The WEC makes its Arizona debut on December 16th at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale. The promotion just announced two title scraps will headline the Versus broadcast, as Dominick Cruz defends his bantamweight title against Scott Jorgensen in the co-main event, while lightweight king Ben Henderson faces the electrifying Anthony Pettis in the night’s featured contest.
“Arizona deserved a card like this after winning the Amp Energy Hometown Takedown contest,” WEC General Manager Reed Harris said. “Fans in the Phoenix market voted for over two months and beat out 30 other cities to bring WEC to their area. Now, we are bringing fans two awesome title fights to Jobing.com Arena. Glendale’s Ben Henderson will face the stiffest test of his career in Anthony Pettis. Plus, Cruz-Jorgensen has the chance to be one of the greatest bantamweight title fights of all time. We cannot wait for this event in Glendale.”
Henderson owns a perfect 5-0 WEC record and has become one of the most dominant champions in company history. With victories over Anthony Njokuani, Shane Roller, Jamie Varner and Donald Cerrone (twice), the 26-year-old now has his sights set on defending his title on his home turf.
“I’m very excited to fight in front of my friends and family in Glendale,” Henderson said. “Pettis brings high-energy and good skill set to the table. He’s dynamic and tough, and he showed a lot of heart and grit by tapping out Shane Roller with a triangle in his last fight. If he wants it, let’s find out who the better man is on December 16th.”
Known for his fiery striking and fluid jiu jitsu skills, Pettis has taken the sport by storm since debuting in WEC last June. With four victories in the organization, including a submission win last month over Shane Roller, “Showtime” has become one of the most exciting lightweights in the world.
“I love the matchup,” Pettis said. “Ben Henderson is at the top of the division and that’s where I want to be. He’s a well-rounded fighter who brings it every time. Neither of us quit so it’s going to be an interesting fight. I’m going to be ready for everything and anything.”
Cruz has parlayed his fast feet and crisp striking into a world title. The 25-year-old is undefeated in the bantamweight division and is anxious to testing his grappling game against the wrestler.
“He’s a strong, powerful guy with great wrestling ability,” Cruz said. “But his winning streak means nothing to me because I’m on a streak myself. He’s got a different matchup with me and I’m excited to put an end to his streak. I’ve got nothing but respect for the guy, he’s a great fighter, but I’m going to be better that night.”
With five straight victories, perhaps no fighter has more momentum than Jorgensen. After defeating Brad Pickett in August, the 27-year-old Boise State University wrestling standout finally cemented his place as number one contender in the 135-pound division.
“I’m going to beat him down for 25 minutes,” Jorgensen said. “I want to fight for five rounds because I’m a grinder, that’s what I do. That’s a scary thing for Dominick to face. He’s never had an opponent that is built like me and has the mindset that I’ve got. He’s in for a rude awakening when he gets in that cage with me. He’s never felt the pressure that I’m going to bring.”
Tickets for “WEC: Henderson vs. Pettis” go on sale Thursday, September 30th at 12PM PT. A special Internet ticket pre-sale will be available to WEC newsletter subscribers on Wednesday, September 29th starting at 10AM PT. Otherwise, you can watch the event live on Versus beginning at 9PM ET/6PM PT.