WEC 53: 'The Assassin's' last WEC blog

Hey everybody! Anthony Njokuani here again. I'm sad to say that this will be the last time that I get to write about World Extreme Cagefighting.

It's unfortunate that this will be the last blog for the WEC, now that they are merging with the UFC. But we all know things must end in order for better things to come.

Instead of writing about upcoming WEC shows, I thought I would give you my thoughts about my own upcoming UFC fights; pre-fight thoughts and post-fight analysis (hopefully after a win). So, what do you guys think?

It's so hard to say goodbye to an organization that did so much for me. The WEC gave fighters like me a chance to showcase our skills to MMA fans on a national level. But as I said before, some things must end for better things to come. WEC fighters moving on to the UFC were able to open that WEC door and capitalize on the opportunities. And now that the UFC door is wide open, I'm stepping on in. I'm truly blessed and I hope to continue to be part of this great fight organization; the UFC.

Winning my fight against Edward Faaloloto at WEC 52 in order to earn my way into the UFC was a great feeling. That win was exactly what was needed and I was able to go in there and do my thing. Faaloloto was unquestionably a worthy opponent. He’s another fighter with a difficult last name to pronounce (like mine), but definitely a skillful mixed martial artist with tons of potential and a great future.

I don’t have my first UFC fight lined up as of yet, but I wish to keep giving all my fans exciting fights and I hope that's exactly what I'll be able to do. I can’t promise what tomorrow will look like, but I always plan to improve and get better. The sky's the limit. I'm in training camp right now preparing myself for my first Octagon battle.

With WEC 53 being the last event for the organization before the merge this January, it will surely be the event. Every fighter on the card is phenomenal and I'm confident they will be pumped and excited to put a final exclamation point at the end of the WEC’s successful run. I hope the MMA fans enjoy what they see Thursday night.

As far as the main event goes, you have two outstanding lightweights about to battle for a shot at a UFC title. Ben Henderson has the lightweight title for the WEC. His opponent on Thursday will be up-and-comer Anthony Pettis. Whoever wins this one will likely get a shot at the winner of the UFC lightweight championship fight between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard in order to unify the belts. So it'll be interesting to see these two 155-pound peers making waves in the UFC while trying to earn their shots at the belt.

My WEC 53 Picks:

  • Champ Benson Henderson vs. Anthony Pettis (for lightweight title): I got a lot of love for Anthony Pettis. We're both going through the same battles in life. I lost my father six years ago to cancer and I'm also trying to help out my mom so she doesn't have to struggle. I hope he wins it because he deserves it. But Champ Ben is a very skilled fighter who has all the tools to keep his belt.

  • Champ Dominick Cruz vs. Scott Jorgensen (for bantamweight title): Scott is a very tough fighter so Champ Dominick has his work cut out for him. I see this going to a close decision for Dominick.

  • Donald Cerrone vs. Chris Horodecki: My pick on this one will be Cerrone. Donald has the reach and the ground skills to take Chris out via submission.

  • Bart Palaszewski vs. Kamal Shalorus: Going with Bartimus on this one. All Shalorus has is a one-punch chance to beat Bart, but I don't see that happening. Bart all the way via submission.

  • Danny Downes vs. Tiequan Zhang: Danny is an excellent fighter. It was unfortunate the he only had a week to prepare for his eventual loss to Chris Horodecki back at WEC 49. Fortunately for Danny, he’s had a full training camp leading up to this battle. We will truly see what he's all about in his bout against Tiequan. I'm going with Danny for the KO win.