Most MMA organizations fade away for want of money or attention or quality, crushed under the thumb of the largest promotions. But WEC was good enough to merge with UFC, so last night it had a chance to say a face-cracking goodbye.
World Extreme Cagefighting never tried to be everything to everyone, and in the end, that was its strength. The larger weight classes were indisputably inferior to Dana White's stable, but the smaller guys were the bread and butter. They even made the octagon smaller to accommodate them, and they eventually abolished all but three weight classes. In the imaginary "who-would-beat-who" discussions that make the fractured MMA scene so much fun, and so frustrating, it wasn't a given that UFC's smaller-than-welterweights were better than their WEC counterparts.
We'll get the chance to find out. The bantamweight and featherweight champs automatically become champs of new divisions in UFC, and the winner of Anthony Pettis-Ben Henderson would become the No. 1 contender to the UFC lightweight belt.
But first things first. Last Night's WEC 53 was the promotion's last sanctioned event, with Pettis's unanimous decision in the main event the last word on nine years of quality fights. And his wall-spring kick was the exclamation point on that last word.