The WEC did it their way.
An organization defined by exciting cards with faced-paced exciting fights, went out with more of the same and a cherry on top.
The card, which featured two title fights, saved its best for last with a hard-fought, battle back-and-forth battle between Benson Henderson and Anthony Pettis to crown the promotions' final lightweight champion.
The fight was sealed in the fifth and final round when Pettis landed an electrifying head-kick which floored Henderson, sending him reeling to the canvas. The kick was something out of a martial arts movie, with Pettis jumping high into the fence with his right leg and using the momentum to spring back toward Henderson while whipping the same leg around and catching Henderson flush on the side of his head.
Pettis, who went on to win the round and the fight via decision, will next face the winner of the UFC's next lightweight title fight between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard at UFC 125. He talked about his amazing kick post-fight.
"We practice that all the time," Pettis said. "I've got 10 more of those kicks coming when I'm in the UFC. How do you like that to end the WEC?"
We like it just fine Anthony Pettis, welcome to the UFC.
In other action, Dominick Cruz was "dominant" in a unanimous decision victory over Scott Jorgensen in the evenings co-main event, retaining his bantamweight title without so much as dropping a point on any of the three judges score cards.
He's looking forward to facing Uriah Faber, the only man to hand him a professional loss, in his UFC debut.
"The future holds a lot of title defenses," Cruz said. "Every time I'm in here, I'm fighting for a new belt, and I'm going to keep that mindset. I'm ready to fight Urijah. Let's do it."
Below are the official results for WEC 53:
- Renan Baroa Defeated Chris Cariaso via Submission at 3:47 in the Round 1
- Yuri Alcantara Defeated Ricardo Lamas via Knockout (Punches) at 3:26 in Round 1
- Danny Castillo Defeated Will Kerr via Knockout (Punches) at 1:25 in Round 1
- Eddie Wineland Defeated Ken Stone via Knockout (Slam) at 2:11 in the Round 1
- Brad Pickett Defeated Ivan Menjivar via Unanimous Decision
- Shane Roller Defeated Jamie Varner via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 3:55 in Round 1
- Daniel Downes Defeated Tie Quan Zhang via Unanimous Decision
- Kamal Shalorus Defeated Bart Palaszewski via Split Decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
- Donald Cerrone Defeated Chris Horodecki via Submission (Triangle Choke) at 2:43 in Round 2
- Dominick Cruz Defeated Scott Jorgensen via Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
- Anthony Pettis Defeated Ben Henderson via Unanimous Decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46)