round 2: Pickett drills Menjivar in the junk, but he’s okay and they continue immediately. Menjivar with a nice leg kick, but gets punched in the gut for his troubles. Pickett with a big overhand counter and then a leg kick.Both guys landing some huge shots in the pocket. The crowd is on its feet cheering. Pickett ducks yet another spinning Menjivar backfist. A big Menjivar right staggers Pickett. Pickett stumbles and Menjivar hits him with a huge head kick. He gets a clinch. Pickett is standing in the pocket and slugging but he is hurt bad. This is pure guts. Pickett gets a big takedown. Wow. Elbows from the bottom from Menjivar. No idea how Pickett ended up on top here, because he was almost finished. Not only that, but he’s landing a bunch of ground and pound. Menjivar misses an armbar and Pickett takes his back. Pickett switches to an armbar. Menjivar gets out and both guys are back to their feet. Menjivar looking standing guillotine but doesn’t have it. Dirty boxing from Menjivar. Three knees land on Pickett. He’s still stumbling and he’s tired. Pickett shoots desperately for a takedown. Unbelievable round here. Just amazing show of guts from Pickett. Heavy.com scores the round for Ivan Menjivar.
Round 3: They hug to start the final round and the crowd applauds. They start slugging almost immediately. Menjivar looking for an arm-in guillotine, but gives it up and hits Pickett with a knee. Pickett changes levels and looks for the takedown, but is too exhausted to get anything from it. They’re both pretty tired, actually, and it’s showing in this round. Halfway through the round now and there hasn’t been much action outside of both guys missing a lot of strikes. Pickett lands a big left hook. He drops Menjivar with a big right. Menjivar went for another spinning backfist, but Pickett timed it and punched him in the mouth, then follows up with a big flying knee. Big knee from Menjivar. They’re literally anding punches at the same time now. One minute left and the crowd is up. Both guys are just throwing single shots at this point, but Pickett’s speed is back. They’re exchanging big shots now to end the fight. Pickett with a flying knee but gets punched in the face in mid-air. The round ends. Hell of a fight here. Close, close fight and could go either way. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Brad Pickett.
Winner: Brad Pickett d. Ivan Menjivar by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
SHANE ROLLER VS. JAMIE VARNER
Round 1: Varner takes the center of the cage. Varner with a left hook. Varner is firing away but he’s not really landing anything. Varner holding his eye again. As in, he might be faking. Roller lands a combo.Varner has a cut under his right eye. Big kick from Roller.Varner drops Roller with a left hook. He sits up and grabs a double leg. Roller gets a takedown and then takes Varner’s back. Varner guarding against the choke but he’s in trouble. Varner on his feet and holding Roller’s arm, while Roller tries to pull it free. Varner drops Roller on his back but it looks like that was a bad move, as Roller’s got the choke and it’s over. Wow. What a comeback from Shane Roller.
Winner: Shane Roller by submission, round 1
ZHANG TIE QUAN VS. DANNY DOWNES
Round 1: Downes is much bigger than he used to be. He takes a bunch of punches. Wolf grabs a leg and gets a takedown. Downes back to his feet, but Wolf tosses him to the mat with a judo toss. Zhang goes for a straight armbar and nearly gets it, then takes his back. He’s got the guillotine. Downes is fighting it, but it’s in deep. Zhang switches arms. Downes rolls to his stomach and Zhang keeps working for the choke. Downes just can’t get away from the choke. And just like that, he gets away and rolls over. Downes raining down big punches. Downes back to his feet with the Wolf on the ground, and he lets the Wolf back up. Wolf lands several shots, but Downs goes to the back. Wolf reverses and goes for a takedown, but Downes stays on top. Downes in the guard now. Wolf may be looking for an armbar and he looks to have it. It’s hard to tell if he has the armbar from this position, though. Downs excapes and starts raining down huge shots. The round ends. No idea how Downes escaped those sub attempts. Heavy.com scores the round for the Mongolian Wolf.
