With the addition of just one more match, wec 53 has gone from a card I was eagerly looking forward to, to a card that may steal an “Event of the Year” award or two. Even with the upcoming WEC 51: “Aldo vs. Gamburyan” card creeping closer and closer, I’m honestly looking forward to this card more. I reported recently that Anthony Pettis would be taking on Ben Henderson in what should be a fantastic defense of “Bendo’s” Lightweight Championship, and it’s now been confirmed that Dominick Cruz will be taking on Scott Jorgensen as well, with the WEC Bantamweight Championship on the line.
The news first broke on the WEC’s official Twitter account of all places. An official press release on WEC.tv quickly followed. Here’s what WEC General Manager Reed Harris had to say regarding the upcoming December 16 event: “Arizona deserved a card like this after winning the Amp Energy Hometown Takedown contest. Fans in the Phoenix market voted for over two months and beat out 30 other cities to bring WEC to their area. Now, we are bringing fans two awesome title fights to Jobing.com Arena. Glendale’s Ben Henderson will face the stiffest test of his career in Anthony Pettis. Plus, Cruz-Jorgensen has the chance to be one of the greatest bantamweight title fights of all time. We cannot wait for this event in Glendale.”
If anyone wonders why I’m such an outspoken and vehement WEC fan, this should tell you all you need to know. Pettis/Henderson already sounds like a fantastic match-up, but the addition of Cruz/Jorgensen does nothing but sweeten the pot. Jorgensen hasn’t lost in over a year and is on a great five-fight win-streak. Dominick Cruz has lost once in his professional career, when Urijah Faber submitted him in 2007, and he’s unbeaten since then and carrying a seven-fight win-streak into the bout with Jorgensen.
I think it’s a toss-up as to who wins this fight. Both men have loads of skills, true heart, and the ability to go full-tilt from the opening bell to the final second. Both men have a majority of their wins by decision, so while this fight may not be as explosive as “Showtime” vs. “Bendo”, it does have all the makings of an all-out war of attrition. I think it will all come down to who wants it more, and that’s going to be really tough to determine because both men seem to want it so much.
So, could this December fight card be a late, late entry into the “Event of the Year” competition? It depends on how the rest of the card turns out. But it’s off to a fantastic start with two big championship matches featuring four of the most talented fighters in the WEC. I don’t know how the rest of the card will unfold, but I do know that the WEC has established a fantastic track record of putting together some of the best fights of modern MMA history, whether it be fights between their top-ranked and most popular stars or fights between relative unknowns that immediately puts them on the map. WEC 53 should be a real treat for the WEC fans, and the smart booking surrounding this card continues to fuel my belief that the WEC would be the best MMA promotion in the world if the UFC did not exist.
But what about you, fans and friends? How excited are you about this fight in particular and the WEC in general?