Here is a look at the best fighters in the WEC who will soon make the venture to the UFC. The most interesting thing will be to see how WEC 155 pounders do in the UFC.
Also, what undersized UFC 155 pounders decide to make a drop to 145? Keep in mind it is unclear which contracts will be renewed and what fighters will not make the transition to the UFC.
135 - Bantamweight
1. Dominick Cruz (17-1)- WEC Champ with well-rounded skills, has wins over Joe Benavidez, Brian Bowles and Charlie Valencia. Cruz defeated Scott Jorgenson in a unanimous decision to close out his WEC career.
2. Brian Bowles (8-1)- Former WEC Champ has wins over Damacio Page and Miguel Torres. Has struggled with injuries as of late.
3. Scott Jorgenson (11-4)- 3X Pac Ten wrestling champ. Wins against Brad Pickett and Antonio Banuelos. Next in line for a title shot.
4. Joe Benavidez (13-2)- The high energy spark plug fighter has wins over Jeff Curran, Miguel Torres and Rani Yahya. Benavidez won via guillotine choke over Wagney Fabiano at WEC 52, and wants to fight in UFC's coming 125 flyweight division.
5. Urijah Faber (25-4)- Faber, the former WEC champ, has stopped Dominick Cruz, Bibiano Fernandes and Raphael Assuncao. Urijah defeated Takeya Mizugaki at WEC 52, and is rumored to possibly coach TUF 13 or be fast-tracked to a title shot. He is rumored to fight Eddie Wineland in the UFC.
5. Miguel Torres (38-3)- Former champ stopped his 2 fight losing streak with a submission win over Charlie Valencia at WEC 51. Other wins over Chase Beebe, Yoshiro Maeda and Takeya Mizugaki. Torres fights Antonio Banuelos at UFC 126.
145 - Featherweight
1. Jose Aldo (18-1)- Aldo has looked unstoppable in his run to the WEC title, currently riding an 11 fight win streak. The Muay Thai striker has defeated Urijah Faber, Manny Gamburyan, Mike Thomas Brown, Alexandre Franca Nogueira. He fights Grispi at UFC 125.
2. Manny Gamburyan (11-5)- Manny turned a runner-up performance on a talent rich TUF 5 into a brief stint in the UFC, followed by a 3-1 effort so far in the WEC with his lone loss coming to Jose Aldo. Manny's WEC wins have come over John Franchi, Leonard Garcia and Mike Brown.
3. Chad Mendes (9-0)- Mendes has looked solid in his 3 straight 2010 victories in the WEC. Mendes has bested Cub Swanson, Anthony Morrison and Erik Koch. Mendes defeated Javier Vazquez at WEC 52, securing his spot in the UFC. He fights Mike Brown at UFC 125 for a likely title shot.
4. Diego Nunes (16-1)- Nunes is coming off a split decision over Mike Brown in his UFC debut. His other big wins have come over Rafeal Assuncao, Cole Province and Rafeal Dias.
5. Dustin Poirer (9-1)- A drop to 145 did Poirer wonders in a dominant decision win over Josh Grispi at UFC 125. Poirer closed out his WEC career with a TKO over Zach Micklewright.
5. Mike Thomas Brown (24-6)- Thomas, who won the WEC title over Urijah Faber, recently bounced back with a win over Cole Province. Brown is a big 145, having previously fought at 155 in the UFC. He fights Mendes for a likely title shot at UFC 125.
155 - Lightweight
1. Anthony Pettis (13-1)- With an array of stand-up skills and a slick ground game, expect Pettis to make waves in the UFC. He has looked impressive in his last three bouts, KO'ing Danny Castillo with a head kick, then scoring triangle chokes over Alex Karalexis and Shane Roller.
2. Benson Henderson (12-2)- The former college wrestler has developed a nice submission skill-set, submitting Donald Cerrone and Jamie Varner in his last two outings. Smooth also has wins over Shane Roller and Anthony Njokuani.
3. Donald Cerrone (13-3)- One of the more interesting characters of the WEC, the Cowboy has solid Muay Thai and legit submission skills. Big wins have come over Razor Rob McCullough, Ed Ratcliff and Jamie Varner.
4. Kamal Shalorus (7-0-2)- Split decision win over Bart Palaszewski at WEC 53. Iran wrestling stand-out has 4 TKO's, with wins over Will Kerr and Dave Jansen.
5. Bart Palaszewski (35-13)- Former IFL stand-out has excelled in the WEC with 3 straight WEC victories, his last two include a KO over previously unbeaten Zack Micklewright and armbar over Karen Darabedyan.
Slick prospect- Maciej Jewtuszko (8-0)- With 4 TKO's and 4 submissions on his resume, his last outing was an impressive 1st round TKO over Anthony Njokuani.