Showtime kick shuts down WEC

December 16, 2010

Anthony “Showtime” Pettis dethroned the WEC lightweight champion, Benson Henderson tonight at WEC 53.  Living up to his nickname, Pettis walked the cage to kick Henderson directly in the face in the 5th Round of a tight contest.

The kick has gained immediate mainstream interest. Jim Rome has commented about it on twitter.  In fact, many on twitter have posted their reaction to Showtime’s move. ESPN will likely run the kick on Sportscenter again and again. It was on’s main page as a “Have You Seen” video. UPDATE:  It was No. 2 in Sportscenter’s plays of the night. J.R. Smith dunk was No. 1. (h/t Josh Gross via twitter)

Payout Perspective:

The highlight reel kick should be used in all UFC promos. There is no blood or bones breaking, just incredible skill. It rivals Rampage Jackson’s slam of Ricardo Arona in Pride as highlight fight endings.  Of course, Pettis’ kick came in the 5th Round of a title fight. For Pettis, this is a great way to introduce himself to the UFC fan base as he moves on to face the Maynard/Edgar winner. The promotion of a Pettis fight just got easier for the UFC. Unfortunately for Henderson, a great WEC career ended in disappointing fashion.

12 Responses to “Showtime kick shuts down WEC”

  1. mmaguru on December 17th, 2010 7:31 AM

    I had to rewind that kick 3 times to believe it was actually real. What an amazing performance for Pettis. I had him winning this fight but I didn’t think it would so close. The “kick” sealed the deal in the 5th round for sure.

    That “kick” should help sell the Pettis vs Edgar/Mannar fight even though Pettis stands little chance against either.

  2. Machiel Van on December 17th, 2010 8:12 AM

    I literally almost cried, that moment was so beautiful. It was literally the perfect move for the WEC to go out on, as it represented all the unpredictable spikes of excitement, nonstop action, and stellar athleticism that we had all come to expect from the WEC on each and every show. I’ll miss the WEC so much now that it’s gone, we just won’t get to see as many featherweight and bantamweight fights now that they’re all in the UFC. In my opinion, it was the greatest MMA promotion the world has ever seen (that was hard to say as I will always have a very soft spot for PRIDE, but I’m sticking with it). Always, ALWAYS a guaranteed night of great fights. Thank you Reed Harris and Scott Adams, you did MMA proud. Thank you so much.

  3. jv on December 17th, 2010 8:41 AM

    I will surely miss the WEC. I am glad they went out with a bang. The WEC did more to get me hooked on MMA than the UFC did. It will interesting to look back a year from now and see if the merger has really made things better or not.

  4. Stan on December 17th, 2010 9:25 AM

    Starting Friday mornings Sports Center does “Not Top 10” basically the bloopers from the week instead of the top 10 plays from the previous night, however they gave “the kick” it’s own 20-30 second highlight clip. Great publicity for everyone involved. The commentator obviously is not familiar with MMA but gives an OK description of what Pettis earned with the win.

    WEC was a great org that consistently put on the best shows. I truly hope UFC uses these new weight classes well, the WEC top guys get paid and the guys who will inevitably get cut due to the numbers game find homes in Japan, Bellator or SF

  5. mmaguru on December 17th, 2010 10:41 AM

    Interesting point Stan, this merger could really inject some new life into the Bellator roster. I don’t think Strikeforce would acquire too many of their fighters as their 155 division is well rounded.

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  7. todd wilson on December 17th, 2010 11:07 AM

    I wouldn’t go as far as saying that Henderson’s fight ended his carreer in a dissappointing fashion. He fought bravely and surely didn’t dissappoint me. He will continue to develop and make a valuable contribution to the UFC. His personality rises well above his fighting ability!

  8. Machiel Van on December 17th, 2010 12:26 PM

    He just needs a lot of work with his striking, and more importantly striking defense beyond just wrestling.

  9. Machiel Van on December 17th, 2010 12:31 PM

    I know he has survived a lot of brutal submission attempts, but it would be better if he didn’t get caught in them in the first place. He just needs to work on his grappling defense after his takedowns (or not taking people down and ending up in choke holds). Two holes in his game I’ve noticed. He’s got the things that you can’t earn with hard work (ton of resilience, very solid chin), so if he can shore up those holes in his game, he can be a real force in the UFC.

  10. Nona Mills on December 22nd, 2010 10:42 AM

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  11. Eric Marks on October 12th, 2011 8:11 AM

    First off, over a year later and this kick has still left me in complete awe. Secondly, Pettis’s loss to Clay Guida aside, Pettis has a very good chance to beat Frankie Edgar now that he finally put that whiny loud mouth Gray Maynard back in his place. His loss to Guida may have set him back a bit, but in his very next fight against Scott Stevens, Pettis showed how quickly he can evolve his style. While still ready to use one of his high-flying tae kwan do kicks at any time, or one of his many submission moves, Pettis showed off a new and highly improved wrestling game that along with a ground punch busting open Stevens nose, gave him the victory. Stevens immediately felt how hard Pettis kicks and his fear of ending up on the wrong side of another Pettis highlight reel(which by the way almost happened when Pettis almost flattened Stevens with a one handed cartwheel kick) causes Stevens to try and use what his thought were his superior wrestling abilities to grind out a victory the same way Guida had. But Pettis has become far more of a complete fighter, and sooner or later he will get that title shot he is owed, and I think he can beat any lightweight fighter in the UFC. So Edgar or whoever is champion better watch out.

  12. Jose Mendoza on October 12th, 2011 11:53 AM


    Pettis is definitely a marketable and exciting young fighter, so I think the UFC want’s him to get that title shot in the long run. Unfortunately for him in his last two fights, he lost to Guida and just pulled off a split decision victory over Stephens. At this point, he has to put together some of those WEC impressive wins against quality opposition to get that title shot in the immediate future.

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