WEC 41: Looking Forward

On June 7, 2009, the WEC unleashed another thrilling fight card to the mainstream. The fans were able to witness the rise of a champion and the fall of a legend. For those who saw it on Versus, you realize exactly how great this card turned out.

However, something equally as interesting as all of the fights is about to happen. The fans will get to witness the divisions of the WEC engulfed in madness.

With a stellar card come a lot of confusion and a lot of questions. Who will fight who? Who gets a shot at the title? WEC 41 definitely brought its share of questions to the table.

The three divisions featured in the WEC all underwent changes of their own, some more than others. However, after an event as epic as WEC 41, the implications of each division must be examined.

WEC Bantamweight Division

The WEC Bantamweight Champion Miguel Torres is set to face Brian Bowles at the next WEC event. Unfortunately, no bantamweight from WEC 41 will be featured in the next title fight, but some have begun to rise in the division.

The bantamweight division did not undergo much change after WEC 41. However, they were well represented with several impressive fights, including an absolute battle between Scott Jorgenson and Antonio Banuelos.

While it does not appear that any of these fighters will be launched to into title contention, Antonio Banuelos has lengthened his winning streak to two fights, setting up a run at bantamweight contention. While he was arguably the top bantamweight to fight at WEC 41, he is still several fights away from a shot at Torres.

WEC Lightweight Division

WEC 41 featured only two lightweight bouts last evening. However, both the victors proved their worth in the division.

The first fight featured the undefeated Anthony Pettis vs. Mike Campbell. Pettis walked away with his undefeated record intact after securing an impressive submission on the obviously stunned and disappointed Campbell.

The implications for Pettis are not yet very clear. However, in a lightweight division that is not very deep in talent, it is very possible that his undefeated record may hold quite a bit of weight. While he obviously will not be given a title shot for several more fights, the WEC suits will certainly look to test him against tougher talent.

A WEC lightweight who has passed all tests in mixed martial arts but one will have an opportunity to avenge his single blemish.

Donald Cerrone entered his fight last night being the number one contender in the WEC lightweight division. He exited it reassuring what everyone already knew.

Cerrone is the clear number one choice for the WEC lightweight title shot. His first bout with Varner left a lot of questions unanswered, while bringing up several more. The war of words between the two will also ensure that they get into the octagon very soon.

The lightweight division may have only featured two bouts. However, both of these fighters continue to rise in the lightweight division.

WEC Featherweight Division

The featherweight division has been saved for last in this article for one reason; It is by far the craziest division in the WEC.

WEC 41 featured four fights at 145 pounds, several of which included the elite of the WEC featherweight division.

Starting at the top of the division, Mike Brown and Urijah Faber squared off in a championship bout last evening. However, the fight itself did not do much to clear things up.

Many fans felt that Brown’s belt may have instead belonged to Faber, calling his first victory a fluke. Unfortunately, this extremely close second battle keeps these two very close to each other in featherweight rankings, just adding more to the confusion.

The fate of each fighter is still up in the air to some extent.

Urijah Faber is still considered by most the number two featherweight in the world. However, the WEC will most likely hold on to their “California Kid” for another fight before throwing him back into the octagon with Brown.

In all likelihood, Faber will be fighting either Leonard Garcia or Waggney Fabiano. In my opinion, Fabiano is probably the likelier of the two, considering Garcia was completely unable to compete with Brown. Not to mention that Fabiano is on an eight fight winning streak.

However, Faber seemed to seriously injure his hand in the fight last evening. If a lot of time off is indeed required for him to get back to 100 percent, it is very possible that Fabiano and Garcia would meet.

Another notable moment in last night’s event came when Jens “Lil’ Evil” Pulver was submitted early in the first round.

This loss led Pulver to bring up retirement in his post-fight speech. While he did not directly say he will be retiring, he definitely had it on his mind. If he indeed retires, the WEC and MMA has lost a true legend.

However, it is somewhat unlikely that Pulver will indeed retire, leaving speculation on whom his next fight will be against.

Pulver’s next opponent is very hard to call. However, I would have to say that he would be matched up with another young fighter in the featherweight division. That being said, the WEC will not put him up against an unaccomplished fighter.

With his reputation in mind, Pulver will probably once again be matched up with another skilled fighter with a very solid record.

This featherweight division has featured several very impressive fighters in recent history. The division is very deep in talent, very rich in skill. However, of all the fighters mentioned, one very good fighter has not been brought up just yet.

Jose Aldo clearly had a great night last night. After months of training and work, Aldo needed all of eight seconds to finish Cub Swanson. This victory undoubtedly puts Aldo in the position he wants to be in.

Thus, we have come to the fate of two fighters.

It is almost undeniable that the next time Mike Brown defends the belt, it will be against Jose Aldo.

Aldo is a devastating striker, as we all saw last night, and record has but one blemish. If anyone deserves this title shot, it is definitely Aldo.

This fight will be yet another great fight in the WEC, featuring two very powerful guys. In all likelihood, one can expect this fight to happen sometime this fall. This will be yet another fight to bring in the fans, something the featherweight division is starting to do very well.

The WEC featherweight division is becoming one of the most competitive divisions in all of MMA, regardless of organization. It is arguable that each of the top five guys could defeat anyone else on this list, resulting in ridiculous situations and exciting possibilities.

It will be exciting to follow this division over the next couple of months, as the competition continues to increase and the fighters look to climb to the top of the featherweight ranks. 

Last night, the fans witnessed some great fights in the WEC. The 41st WEC event’s results will undoubtedly shake things up a bit.

All three divisions have been affected. The lightweight division has a clear contender. The bantamweight division saw several fighters continue their run toward contention. The featherweight division saw a champion fortified, along with allowing a new contender to enter into the picture.

Regardless of opinion, it is obvious that the results of WEC 41 will rattle around the divisions a little bit. You can be certain in the next couple of months, these questions will be answered, revealing exactly how crazy these low weight divisions are actually becoming.

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