Donald Cerrone is making a name for himself in the UFC. | Photo: Dave Mandel
We can put the “former WEC fighter” label to rest, at least in terms of it being used in a derogatory sense.
If Benson Henderson and Donald Cerrone showed anything at UFC Live 5 on Sunday, it is that the infusion of WEC alums into the UFC’s lightweight division is providing some of the best matchups at 155 pounds. Cerrone is now 3-0 in the UFC after his impressive stoppage of Charles “do Bronx” Oliveira. Hopefully, he will be kept busy throughout the rest of 2011.
Henderson, meanwhile, steamrolled Jim Miller in a bruising and clear-cut decision win. The former WEC champion was simply too strong in every phase of the game, and his striking has shown subtle improvement in recent fights as he grows increasingly comfortable on the feet.
Throw in Anthony Pettis -- whose epic battle with Henderson won him the WEC title at the organization’s final show in December -- and the UFC has a core group that will create a lot of excitement in the coming years. Pettis’ decision loss to Clay Guida at “The Ultimate Fighter 13” Finale was a setback, but he can make up a lot of lost momentum in his showdown with aggressive slugger Jeremy Stephens at UFC 136. It is hard to think of any other three UFC lightweights that consistently provide such entertaining fights.
Jason Probst can be reached at Jason@jasonprobst.com or twitter.com/jasonprobst.