GLENDALE, Ariz. — “WEC 53: Henderson vs. Pettis” takes place this evening at Jobing.com Arena and is headlined by a lightweight title fight between champion Ben Henderson vs. Anthony Pettis and a bantamweight title fight between champion Dominick Cruz vs. Scott Jorgensen.
The WEC 53 main card will air LIVE on VERSUS at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will also feature a pair of lightweight bouts between Donald Cerrone vs. Chris Horodecki and Bart Palaszewski vs. Kamal Shalarus. Check out ProMMAnow.com WEC 53 staff picks for our thoughts and predictions on each fight.
This historic event marks the final World Extreme Cagefighting fight card. The UFC has acquired the WEC’s weight classes and fighters. ProMMAnow.com (www.prommanow.com) will provide LIVE results and play-by-play commentary of tonight’s action.
Immediately following the fights, the WEC 53 post-fight press conference will broadcast in a LIVE video stream in our UFC ROOM starting at approximately 12:30 a.m. ET/9:30 p.m. PT.
WEC 53 quick results:
WEC Lightweight Championship
- Anthony Pettis def. Ben Henderson by unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46)
WEC Bantamweight Championship
- Dominick Cruz def. Scott Jorgensen by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
- Donald Cerrone def. Chris Horodecki by submission (triangle choke) Rd 2 (2:43)
- Kamal Shalorus def. Bart Palaszewski by split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Preliminary Card (Not Televised)
- Danny Downes def. Tiequan Zhang by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
- Shane Roller def. Jamie Varner by submission (rear-naked choke) Rd 1 (3:55)
- Brad Pickett def. Ivan Menjivar by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Eddie Wineland def. Ken Stone by knockout (slam) Rd 1 (2:11)
- Danny Castillo def. Will Kerr by knockout (punches) Rd 1 (1:25)
- Yuri Alcantara def. Ricardo Lamas by knockout (punches) Rd 1 (3:26)
- Renan Barao def. Chris Cariaso by submission (rear-naked choke) Rd 1 (3:47)
NOTES: Ken Stone, who was knocked out with a brutal slam in the first round by Eddie Wineland, lay unconscious for several minutes and was carried out on a stretcher. Let’s hope he is okay. Stay tuned for updates on his condition.
WEC 53 play-by-play:
Bart Palaszewski (34-13) vs. Kamal Shalorus (6-0-2)
Round 1 – Here we go gents. Leg kick from Bart and eats a big left. Straight left from Kamal. Shalorus with the takedown and he’s inside Bart’s guard. Shalorus with some big right hands to the body and head. Shalorus with some vicious body shots and hammerfists. Bart fishes for an armbar and Kamal stands up, hovers over and lands some big right hands, right left right and more right hands. Kamal lays back inside the guard. Less than a minute to go. Kamal stans, lands a big kick to the leg and Bart gets up, eats a big left. Bart seems okay, lands a leg kick. another, another. Head kick attempt skims Kamal’s head. Leg kick from Bart and Kamal returns the favor to the outside then inside of the leg. Bart with another leg kick. Another one. Another. Bart slips a punch but eats a couple big leg kicks. Kamal should have that round 10-9.
Round 2 – Both guys land several leg kicks during the first minute. Nice left from Kamal. Head kick attempt from Bart. Kamal gets inside, shoots, but gets stuffed. Inside leg kick from Kamal. Head kick connects with a head kick. Left hand by Kamal. Exchange of leg kicks and Kamal shoots, dumps Bart on his back and his inside the guard. A few boos as Kamal keeps it on the ground. Kamal postures up with shots but Bart gets up, tells him to bring it on. Head kick from Bart. Gotta give the round to Kamal 10-9.
Round 3 – Kamal lands a couple nice punches that backs Bart up. Leg kick from Kamal. Nice bit shot from Bart scores, another one. Big leg kick from Bart. Bart is dropping his hands when Kamal comes in swinging. Kamal shoots and Bart tries to lock up a guillotine as he dumps him. Bart gets right up. Left jab scores for Bart. Head kick from Bart scores. Counter right from Bart. Kamal’s shot gets stuffed. Body, head shot from Bart. Kamal gets a single, turns the corner and puts Bart on his back. Bart with a closed guard, Kamal moves to half guard, trying to pass. Kamal with some ground and pound, Bart recovers full guard. Kamal back to half guard, lands some short elbows to the head of Palaszewski. Bart gets to his feet as Kamal goes for his back. Bart lands some nice shots as Kamal gets up, lands a big knee to Kamal’s head. Kamal looks tired, Bart stuffs the shot and scores some nice shots, leg kick. ProMMAnow.com scores that round for Bart but Kamal should have the fight 29-28.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Kamal Shalorus def. Bart Palaszewski by split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
NOTES: Mr. Brian Stann had a few thoughts on the scoring: @BrianStann “30-27 score card for shalorus is ridiculous, sickens me about as much as the booing crowd all fight, was a good fight.”