Round 2: Both guys exchange shots. Downes stuffs a Wolf takedown attempt. Wolf really is hungry for that takedown attempt. Points to those of you who caught that reference the first time. Wolf gets him to the ground, but Downes immediately fights his way back up. Downes pushes Wolf to the ground. That seemed too easy. Downes unleashing blistering ground and pound and then takes the Wolf’s back. Wolf in big trouble here. Wolf with wrist control to keep Downes from hitting the choke, but Downes is still fishing for it. The crowd is firmly behind the American now. Wolf escapes from the choke, but Downes maintains top position. Downes back to his feet. Wolf gets up and shoots for the double, but can’t get it. Wolf is very tired. Downes keeping Wolf on the ground and using big ground and pound. Danny Downes is dominant in this round and Wolf looks out of his element. Zhang is completely gassed. Wolf can’t even get to his feet. Downes is landing huge shots. The round ends. Dominant round for Downes, and I’m scoring it thusly. Heavy.com scores the round 10-8 for Danny Downes.
Round 3: Touch of gloves to start. Wolf misses a punch and just falls to his back. The crowd boos heavily. Downes goes to the ground and Wolf goes for a choke, but can’t get it. Both guys to their feet. Wolf shoots again but has no energy and ends up on his back with Downes postured up. Downes uses short elbows to batter Wolf. He postures up again and lands shot after shot. The Wolf is not looking good here, not at all. Downes takes his back and gets the body triangle. He’s not really getting much and Wolf is in survival mode. Downes is looking arm triangle and he nearly has it. He just needs to pass the guard. Wolf escapes, but just barely. This was one-sided from the second round onwards. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Danny Downes.
BART PALASZEWSKI VS. KAMAL SHALORUS
Round 1: Shalorus pressing forward to start. Bart goes for a takeodnw, but Shalorus turns it around and ends up in the guard. Bart with a big punch from the bottom. Shalorus is landing big shots from the top. He’s got some nasty ground and pound. Oh, and giant hands. And a giant head. Bart keeps him close, so Kamal switches and starts pounding away to the midsection. Shalorus is mixing up his shots nicely here, and he’s putting a lot of power into them. Big elbows from Shalorus. He postures up and starts landing some massive punches. He’s just drilling Bart. Shalorus continues to land massive shots, but Bart is blocking most of them. They’re making a nasty sound here in the arena, though. Bart was holding the cage, but the ref stops him. Shalorus tries to go into side control, but Bart keeps him in the guard. Bart gets up and Shalorus lands a few shots, but they eventually separate. Body kick from Shalorus. Bart misses with a head kick. Big leg kick from Shalorus makes Bart limp. That hurt me and I’m sitting 20 feet away. They’re exchanging leg kicks now. Shalorus lands several consecutive leg kicks to end the round. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Kamal Shalorus.
Round 2: They exchange leg kicks to open up. Another huge leg kick from Shalorus. Shalorus catches a Bart body kick but does nothing with it. Shalorus lands a big right hand. He’s swinging for the fences now. He literally just throw a punch that looked like a pitcher throwing a fastball. The crowd is getting restless. Another leg kick from Shalorus, but Bart catches him with a head kick. Shalorus nearly kills Bart with a right-left combo there but barely missed both punches. That was close. Shalorus shoots, but Bart stuffs it and they separate. Bart lands a big head kick. I think he’s realizing that Shalorus isn’t gonna hurt him with punches, which is amazing because Shalorus hits very, very hard. Shalorus grabs a single and gets a takedown into the guard. And then proceeds to do nothing. The crowd begins booing. Shalorus postures up and throws a few shots. Bart comes forward and tells Shalorus to punch him. This isn’t a wise idea, really, because the man still hits hard. Shalorus raises his hands as if to tell Bart that he can’t hurt him. The round ends with the crowd booing. Not scoring this round.
