In the main event of WEC 53 Benson Henderson (12-1-0) needed to defend his WEC Lightweight title one more time to get a shot at the UFC Lightweight strap.
WEC 53 odds had him as a 5Dimes -175 favorite against slick-striking Anthony Pettis (11-1-0), but it was Pettis that beat the MMA odds of +155 and won a shot to become the new UFC, and final WEC, Lightweight champion.
The fight was a back-and-forth battle that needed to be decided in the fifth round. Both fighters had their moments and it was anyone’s fight to win going into the fifth. That round was also close in the early going, but when Pettis landed a high-flying head kick after running up the side of the cage the fight and a shot at the UFC Lightweight title were all his.
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The co-main event of the WEC 53 card would crown the first ever UFC Bantamweight champion. Dominick Cruz (16-1-0) put his WEC title on the line as the -210 favorite at 5Dimes against wrestler Scott Jorgensen (11-3-0).
Despite many attempts to utilize his wrestling skills, Jorgensen was forced to endure punishment for five founds, eventually losing to Cruz via unanimous 50-45 decision.
Cruz immediately called out Urijah Faber, the only fighter that has been able to beat him in his career. Faber looks like he will get the first shot at the UFC Bantamweight title at some point in 2011, a fight that should get lots of attention and will show MMA fans how talented the Bantamweight division fighters really are.