World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) today announced its first show of the New Year, which will feature the return of Jamie Varner, defending his lightweight belt against 155-pound interim champion, Benson "Smooth" Henderson, in the main event of the evening.
WEC 46: "Varner vs. Henderson" is scheduled for the Arco Arena in Sacramento, Calif., on Jan. 10, 2010.
It's a venue with which the promotion is extremely familiar thanks in larger part to former featherweight champion and local fan favorite, Urijah Faber. "The California Kid," who is also coming back from a hand injury like Varner, will collide with top-ranked contender, Raphael Assuncao, in the co-featured fight of the night.
The line up thus far is one that WEC General Manager, Reed Harris, is thrilled to promote.
Here's a snip:
"ARCO Arena is one of our favorite venues to bring fights, the fans in Sacramento are some of the best. The world title bout between Varner and Henderson is a perfect way to start off the New Year. The title fight, plus the return of Urijah, makes this an instant winter classic."
Henderson (10-1) defeated Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone at WEC 43 via razor-thin unanimous decision to successfully capture the interim gold. "Smooth" avoided countless submission attempts from Cerrone, while inflicting good damage in the early rounds. The victory was a large upset, introducing the relatively unknown Henderson to the fans of the sport.
A product of Arizona’s MMA Lab, Henderson has managed to string together nine straight victories since his only loss, which was to Chad Klingensmith at Ring of Fire 27: "Collision Course" in Dec. 2006. He is perfect (3-0) in the WEC with victories over Shane Roller, Anthony Njokuani and Cerrone.
Varner (16-2) gained the lightweight belt back in 2006 when he defeated "Razor" Rob McCullough via technical knockout. "C-4" has gone on to defend his belt twice with victories over Marcus Hicks and Donald Cerrone.
Varner has been sidelined for some time now because of injuries he sustained during the battle at WEC 38 in earlier this year January against Cerrone. One year later, Varner will finally be able to put his belt on the line again, hoping to defend it for a third time.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for breaking news and updates on WEC 46.