WEC 43: "Cerrone vs. Henderson" from The AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas is now in the books, and Ben "Smooth" Henderson is the new WEC interim lightweight champion.
It was another exciting, action packed card for the WEC in what served as the promotion's second trip to the "Lone Star" state in 2009. Here's how it all went down:
In the main event, Ben Henderson and Donald Cerrone staged an epic five round war for the ages as the two battled it out for the right to become the interim lightweight title with current champion Jamie Varner out due to injury.
"Smooth" takedowns, wrestling and submission resilience were the differences in the match. "Cowboy" had numerous submission attempts that appeared to have Henderson on the edge of defeat, but each time the Phoenix, Arizona resident somehow found a way to escape.
Cerrone battled back after falling behind in the early rounds to make this thing a nail biter for Henderson fans in the championship rounds, but the relentless takedowns and ground and pound in the early going put Henderson on top for good in the eyes of the judges.
All five cageside judges scored the fight three rounds to two for the new WEC interim lightweight champion.
Afterward, Varner made his way into the cage and told the crowd (who by the way weren't shy with the boos when he got on the microphone) that he would be glad to face Henderson in Phoenix - which is also his hometown - on a yet to be announced December card.
That should be another amazing fight. Stay tuned to MMAmania.com as we'll keep you posted on that.
In the co-featured fight of the night former WEC lightweight number one contender Rich Crunkilton made his return to the cage from injury to face undefeated prospect Dave Jansen.
Cage rust was the question mark for "Cleat" coming into the bout after having been sidelined for over a year and a half. But that wasn't his problem. His problem was his cardio. Both guys were gassed by the end of the three round affair, but Jansen more so seemed to wear Crunkilton down throughout the fight his relentless ground and pound attack.
Takedown after takedown scored for Jansen throughout the fight as he came away with an impressive unanimous decision win in his WEC debut, moving his record to (13-0). Raphael Assuncao and Yves "Tiger" Jabouin battled back and forth for three pretty decent rounds with Assuncao scoring the split decision win. The Brazilian used a balance attack of leg kicks, takedowns and submission attempts to impress the judges.
"Tiger" showed off some lightning quick foot speed to go along with some great cardio in this fight, but Assuncao executed a very smart gameplan en route to the decision victory.
In the opening bout of the Versus telecast, Greg Jackson product Damacio Page made quick work of WEC newcomer Will Campuzano. "The Angel of Death" came out trying to make the highlight reel, slinging some huge bombs. It looked like he was going to get what he wanted, too, but he instead opted to take the action to the ground, where he was just as dominant.
The fight lasted just over a minute before Page forced the new guy to tap with a rear naked choke.
In undercard action, Miguel Torres protege Mackens Semerzier, who was stepping in on short notice for the injured Eric Koch, scored a stunning upset win over one of the WEC's top featherweight contenders, Wagnney Fabiano.
What was perhaps most shocking of all was the fact that "The Menace" beat the Brazilian at his own game by forcing the jiu-jitsu ace to submit in just over 2 minutes of work.
That’s a wrap from San Antonio, Texas.
For complete WEC 43: "Cerrone vs. Henderson" results and blow-by-blow coverage of the main card click here.
Next up for the UFC’s sister promotion will be WEC 44: "Brown vs. Aldo" from "The Pearl" at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 9 p.m. ET on the Versus Network.
Headlining the card will be WEC featherweight champion Mike Thomas Brown defending his belt against feared Brazilian striker Jose "Junior" Aldo. Former UFC lightweights turned WEC featherweights Manny "The Pitbull" Gamburyan and Leonard "Bad Boy" Garcia are also slated to mix it up in the night's co-main event.
Stay locked to MMAmania.com as we’ll keep you up to date on all your WEC 44 news leading up to the event.