Ex-WEC Lightweights Look to Improve UFC Performance at UFC on Versus 5

via www.octagonbuzz.com

It has been over eight months since the UFC/WEC merger, and it was believed at the time that the merger was done just to get the featherweight and bantamweight divisions into the UFC. The WEC lightweight division was seen as leftovers to a degree, with the stench of "B-level fighter" attached to all of them. Not everyone shared this opinion of course but even as a crazy WEC homer, I didn't have high hopes for the WEC lightweights in the shark tank of a UFC 155 pound division.

So, since three ex-WEC lightweights (Ben Henderson, Donald Cerrone, Danny Castillo) are competing at this weekend's UFC on Versus 5 card in Milwaukee, it seemed like a good time to look at how the WEC fighters have done so far since they were brought over. If you had to guess, what would you say? Above .500? Below? Well, the answer awaits you at the bottom. Here's a rundown of each guy (Side note - 6 other former WEC lightweights immediately dropped to featherweight for their first UFC bouts, and they're not included here. Why didn't they just fight at FW in the WEC? Who knows).

Donald Cerrone - UFC record: 2-0. WEC record: 6-3 (1 NC). Wins: Paul Kelly, UFC 126; Vagner Rocha, UFC 131. 1 Fight of the Night Bonus (75k). Next bout: Charles Oliveira, UFC on Versus 5

Danny Castillo - UFC record: 1-0. WEC record: 5-3.  Wins: Joe Stevenson, UFC on Versus 3. Next bout: Jacob Volkmann, UFC on Versus 5.

Ben Henderson - Record in  UFC record 1-0. WEC record 5-1. Wins: Mark Bocek, UFC 129. Next opponent: Jim Miller, UFC on Versus 5.

Anthony Njokuani - UFC record 1-1. WEC record 4-3. Wins: Andre Winner, UFC 132. Losses: Edson Barboza, UFC 128. 1 Fight of the Night Bonus (70k). Next opponent: Paul Taylor, UFC 138.

Shane Roller - UFC record 1-1. WEC record 6-2. Wins: Thiago Tavares, UFC on Versus 3. Losses: Melvin Guillard, UFC 132. 1 Knockout of the Night bonus (40k). Next opponent: T.J. Grant, UFC on Versus 6

Anthony Pettis - UFC record 0-1. WEC record 5-1. Losses: Clay Guida, TUF 13 Finale. Next opponent: Jeremy Stephens, UFC 136

Kamal Shalorus - UFC record 0-1. WEC record 3-0-1. Losses: Jim Miller, UFC 128. No scheduled opponent.

Maciej Jewtuszko - UFC record 0-1. WEC record 1-0. Losses: Curt Warburton, UFC 127. Released by promotion.

Danny Downes - UFC record 0-1. WEC record 1-1. Losses:Jeremy Stephens, TUF 13 Finale. Next opponent: Ramsey Nijem, UFC 137

Edward Faaloloto - UFC record 0-1. WEC record 0-1. Losses: Michael Johnson, UFC on Versus 4. Next opponent: Terry Etim, UFC 138

So, the ex-WEC fighters have a record of 6-7 versus UFC competition overall. The WEC guys have 1 win via sub, 1 via TKO/KO, and 4 via decision. The UFC guys have 3 wins via TKO/KO, and 4 via decision.

The WEC guys do have a chance to get three wins back this weekend, but they're facing tough competition in all three fights. Ben Henderson faces the # 1 contender in the division, Donald Cerrone faces a guy who's only lost once in his career (to the aforementioned # 1 contender), and Danny Castillo meets a guy that's 3-0 since he dropped to the lightweight division. We'll find out on Sunday whether they can gain any ground.

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