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Five Memorable Moments in the Brief, Wondrous Life of the WEC

(Thanks for the, uh, memories? PicProps: It’sFightingStupid.)

Tonight we finally find out what happens on the series finale of the WEC (Spoiler alert: They all die and go to heaven together). Obviously, trying to cook the nine-year history of a promotion that became synonymous with mind-blowing action down to fewer than a half dozen highlights is totally impossible. Certainly we’ll have omitted some of your favorites here. Be sure to let us know which ones we forgot in the comments. As if we had to remind you.

Now here’s a quick look at some of the moments we’ll think fondly upon in future days, when we put on our Sarah McLachlan mix tape and dreamily stare at faded photographs of Brittany Palmer and Todd Harris, trying not to wonder how we’ll ever go on.

Chris Leben collapses Mike Swick like goddamn structural engineer

Leben’s WEC middleweight title victory over Swick from January of 2004 is notable for a number of reasons. First, it reminds us that before the Zuffa money came pouring in, the WEC used to hold its events in a weirdo hexagonal cage, almost exclusively in that magical oasis of Lemoore, Calif. Second, it predates either guy’s appearance on “TUF” by more than a year. Third, we felt it was important to include at least one vintage vid for the all the down-ass old-school WEC homies (Doug “The Rhino” Marshall, James Irvin, Lavar Johnson, Olaf Alfonso, et. al. ) who didn’t make this list.

Also interesting that in the above brief highlights of their two-round affair we see the 2004 Leben doing a few things that the 2010 Leben would never, ever do. Things that make you wonder if the 2004 Chris Leben wasn’t the better fighter. At the 54 second mark, it seems Leben sort of pulls guard and starts working for a submission when Swick threatens with a takedown. No, seriously. Not only that but — at about 1:07 — watch him sink a fairly slick rear naked on Swick after dropping him with a left hook. When that doesn’t work, it’s the same-old Crippler. After absorbing six or seven punches to begin the second round, he lands one, which crumples the Swickster. As a reward, Leben gets a dimestore belt and a hug from a pre-terrorist-scarf-and-train-engineer-hat Randy Couture.

“The Korean Zombie” and “The Texan Decision Zombie” do what they do
(WEC 48, 4/24/10)

One of the best fights of the year? Or one of the best fights eva?!?! You decide. Man, something about Zuffa coming together with SpikeTV is just magical. It seems like every time the TV company and the MMA promotion need two guys to engage in a crazy slugfest they get it at exactly the right moment. Case-in-point: Leonard Garcia and Chan Sung Jung opening the free lead-in to the WEC’s first-ever pay-per-view event with their insane 15-minute video game scrap. If you didn’t buy the PPV after watching it, you’re either developmentally delayed or you somehow find the concept of two men beating the dogshit out of each other inside a metal cage off-putting. Either way, we don’t envy you.

At the time this display was unthinkably awesome. Later we learned that fighting without regard for his own face is pretty much Jung’s whole deal. Even later than that we found out that winning sort of fishy decisions is what Garcia does almost every time, too.

Jose Aldo makes Isaac Newton his bitch … Cub Swanson, too
(WEC 41, 6/7/2009)

Gravity? Fuck that shit. Jose Aldo don’t need no stinking gravity, as he proved in his fifth WEC appearance with this astounding 8-second knockout of Swanson. Look, pretty much everything Aldo has ever done in the WEC could probably make this list, but we had to choose one (or two) things. Frankly, the truly jaw-dropping nature of him opening this fight by throwing a flying double-knee can only be appreciated in super slow-mo. Unfortunately, to see that you’ll have to sit through 3:30 of the above video, which is clearly of someone filming the Spanish language WEC broadcast straight of their TV. Damn you, Zuffa copyright lawyers! Anyway, if you do sit through the video you’ll learn two things: 1) Like in soccer, rad knockouts are that much radder when screamed about in Spanish. 2) Jose Aldo does a dope dance.