Round 3: They come out firing. Shalorus swings away and staggers Bart. Leg kick from Shalorus, then a flick kick to the head from Bart. Shalorus is starting to swing wildly. He just can’t help himself. Shalorus fakes a takedown and then lands a big overhand right, but it doesn’t faze Bart. Shalorus gets a takedown, but Bart is back up immediately and they separate. Shalorus is really looking one-punch knockout now. Seriously, his hands are comically huge. Bart drops a headkick on him, followed by a quick combo. Bart is the aggressor here and that could make the difference in this fight. Shalorus shoots and gets a slow takedown after Bart misses the guillotine. Kamal trying to pass and he gets into half guard. He’s trying to ground and pound, but Bart is blocking everything. He’s back in guard briefly before passing into half again. Kamal with elbows from the top. Bart back to his feet now. Shalorus shoots but he’s too gassed to do anything, and Bart fires off a combo of kicks and punches. Bart with a big knee, but Shalorus catches it. Shalorus is backing away. He’s exhausted. Both guys trading punches. Bart tries a flying knee but doesn’t get it. He may have done enough to win the fight. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Bart Palaszewski.
Winner: Kamal Shalorus by split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Matt Brown: In a surprsingly uneventful fight, Kamal Shalorus was able to land the bigger blows in the first and second rounds that led him to the victory. Bart Palaszewski was able to take advantage of a tiring Shalorus and steal the third round on our card, but it was too little too late. This win will, in all likelihood, punch Shalorus’ ticket to the UFC while Palaszewski will probably need a couple of wins in another organization before making it back to the big show.
DONALD CERRONE VS. CHRIS HORODECKI
Round 1: Cerrone kicks Horodecki in the junk almost immediately. He takes a second to catch his breath. Cerrone takes him down into side control almost immediately, then tries to take his back, but Horodecki escapes. Horodecki lands a few nice shots. There might be a fight developing behind me, I’m not sure. I’ll let you know. Both guys are swinging away. Cerrone comes in with a nice combo. He’s keeping his hands very high and I’m not sure why. Horodecki peppers him. Big bodyshots from Horodecki. He catches a leg kick, then lands a spinning back kick. Horodecki’s striking is looking crisp tonight. Horodecki catches Cerrone on the way end and gets a takedown, but Cerrone scrambles and tries a headkick. Cerrone tries a takedown, but Horodecki spins out and gets a takedown of his own. Cerrone looks like he wants a triangle, but then scrambles away. The drunken fan behind me chanting for Cerrone is not winning Cerrone any new fans here. Horodecki tries a takedown but Cerrone ends up on his band. There’s not enough time in the round for him to do anything, however. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Chris Horodecki.
Round 2: Here we go. Horodecki lands a nice combo. Horodecki misses a headkick and Cerrone shrugs it off. Horodecki with the takedown and looking for an omoplata. Some really nice ground transitions and he moves into a triangle. It looks rather deep but Horodecki is fighting it. Cerrone squeezes tighter and tighter. Cerrone puts his arm behind his head to relax, but Horodecki still has room to breathe. Cerrone drills him with a big right elbow. Horodecki finally taps.
Winner: Donald Cerrone by submission.
Matt Brown: Another awesome matchup from the WEC. The first round was as close to a 10-10 as you could possibly ask for in a mixed martial arts fight. However, the second round was owned by Donald Cerrone and he finally took it home with a triangle. This fight proves when Cerrone is on, he’s quite dangerous. He’s an excellent kickboxer with some very real ground skills. While he’ll never make run at the title in the UFC, nobody is going to be asking for a fight with him for sure. Cowboy was never in danger of not making the move to the UFC, but this cements his place in the organization. Horodecki, that’s a tough one to call.
