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Maggie Hendricks

History Lesson: Top 5 most surprising WEC fighters

Cagewriter

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With the UFC eating up the WEC at the end of the year, it's worth looking back at the WEC history, including the men who fought in the WEC. Starting in 2001, the WEC has hosted fight legends of the past and superstars of the future. But there are some surprises in the list:

5. Brandon Vera: His best known fight was an upset of Frank Mir, but Vera made his mark on the WEC's heavyweight division early in his career. He scored a TKO over Mike Whitehead and knocked out Andre Mussi at WEC 13.

4. Nick Diaz: Before Stockton's finest fought in the UFC and then became the Strikeforce champ, a young Diaz fought at WEC 6. Sharing the card with future opponent Frank Shamrock, Diaz submitted Joe Hurley with a kimura in less than two minutes.

3. Shane Carwin: The UFC heavyweight contender made his MMA debut in the WEC, scoring a submission by strikes over Carlton Jones at WEC 17.

2. Frank Shamrock: In between his bouts with the UFC and EliteXC/Strikeforce, Shamrock took his submission magic to the WEC. Fighting on WEC 6 in 2003, Shamrock armbarred Bryan Pardoe in under two minutes.

1. Dan Severn: The UFC Hall-of-Famer also holds a special place in WEC history. As the main event on the WEC's first card in 2001, Severn beat Travis Fulton -- the man with more than 250 fights under his belt -- in a decision.

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