Urijah Faber def. Mike Brown via headbutt to the fist
(WEC 36, 11/5/2008)

Yep, Urijah Faber was riding high, but it was all about to come crashing down. Back in Nov. of ’08 the Cali Kid was cruising along on a win streak that encompassed 13 consecutive fights and more than three full years. Hell, the dude had never lost at 145-pounds before and was undoubtedly the best known and most admired featherweight in the world. Or at least in America which, let’s face it, is the world. What follows is a cautionary tale, kids: No matter how awesome you think you are at doing stuff, never launch yourself – body, mind and soul – into Mike Brown’s right hand. You do that and the next thing you know they’re trying to find compelling matchups for you at bantamweight.

Aldo proves Joe Rogan’s point about leg kicks
(WEC 48, 4/24/2010)

Urijah Faber's leg Jose aldo nasty swollen purple

Between Nov. 2008 and April, 2010 the WEC elected to have Faber fight three of his next five bouts against either Brown or Aldo. In the most painfully possible way, the promotion was not doing him a favor. Particularly when he had to go five rounds with Aldo at the WEC PPV this past spring. For days (maybe weeks?) after Aldo kicked his leg into a living death, Faber amused himself by posting pictures of his thigh slowly swelling into a plump and juicy Ballpark frank. That, my friends, is a kind of fun you don’t ever want to have. In the wake of this loss, Faber dropped to 135-pounds, where we can only assume the UFC is about to make him a big, big star. That ought to soften the blow a bit.

Cagepotato Comments

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Clyde- December 16, 2010 at 4:05 pm
I don't know what this Rogan guy is talking about with this leg kick shit. Aldo clearly got his ass handed to him there.

Good times man. This really brought a smile to my face. We'll miss you WEC.
8MilesHigh- December 16, 2010 at 2:40 pm
Hendo vs Cerrone I was one of the best WEC fights I've seen.
Lysol- December 16, 2010 at 2:18 pm
**Comment deleted by author because double posting just ain't cool**
Lysol- December 16, 2010 at 2:16 pm

See, that thing was called a "joke". Those of us with functioning brains either found humor in it or understood why the author intended there to be humor in it. "Jokes" are frequently found in the content of this website. If you can't handle that, that's fine, but don't ask the authors to edit them out of the content.
TheGreenBlurr- December 16, 2010 at 12:02 pm
About the Urijah Mike Brown video... it's obvious sarcasm guys, heard of it?
shitwhistle- December 16, 2010 at 11:52 am
Wouldn't be a Leben fight without a bunch of lame footstomps...
Page Cotato- December 16, 2010 at 11:41 am
Fav moment:
Doug Marshal defeating Ariel Gandulla via amrbar, then running into the stands.
The promotional WEC commercial of "The Rhino" doing his head-shaving routine while clips of this fight splice in and out was fantastic.

The close-up shots of the expression on his facee as he digs deap and secures the submission made for a pretty epic TV spot.
Wish I could find the clip....
Daddy_jeffy- December 16, 2010 at 11:39 am
All of us were spectators and I think most of the time Steve is, too. He is too busy peeping the action that Swanson took a couple more. Aldo even waits to see if he is geting stopped before he hammers him one more.

He did jack him up though.
ReX13- December 16, 2010 at 11:33 am
Well, in all fairness to Mazz, didn't we all drop our jaws and forget what we were doing when Aldo ended Swanson in an eyeblink?
Daddy_jeffy- December 16, 2010 at 11:22 am
Of Cours Mazagatti lets Aldo throw a couple extra cranks on Swanson. Nice Steve. Only You.
kangerpang- December 16, 2010 at 11:17 am

Points for effort buddy!
El Guapo- December 16, 2010 at 11:15 am
"Urijah Faber defeats himself via headbutt to Mike Brown's fist" would be the correct usage of the grammticized terminology... or something.

Korean Zombie vs Duckface Garcia gets my vote for the numero uno spot.
DazedNConfused- December 16, 2010 at 11:07 am
Yeah that's a little off. And maaan I wanna see Aldo fight again, and hopefully the UFC can persuade him to move up a weight class.
the chef- December 16, 2010 at 10:58 am
@Gogoplatypus it a joke... it says Urijah beat Brown by headbutting his fist, as in Urijah's head made contact with Browns fist.
ReX13- December 16, 2010 at 10:56 am
"Gravity?  Fuck that shit."THIS is why i dig C Money.  Nice, playa.
Gogoplatypus- December 16, 2010 at 10:52 am
So Uriah beat Mike Brown by getting knocked the fuck out? May want to edit the caption above the video.