In late 2010, when WEC 53 was revealed to be the last WEC event it came with two pieces of news. One was that the winner of the Dominick Cruz vs Scott Jorgensen fight would not only be crowned as the last WEC Bantamweight champion, but also the first UFC Bantamweight champion.
The 2nd was that the winner of the Ben Henderson vs Anthony Pettis fight would be the last WEC ligthweight champion, and that they would fight the winner of the Frankie Edgar vs Gray Maynard fight for the UFC lightweight title in a unification match.
Cruz took home two belts, Pettis won a back and forth war...sealing the deal with Showtime kick, and Edgar vs Maynard 2 ended in a draw and an immediate rematch was planned.
Anthony Pettis was given the opportunity to either sit and wait for his title shot or to fight in the interim, risking his earned unification match. He would choose NOT to go the infamous Rashad Evans route and take a fight, being matched up with none other than Clay Guida.
Guida would win the fight via unanimous decision, beating the guy who was the last WEC lightweight champion. For all intents and purposes, he was the new WEC lightweight champion. He beat the guy that was going to fight for the title, that was a champion in another organization, his claim to a title shot was quite legitimate.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the 155 pound island, Ben Henderson, the FORMER WEC lightweight champion, had a campfire lit under his ass. He came into the UFC guns blazing, taking out Mark Bocek before being matched up with the surging Jim Miller. Miller had won seven fights in a row, and the de facto rule is if you win 8 straight fights in the UFC, you get a title shot.
Henderson viciously derailed Miller's title aspirations and along with Guida, found himself in the position of the spoiler who hadn't quite done enough on his own to get the title shot his opponent was one win from reaching.
So a matter of consolidation was called for. Guida vs Henderson. Henderson won a wild 3 round decision and in a lineal sense, reclaimed his WEC Lightweight title in the process.
Now he is preparing to face the Champion Frankie Edgar for the UFC Lightweight title. It may be coming nearly a year later than originally projected, but for better or worse, we are finally getting the fantasy matchup between UFC champ Frankie Edgar and WEC champ Ben Henderson that many were pondering about a year ago.
February 26th, the belts are unified.