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Despite amazing highlight reel kick in main event, the final WEC show goes out anticlimactically

By Zach Arnold | December 16, 2010

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I watched tonight’s show with casual to semi-hardcore fans, interested in seeing what the reaction would be to the final WEC event. By the end of the night, the conclusion from everyone was that the show had a weird vibe to it and felt nothing like a farewell event.

I was watching the show with a big Ben Henderson fan and we noticed right away that the Glendale crowd was there to see him and see him only. The other fighters got tepid responses except for when Dominick Cruz was looking at Urijah Faber. Only Henderson and Faber got any sort of crowd reaction. These were not exactly hardcore fight fans. The Vegas crowd last month was better. My friend kept asking me, “Why didn’t they run the final show in Sacramento with Faber?” All I could say was, “I know.”

If tonight wasn’t crystal clear enough for you, Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber will likely be the coaches. I’d prefer Miguel Torres and Faber, but either combination is OK with me.

Cruz fought as good of a fight as I could have expected against Scott Jorgensen. You can teach many things but you can’t teach size and at Bantamweight, Cruz’s size is king. So is his talent and game-planning skills.

I thought the main event played out the way I expected. I want to salute the one judge who had the temerity to give a 49-46 score in favor of Anthony Pettis. I had it 49-46 with Pettis winning rounds 2-5 and Henderson winning round one. You could even make an argument for R3 being a 10-8 round given just how dominant Anthony was with the choke. When I heard going into R5 both Todd Harris and Stephan Bonnar proclaim that the fight was even after four rounds, my jaw dropped. When the scores were read at the end, I couldn’t believe that two of the judges had it even going into R5. Two 48-47 scores. Incredible.

Pettis closed out the WEC with one of the most amazing springboard kicks you will ever see off the cage. What a fantastic kick combined with no defense by Henderson. You shouldn’t be able to hit an opponent that flush with that kind of kick, but he did. Pettis is very, very cocky and I think he will make a great foil for someone in the UFC in terms of drawing fan reaction.

The main event lived up to the hype but the rest of the TV card did not. On paper, this card looked better than any of the major NYE events coming up. Unfortunately, tonight’s show largely was a drag (on the TV side) and it was a shame that some of the better fights from the undercard weren’t shown. There were no tributes to WEC, no look back at WEC history, and no sense of any sort of emotion. It was as if Zuffa wanted to get the show done and over with and get the hell out of the arena. In that sense, the show was greatly lacking and lousy for the fans. After all, if you’re watching the WEC, chances are you are likely a semi-hardcore or hardcore fan and would appreciate at least some sort of tip of the cap to what WEC meant in terms of producing great fights. Instead, the message being sent to the fans felt forced. It was a force-feeding of “we’re transitioning to the UFC” the whole time. It didn’t even seem like an ounce of energy was spent on giving the WEC a proper farewell on TV.

Addendum: I wish tonight’s show would have featured all the ‘name’ fighters in the promotion’s history that put on the quality bouts that made the company what it was. It would have been great to see Mike Brown, Miguel Torres, Joseph Benavidez, so on and so forth take a curtain call. Yes, I know they are going to fight in the UFC, but it would have been nice to have seen their accomplishments highlighted.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, WEC, Zach Arnold | 11 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

11 Responses to “Despite amazing highlight reel kick in main event, the final WEC show goes out anticlimactically”

  1. Joey says:

    There actually was a mini-tribute in the middle of the show, but at the end would have been better.

    • ttt says:

      the mini tribute was garbage. more of it was about hyping up the current pool of fighters than talking about the past. it did very little to give a history of who was involved, the early events, and the key players who built the organization. but typical zuffa work anyways.

    • jj says:

      besides the tribute in the middle of the show they also had a one hour pre-show that spent a bunch of time talking about the history of WEC as well as showing highlight reels of some of the major fighters and fights. Faber, Torres, Henderson vs Cerrone, etc.

  2. EJ says:

    Don’t know what fight you were watching but there was no way that Pettis won 4 rounds, I don’t believe he won 3. He was never close to getting the choke in round 3 and anyone who would score that a 10-8 needs to never judge any fights ever. I’m going to have to rewatch it again but i’m still more stunned that Pettis got win, even more so than at his HL reel kick.

    Far as the overall show, I don’t know why anyone would think it would be anything but just another typical WEC show full of highlights. Seriously sometimes it just looks like people are just looking about things to complain about. The WEC went out in style for the most part and the legacy will be remembered in all the fighters coming over to the UFC.

    • jj says:

      “Seriously sometimes it just looks like people are just looking about things to complain about.”

      Unfortunately, that is 100% what this article is about

    • edub says:

      If you can, definately watch it again. Pettis won the fight convincingly. He was out grappled in spots, but defended just as well Henderson did. You can’t just reward a person for standing up with his opponent on their back. I scored the fight 49-46, but it could’ve easily gone 48-47. Anything less than that would be a robbery for Henderson.

      To your second paragraph, I must say I agree. More of the undercard shown would’ve been a better, but it would be hard to take away the montages(sp?) in their final show.

      The WEC went out with a guy jumping off the cage to deliver a headkick, and the right guy got the decision in what is my personal FOTY of 2010.

      I think that’s a pretty good ending.

  3. Fred says:

    This is another one of those nights where Zach and Snowden come off like Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons.

    • Zach Arnold says:

      You couldn’t be more wrong. I wrote the post offline after I watched the show with others. I had great anticipation for the card. Other than the main event, the TV portion just didn’t live up to what I thought it would. That’s not anyone’s fault. Just how the cookie crumbled.

      What I’m more or less focused on is how devoid of emotion the TV side was last night for a farewell/tribute show. Instead of the show being a celebration of what WEC was all about, it was business as usual — as if it was just another telecast on Versus.

      I didn’t call WEC a ‘failure’ at all.

    • Jason Harris says:

      While this article is kind of complaining about nothing (it was a great card, and the changing of the brand isn’t that big of a deal to me) it’s a low blow comparing him to Snowden.

      • edub says:

        I know right.

        I thought Zack maybe expected a little too much also (my friends and I were pretty entertained with the whole event despite the luls in action), but it doesn’t compare to Snowdouche.

        Referring to the WEC as a business failure is obsurd.

  4. Chuck says:

    What I thought was hilarious was that the commentators kept saying that the Cruz/Jorgensen winner was going to be the very first UFC Bantamweight champion. I thought Jens Pulver was the first UFC Bantamweight champ (this was when the lightweight division was still called the Bantamweight division, before UFC changed around all the weight classes. When Pulver beat Caol Uno.) but whatever.


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