This Thursday marks the last World Extreme Cagefighting event. It is a bitter sweet end to the promotion. The WEC merges with the UFC in January and the fighters will migrate there. The last few years the WEC has been home for many of the world's best bantamweights, featherweights, and lightweights. WEC 53 will be the last time we see these fighters in the 25-foot diameter cage, instead they'll soon be fighting in a 30-foot octagon.
The WEC does not leave without a bang though. WEC 53 features two title fights and is the last chance for fighters to go all out in the promotion known for its fast paced action before heading to the big show.
In the main event of the evening, reigning WEC lightweight champion Ben "Smooth" Henderson (12-1) defends his title against Anthony "Showtime" Pettis (11-1). These two fighters have 14 submission wins between their combined 23 career victories; if the fight hits the ground we can expect some great grappling. The winner of this fight will take on the winner of Frankie Edgar versus Gray Maynard to unify the WEC and UFC lightweight title belts.
The co-main event of the night, current WEC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz (16-1) defends his belt against Scott Jorgensen (11-3). Jorgensen is on a five fight win streak and Cruz's lone career loss was at the hands of Urijah Faber (24-4) in 2007 in an attempt at the featherweight title belt. The winner will enter the UFC as the first bantamweight champion in the organization.
WEC 53 airs live on Versus this Thursday, December 16 at 6pm PT / 9pm ET.
The full fight card for WEC 53:
• Shane Roller vs. Jamie Varner
• Ivan Menjivar vs. Brad Pickett
• Danny Downes vs. Tiequan Zhang
• Ken Stone vs. Eddie Wineland
• Danny Castillo vs. Will Kerr
• Yuri Alcantara vs. Ricardo Lamas
• Renan Barao vs. Chris Cariaso