Donald Cerrone (12-3, 1 NC) vs. Chris Horodecki (15-2)
Round 1 – Straight left from Cerrone and Horodecki fires back with a head kick. Clinch, they exchange on the break. Low blow from Cerrone and time is called. Cerrone gets the takedown as Horodecki swings. Cerrone gets mount but Horodecki is out and up. They exchange some shots, nice left from Horodecki. Again. Leg kick checked by Chris then he lands a body shot. Cerrone grabs a clinch and throws some knees. Leg kick from Chris. Left straight from Cerrone. Nice body shot from Horodecki, then a spining back kick that misses. body shot from Horodecki. Nice left from Horodecki. Horo decki gets the takedown, Cerrone gets up and throws a head kick. Cerrone tries to get the takedown, goes for an armbar and Horodecki is in his guard. Back up. Body kick from Horodecki. Cerrone shoots, takes Horodecki’s back with ten seconds to go. Hooks are in but time is out. Great action but Cerrone should have the round 10-9.
Round 2 – Nice punch from Horodecki and a leg kick. Horodecki gets the takedown. Cerrone goes for an omoplata. Cerrone transitions back to a triangle. Plenty of time left. Cerrone let go of the triangle then locks it back tighter. Cerrone lands a nice shot from the bottom. Two minutes to go and Horodecki taps out.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Donald Cerrone def. Chris Horodecki by submission (triangle choke) Rd 2 (2:43)
(Title) Dominick Cruz (16-1) vs. Scott Jorgensen (11-3)
Round 1 – Here we go folks. Cruz on his bike already coming at angles, body shot. Body shot, head shot. Nice right from Cruz. Body shot from Cruz. Body shot from Cruz, then fires off with some shots to the face, three shots. Nice right from Cruz, then a left. Knee to the body from Cruz. Jorgensen gets a brief takedown as Cruz pops up, clinched. They separate and square up. Cruz is dancing like Fred Astaire. Big body shot from Cruz, leg kick. He dodges Jorgensen’s punches. Cruz with a leg kick, counters with a right and several punches to follow. Left from Jorgensen. Jorgensen lands a counter shot. Nice uppercut from Cruz. Right hook from Jorgensen. Nice leg kick from Cruz. Cruz has really developed his own style here and it’s really something to behold. Head kick then punches from Cruz but Jorgensen gets a takedown and tries to take the back. Cruz reverses at the bell. Cruz should have the round 10-9.
Round 2 – Knee to the body from Cruz. Left jab from Cruz, then lands some punches from crazy angles, more punches, and a low kick. Leg kick from Cruz then two more punches. Cruz slips a few punches. Cruz lands a punch then gets a takedown. Cruz inside Jorgensen’s guard with body shots. Nice elbows from Cruz. Less than two minutes to go and Cruz is taking this round decisively. Cruz warned for hitting the back of the head. Cruz staying very busy on top, moves to half guard. Less than a minute remaining in the round. Jorgensen trying to get up and he does. Cruz gets back on his tap shoes. Flying knee from Cruz lands. Cruz shoots, Jorgensen stuffs it, lands a knee on the break. Cruz takes the round, ProMMAnow.com scores it 10-9.
Round 3 – Cruz lands a right hand. Both guys swinging and Cruz drops Jorgensen with a short right. Cruz smells blood and turns up the heat, nice uppercut from Cruz. Beautiful head kick from Cruz, then a leg kick. Body shot from Cruz. One, two from Cruz. Cruz slips several punches looking like a ninja. Nice left from Cruz, big leg kick. Leg kick checked by Jorgensen, Cruz catches him with a right, a left. Counter right from Cruz. Cruz’s movement is so unpredictable, you try to figure him out or time it and you can’t. Cruz gets a takedown, inside full guard. Less than a minute to go. Jorgensen sweeps, takes Cruz’s back but Cruz escapes and gets up and the bell sounds. Cruz gets another one, ProMMAnow.com scores it 10-9 for Fred Astaire.
Round 4 – Nice right from Cruz. Then he slips a few shots, gets a takedown with ease. Cruz inside guard. Jorgensen not going away easy. Cruz is definitely having to work for this but if anyone can apparently he can. Jorgensen gets to his knees then to his feet. Cruz slips a few punches, great head movement as Jorgensen throws several punches and misses every one of them. They clinch, Cruz turns him to the cage, knees him then they separate. Cruz blocks a head kick. Body kick from Cruz. Cruz gets another takedown, passes to side control. Jorgensen grabs a single leg and gets up. They square up. Superman punch, kick, punch punch from Cruz. Leg kick from Cruz. Less than a minute to go. Cruz’s head movement is amazing. Fakes a punch, gets the takedown. Great ending to the round. ProMMAnow.com scores it 10-9 for Cruz.