DOMINICK CRUZ VS. SCOTT JORGENSEN
Round 1: They showed a neat video package with the UFC title and with both guys wearing UFC gloves. Cruz is wearing what appear to be my old swimming trunks from when I was in eighth grade. Which makes sense, because I was roughly that size when I was in eighth grade. Cruz immediately begins dancing around. To his credit, Jorgensen isn’t falling for it and is picking his shots. He’s not weirded out at all by Cruz’ foot movement. Cruz lands a nice left, then a three punch combo finished with a head kick. Doesn’t huirt Jorgensen, though, and he continues pressing forward. Jorgensen goes for a takedown and grabs his back, but Cruz stays on his feet. Cruz gets away, but Jorgensen lands an elbow as they separate. Jorgensen’s left eye already has a bit of swelling. Criz misses with a wild shot. Cruz lands a few leg kicks. As I expected, Jorgensen is having a tough time catching Cruz. Cruz lands a massive right that snaps Jorgensen’s head back, followed by several huge leg kicks. Cruz looks sharp. Cruz snaps off several combos. Jorgensen can’t avoid the shots, so he goes in for a takedown, but Cruz stuffs it. Jorgensen keeps him against the cage, however. Jorgensen gets a takedown and takes his back, but Cruz slips out the back. Impressive round from Cruz. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Dominick Cruz.
Round 2: Jorgensen lands a clean left, but Cruz dances away before he can follow up. Jorgensen shoots but Cruz scrambles away. Cruz lands a head kick and then a leg kick. Cruz has a swollen nose now. Jorgensen lands a big straight, then a leg kick. Cruz is peppering him again. Man, Cruz is so fast. Overhand left from Cruz. And another one, followed by a big kick. He’s making Jorgensen miss badly. Cruz shootws and gets a takedown, but Jorgensen nearly catches a guillotine before Cruz slips his head out. Cruz in Jorgensen’s closed guard now and peppering Jorgensen to the body and face. Cruz with a nasty elbow followed by two more elbows. Cruz presses him against the cage and continues working elbows and body hooks. Cruz postures up and lands two big elbows before Jorgensen pulls him back down. Cruz is just firing off shots now. Jorgensen trying to get back to his feet and does. They separate. Cruz is bleeding but Jorgensen can’t figure him out. Cruz tries a flying knee but misses, then presses Scott against the cage. They separate. Jorgensen misses a head kick to close the round. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Dominick Cruz.
Round 3: Cruz lands a right/left at the start. Jorgensen is swinging at the air. Jorgensen pressing forward with more urgency now. Cruz rocks Jorgensen and sends him to the matt, but Jorgensen is back up immediately. Jorgensen misses a takedown. Cruz lands about 6 shots in a row. Cruz lands a head kick that startles Jorgensen, followed by a leg kick. Jorgensen lands a body kick. Cruz just avoids everything. Cruz lands a straight left. Cruz lands a five punch combo. He’s mixing in those leg kicks really nicely. Cruz with another huge combo. Jorgensen finally lands a clean left. Cruz gets a takedown into the guard. Jorgensen wanted a guillotine but they are too slippery at this point. Cruz looking to move Scott against the cage and he’s slowly doing it, but Jorgensen gets back to his feet. The round ends and Heavy.com scores it for Dominick Cruz 10-9.
Round 4: Jorgensen with a big left. He’s moving in for the kill and going for broke. Cruz lands several big hooks. Cruz with another takedown and lands in the guard. Jorgensen is trying to scramble but can’t make anything of it. Jorgensen is desperately trying to get up but can’t do anything as Cruz pushes him against the cage and peppers him with shots. Jorgensen back up and they separate. He’s pushing forward now, still going for broke. Jorgensen fires away but Cruz deftly moves his head out of the line of each punch. Jorgensen clinches him against the cage, but Cruz reverses and they separate. Cruz with a leg kick. Head kick from Jorgensen. Cruz flails with a flying knee but doesn’t get it. Cruz with another takedown, and Jorgensen’s corner is frustrated. Jorgensen to his knees with Cruz controlling him in a wrestling posture. Both guys separate and they are back to their feet. Jorgen lands a jab. Jorgensen misses a head kick. Cruz is really punishing his legs with those kicks. Jorgensen just cannot catch Cruz. Cruz fakes a superman punch and then takes Jorgensen to the mat. The crowd is starting to boo. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Dominick Cruz.
