GLENDALE, Ariz. – Every fighter that won a bonus tonight had ties in one way or another to a WEC championship, whether in the past or in the present. Former WEC bantamweight champion Eddie Wineland, Shane Roller by way of submitting former lightweight champion Jamie Varner, and finally, Anthony Pettis and Ben Henderson each earned $10,000 “Fight Night” bonuses for their performances at Thursday’s WEC 53 event.
Wineland earned the event’s “Knockout of the Night” award, Roller was awarded “Submission of the Night” honors, and Pettis and Henderson battled their way to the “Fight of the Night” award.
Wineland slammed his way to “Knockout of the Night” with a fight ending body slam that stunned many viewers after Ken Stone was left unconscious, having to be carried out on a stretcher with almost no movement after the KO. Fortunately, reports came out later that Stone was in good condition and walking on his own power.
Roller earned an extra $10,000 for “Submission of the Night” with a first-round rear-naked choke of former lightweight champ Jamie Varner. After some back and forth action on the feet early, Roller secured a take down and quickly locked up the fight ending rear-naked choke.
Pettis and Henderson, meanwhile, fought and epic battle in the WEC’s last fight ever. In a back-and-forth affair, Pettis came out on top with a unanimous decision victory over the ex-champ to claim the lightweight belt and secure an immediate UFC title shot. Pettis will not only be remembered as the last WEC lightweight champion, but for the ninja-esque kick he executed by leaping into, and then off of the cage, dropping Henderson with a kick to the head.