Thursday night is the last event for World Extreme Cagefighting as after Thursday, it will be absorbed by the UFC. It is going out with a bang, with two title fights live on Versus. Ben Henderson will try to defend his lightweight belt against Anthony Pettis, and the winner will challenge the winner of Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard for the UFC lightweight belt.
Meanwhile, the winner of Scott Jorgensen vs. Dominick Cruz will leave Glendale, Ariz. with two belts: the final WEC bantamweight championship as well as the first UFC bantamweight belt.
But before looking forward, we look back to our all-time favorite fights from the WEC. In no particular order:
WEC 48: Jose Aldo vs. Urijah Faber -- This fight was huge before the two fighters even stepped in the cage, as it was the WEC's first foray into pay-per-view. As the two biggest stars in the WEC, big expectations loomed for Faber and Aldo, and they delivered. Aldo put on a five-round beating, while Faber showed that he is one of the toughest fighters in MMA.
WEC 36: Mike Brown vs. Urijah Faber I -- It's important to remember that in November of 2008, Faber seemed invincible. He was the face of the WEC and on a 14-fight win streak. But the power of Mike Brown ended that with a first-round TKO.
WEC 48: Leonard Garcia vs. Chan Sung Jung -- Was this fight, shown live on Spike as a lead-in to the PPV, technically proficient? No. Was it fun to watch? Absolutely. Garcia and "The Korean Zombie" didn't let up for one second of the three-round decision for Garcia.
WEC 43: Benson Henderson vs. Donald Cerrone -- In this five-round interim title bout, Cerrone looked on the verge of submitting Henderson several times but Henderson's superhuman flexibility kept him from tapping, earning him the decision and the belt. Though the result was disputed, Henderson has proven with subsequent wins over Cerrone and Jamie Varner that he's a deserving champ.
WEC 40: Miguel Torres vs. Takeya Mizugaki -- This fight was special for me, as it was the first title fight I had ever covered, but Torres and Mizugaki made it special for everyone who watched it. Torres' stamina was impressive as he won a five-round decision, but Mizugaki was just as impressive in his WEC debut, refusing to stop despite the hard shots Torres was delivering.
WEC 41: Jose Aldo vs. Cub Swanson -- With one flying double-knee, the legend of Jose Aldo Jr. was born. He took just eight seconds to take out Swanson and earn a shot at the featherweight title.
WEC 37: Miguel Torres vs. Manny Tapia -- Front-roll axe kick is really all that needs to be said about this fight. Torres TKOed Tapia in the second round of this bout that Torres used to debut several unconventional moves, including a front-roll axe kick.
WEC 38: Donald Cerrone vs. Jamie Varner I -- This fight is memorable not just for the fight and its oddball result, but for the feud it set up between Varner and Cerrone that still continues today. The two fought a back-and-forth battle, but the fight was stopped after Cerrone threw a still-disputed illegal knee. Varner won the decision on the judges' cards, and a hate was born.
WEC 34: Urijah Faber vs. Jens Pulver I -- Just like at WEC 48, Faber, as the face of the WEC, was expected to deliver. The WEC and Versus marketed the bout to the hilt; you couldn't drive one city block without seeing a poster of Faber and Jens Pulver, the UFC pioneer. They came through, with a non-stop five-round bout.
WEC 31: Paulo Filho vs. Chael Sonnen I -- You can pretty much guarantee that some weirdness will happen when Paulo Filho and Chael Sonnen get in a cage. At the end of the second round, Filho had Sonnen in an armbar, and Sonnen yelled out. The referee took that as a verbal submission and stopped the fight. Sonnen said that he hadn't submitted. The two then fought again at WEC 36, and Sonnen won the bizarre decision that featured Filho refusing to engage, asking Sonnen to "rest" during the match and not making weight.
Now that you've read through ours, what were your favorite WEC bouts?