One Year Later: UFC Stars Emerge After Fall of WEC

Written by Tom Ngo
December 16th, 2011

UFC Lightweight Anthony Pettis

Exactly one year ago today, Anthony Pettis (Pictured) unleashed the kick heard ’round the world to capture the WEC lightweight title and officially close the doors on the blue-caged company. Despite the notoriety “Showtime” received from the breathtaking strike, Pettis isn’t even the biggest UFC star to emerge following the collapse of World Extreme Cagefighting.

Ironically, Ben Henderson, the man who found himself on the wrong end of the highlight reel kick, has bounced back nicely to post a perfect 3-0 mark against some of the top 155-pounders in the big leagues. Henderson now challenges Frankie Edgar for his UFC crown on February 26th in Japan.

Speaking of unblemished records in the UFC, Donald Cerrone has rattled off four straight wins since transitioning to the black Octagon. The “Cowboy” looks to cap off 2011 in style on New Year’s weekend when he faces Nate Diaz at UFC 141.

Expect for Cerrone to be in the title mix should he collect his fifth consecutive victory in the UFC’s deepest division.

Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and featherweight king Jose Aldo have continued their winning ways since being promoted to the UFC’s first title holders in their respective weight classes. Both have successfully defended their belts twice under the UFC’s bright lights.

Former WEC poster boy Urijah Faber, his Team Alpha Male buddies Chad Mendes and Joseph Benavidez, Dustin Poirier, Erik Koch and Scott Jorgensen are among several WEC fighters that are expected to make a name for themselves in the UFC.

What a difference 365 days can make.

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