Round 5 – Cruz with a right then goes back to doing his thing. Lands a few more punches and is coming from more angles than M.C. Escher. His style reminds me of an M.C. Escher paining. There a re a couple boos because it’s not a blood fest all out brawl but this is a beautiful fight man. Nice right from Cruz then two body kicks. Jorgensen misses an uppercut and pays for it with several big punches. But…he gets a takedown. Cruz bounces right up, gave up his back and got right up. Cruz gets his own double leg big takedown. Jorgensen trying to look for something but Cruz staying busy on top. Boo’s from the crowd are terribly annoying. Cruz with body shots, misses with a big elbow and Jorgensen trying to look for a leg. Cruz stands up, lets Jorgensen up. Ten seconds to go. He lands a flying knee and they swing it out until the bell sounds. Lots of applause. Cruz stares at Faber through the fence. Utter domination from Dominick Cruz. Pro MMA Now gives him the round 10-9 and the fight 50-45.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Dominick Cruz def. Scott Jorgensen by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
NOTES: Cruz was presented with TWO belts, the UFC bantanweight title and he retires the WEC bantamweight title.
(Title) Benson Henderson (12-1) vs. Anthony Pettis (10-1)
Round 1 – Crazy stare down. “Be First.” Henderson looks very calm. Switch kick from Henderson. Leg kick from Pettis is checked. Switch kick from Pettis. Henderson comes in with a big leg kick, a combo of punches and clinches up with Pettis. Pettis’s back against the cage. Henderson with some knees to the thighs. Henderson gets an inside trip takedown and Pettis is on his back against the cage. Pettis not flat, but has his back on the cage, trying to work his way up. Henderson puts him all the way down and Pettis throws up a triangle. Pettis kicks out and gets up. Pettis with a head kick and Henderson blocks/avoids it. Pettis with a front kick knocks Henderson against the cage. Henderson shoots after getting hit. Henderson gets the takedown. Postures up with some shots. Pro MMA Now scores the round 10-9 for Henderson.
Round 2 – Body kick from Henderson. Leg kick from Pettis and he drops Henderson with a big punch. Pettis gets a body lock and slams Henderson. Henderson gets right up. Clinched against the cage. Pettis with an elbow on the break as Hendo misses with a knee. Right hand from Pettis. They exchange and then clinch. Pettis’s back against the cage. Evidently Pettis stepped on Henderson’s foot earlier and he tripped down instead of getting knocked down according to Bonnar on the replay. Nice right behind Henderson catches Pettis behind the head. Body kick from Henderson. Flying knee from Pettis and Henderson clinches, lands a knee to Pettis’s body. Henderson catches a kick to the groin. Leg kick exchange. Hendo checks a leg kick and Pettis is hunting. Close round but Pro MMA Now gives that one to Pettis 10-9.
Round 3 – Front kick from Pettis. Leg kick from Henderson. Body kick from Henderson, leg kick from Pettis. Hendo checks a leg kick. Pettis stalking. Nice right from Hendo, clinch, Pettis gets the takedown. Hendo tries to get up and Pettis takes his back. Hendo stands up hunched over with Pettis on his back trying to slide him off. Doesn’t work so far and is carrying Pettis like a backpack. Pettis has a body triangle, landing little rabbit punches to the head. Henderson holding his arm, lets it go, regains control and is eating some big punches to the body. If Henderson lets go of the arm he could get choked out. Ninety seconds to go in the round. Pettis landing some right hands to the face and body. Henderson lets to momentarily of the wrist and Pettis attacks with a choke but Henderson grabs it again. Henderson elbowing Pettis’s thigh very hard trying to unleash the body triangle. Ten seconds to go and finally gets Pettis off. Pro MMA Now scores the round for Pettis 10-9.
Round 4 – Both guys score with punches. Body kick from Henderson. Pettis with a combo of punches, Henderson fires back, attacks with a takedown, Pettis is on his back, he rolls a flip backward and Henderson stays on him, takes his back as Pettis turtles. Henderson has a body lock looking for the choke, he has it in under the chin but Pettis rips it out somehow. Pettis tries to roll but Henderson stays on tight and still has the back looking for the choke. Pettis escapes, turns and reverses and is on top. Henderson gives up his back, stands up. Pettis with a knee to the face from the clinch. They separate and square up. Front kick from Henderson. Misses a head kick. Pettis stalking. Big body kick from Hendo but Pettis lands a big counter right. Nice left hand from Pettis and Henderson shoots. Pettis locks on a guillotine as Henderson is on top in a half guard. Pettis gets full guard, still has a guillotine with ten seconds to go. Pro MMA Now scores the round for Pettis 10-9.
Round 5 – Bonnar and the commentators think it’s two rounds each. Big leg kick from Pettis, slides up to the groin. It was dead on in the replay. Henderson says lets go after a few seconds. Steel nuts should be his nickname. Henderson with a body kick but Pettis counters with a big right hand and catches Henderson, lands another nice shot. Henderson slips to the ground. Pettis takes his back, gets off and back up. Henderson shoots, Pettis jumps and times a knee. Henderson gets the takedown though with just over two minutes to go. Pettis fishes for a triangle, ends up giving up his back. He rolls, reverses, and they are back to the feet. It’s Showtime. Pettis catches Ben lunging in for a body shot. Show time just ran and did a matrix kick off the wall and knocked Ben Henderson flat to the mat. Almost a knockout!! OMG. We have never seen anything like that! That was almost a KO, he went flat, but now hes’ shooting for a single as the bell sounds. Pro MMA Now scores the round for Pettis 10-9 and the fight for Pettis 49-46.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Anthony “Showtime” Pettis def. Ben Henderson by unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46)