Round 5: Jorgensen must go for broke in this round. And sure enough, he presses forward immediately. Cruz just gets out of the way of everything. It’s hard to hit something that isn’t there, and Scott is finding that out tonight. Cruz snaps off a head kick. He’s still moving just as fast in the fifth as he did in the first four rounds. Jorgensen is chasing Cruz around the cage but can’t catch him, and Cruz is landing at will. Jorgensen lands a nice right hook. Jorgensen gets a big takedown, but allows Cruz to get back to his feet. Jorgensen snaps off an elbow, but they separate. Two minutes left. Cruz with a takedown, and that’s probably going to do it. Cruz is smothering him for the final two minutes here. Jorgensen is trying to scramble away, but Cruz stifles anything. He allows him back up, then snaps off a head kick. Double flying knee from Cruz, followed by a head kick. The fight ends. Cruz is your UFC bantamweight champion. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Dominick Cruz.
Winner: Dominick Cruz by decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
After the fight, Cruz is announced by Bruce Buffer as the new (and first-ever) UFC bantamweight champion. He falls to his knees in celebration. He says he’s ready to fight Urijah Faber in Sacramento. That should be fun.
Matt Brown: If there is a more interesting fighting style in MMA, then I’d love to see it. Dominick Cruz has mastered footwork and head movement to the point that it just takes the fire out of his opponents. Jorgensen had no answer for anything Cruz threw his way. From the start, Cruz fired punches in bunches and followed several combos with hard leg kicks. Wrestling was supposed to be Jorgensen’s strong suit, but Cruz totally dominated there as well. It seemed like whenever Cruz wanted to take it down, he did…with little resistance. For Cruz, this likely sets up a rematch with Urijah Faber, the only man to ever beat him (that fight took place at 145lbs). For Jorgensen, he’ll get another top 135’er and try to rebound from getting outclassed.
BEN HENDERSON VS. ANTHONY PETTIS
Round 1: Herb Dean is your referee. Pettis gets booed heavily by the pro-Henderson crowd. The crowd erupts when Henderson is announced as being from Glendale. Henderson takes to the center of the cage and points to the sky. He’s got a ton of natural charisma and could be a star in the UFC if he gets by Pettis. Henderson takes the center of the cage once the bell rings, too. Pettis seems a little tentative. Henderson tries a jumping switch kick. Pettis with a leg kick. Body shot from Henderson. Pettis with his own head kick. The crowd is cheering for Ben now but they have terrible timing. Huge leg kick from Henderson followed by a clinch against the cage. He’s got a clinch around Pettis’ waist now. Bad spot to be in for Pettis. Knee to the head from Henderson. Pettis tries to get away, but Henderson takes him to the mat and pushes him against the cage. Pettis tries a triangle, but Henderson stays free and postures up. Pettis back to his feet. Leg kick from Henderson. Head kick from Pettis. Pettis is moving forward and landing kicks. Superman punch from Henderson, then he tries a takedown and gets it. Pettis nearly lands an upkick. The round ends. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Ben Henderson.
Round 2: Pettis pressing forward to start things off in the second. Head kick from Henderson. And another. Pettis drops Henderson with a huge left. Henderson back to his feet quickly, but Henderson seems to be looking for a kimura. Pettis throws him down and tries a kimura again, but Henderson gets back to his feet quickly. They separate. The crowd approves. Body kick from Henderson. Pettis misses with a deliberate head kick. Very deliberate, actually. Henderson gets drilled again, but changes levels and goes for the takedown. He doesn’t get it, though, but keeps Pettis pressed against the cage. They separate again. Pettis moving forward and Henderson drills him with a left hook. But Pettis keeps moving forward. He’s landing more shots at this point than Henderson is. Big kick to the body from Henderson. Pettis times a flying knee almost perfectly, but Henderson grabs the clinch again and keeps him against the cage. Knee to the body from Henderson before they separate again. Henderson gets kicked in the junk, but quickly says he’s okay. The round ends. Both guys proving to be elusive, but Pettis takes this one. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Anthony Pettis.
Round 3: Henderson starting to use some more head movement. Big leg kick from Henderson. Man, those sound painful. Inside leg kick from Pettis. Pettis is pushing forward here. Henderson tries to hook around Pettis’ arm but can’t get it, and Pettis takes him to the ground. Pettis immediately takes his back and looks for the choke. Henderson stands up with Pettis on his back, trying to let Pettis slip over the top. He doesn’t fall off, however, and Pettis stays on his back. Pettis trying to drag him to the mat, but Henderson stands up again. Pettis has a body triangle, which is painful enough for me. His corner is screaming instructions and Pettis tries to comply, but Henderson is defending well. Pettis tries to push off the cage and take it to the ground, but Henderson holds strong. Pettis is landing shots to the body and the head. Henderson is holding Pettis’ arm, however, which is just about the only thing preventing Pettis from sinking in the choke right now. Pettis still landing shots. He’s landing some big punches now that look like they’re starting to take a toll. Pettis is looking at the screen to determine where he throws punches. Henderson starts throwing elbows to Pettis’ thigh. Pettis nearly has the choke. Pettis lets go and throws a head kick. The round ends. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Anthony Pettis.
Round 4: Pettis drills Henderson, but Ben has a slight smile as if to say that it didn’t hurt him. It hurt me. Henderson with a kick to the body. Pettis pushing forward again. Henderson shoots but Pettis locks in a guillotine. Henderson spins away. I can’t describe all this action. Pettis nearly gets a triangle, but somehow they scramble and Henderson ends up on his back going for the guillotine. He’s got a body triangle and now the rear-naked locked in. but Pettis escapes. Henderson is still on his back, however. PEttis tries to roll away, but Henderson stays on his back. Pettis trying to roll away again but Henderson is with him. The crowd is standing. Henderson lost the body triangle and Pettis rolls over. , then passes to side control and takes Henderson’s back. Henderson is back standing, but Pettis lets go. Big knee from Pettis. They separate and the crowd roars. Front kick from Henderson. Missed head kick from Henderson. Pettis with a huge overhand right. Pettis staggers Henderson with a left. Pettis presses in but Henderson drops down and gets him to the ground. He’s looking for an arm triangle while Pettis looks for a guillotine. Pettis is close to having it. The round ends. What a round. Heavy.com scores the round 10-10.
Round 5: Here is the final round in WEC history. Both fighters implore the crowd to cheer. They’re in the center of the cage. Henderson shoots for a takedown but Pettis shrugs him off. Pettis kicks Henderson in the balls again. Oh man, that was a good one. That hurt. Henderson says to restart it. No, bro, take all the time you need. Please. Here we go. Head kick from Henderson. Pettis lands a clean leg. He’s pressing forward now, going for the kill. Both guys dancing. Pettis somehow appears to be getting faster. He’s dancing. Henderson tried to dance, but fell down and Pettis takes his back, but Henderson gets away. Henderson shoots, but Pettis hits him with a knee at the same time. Henderson holds onto the leg, though. Just over two minutes left. Henderson gets a big takedown. The crowd is chanting “Smooth” now. Pettis looks triangle, but Henderson rolls over and takes his back.They scramble and Pettis landsing a flying massive kick that drops Henderson. He pounces. Somehow Henderson survives. Henderson woke up when he hit the mat. He woke himself up. He’s holding on for dear life now. Pettis is on top and landing hammer fists to the head. Henderson back up and tries to get a takedown as the fight ends. Wow, what a fight. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Anthony Pettis.
Winner: Anthony Pettis by decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46)
Anthony Pettis moves on to face the winner of Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard for the UFC lightweight title. That kick was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen in this sport.
Matt Brown: All I can say is WOW. What a way to finish out the night. This was a five round war that came down to the final round, perhaps the final minute, to decide who would take the final fight in WEC history. Anthony Pettis highlighted a wonderful night with one of the most amazing kicks/moves in the history of the sport. If you didn’t see it, Youtube it. You’ll thank me later. There’s so much to say about the WEC and we’ll do that next week, but I end this by saying hats off to Reed Harris, Sean Shelby and Dave Sholler for making the WEC such a pleasure to cover over the years.