Going into last nights WEC 43 event there were some murmurings of discontent amongst fans who felt there was a lack of blockbuster fights. They needn’t have worried however as the WEC rarely fails to deliver exciting and entertaining fights.
Damacio page Vs Will Campuzano
The televised bouts did begin with a noticeable mis-match in the bantemweight division with Damacio Page clearly too much for the debuting Will Campuzano. Page, clearly keen to finish the fight early, came out quickly with a flurry of punches before taking the fight to the ground. Continuing to push the pace he took Campuzano’s back and sunk in the Rear Naked Choke at the second attempt to call and end to the fight at just over the one minute mark.
Rafael Assuncao Vs Yves Jabouin
The next fight between Rafael Assuncao and Yves Jabouin proved to be a much closer contest however. Jabouin looked comfortable on his feet in his debut for the WEC, showing good movement and a penchant for eye catching moves such as spinning backs (which landed with suprising regularity to the mid-section of his opponent) and the superman punch. Though being edged out on the feet by Jabouin, Assuncao still managed to hold his own and clearly had the advantage on the ground, putting his opponent in trouble several times by way of choke, but was unable to finish inside the distance. A close fight but Assuncao was rightly awarded a split decision victory.
Richard Crunkilton Vs Dave Jansen
Richard Crunkilton and Dave Jansen were up next and provided a fitting precursor to the main event with another close three rounds of action. Jansen, another newcomer apparently unfazed by the occasion more than held his own against the more experienced Crunkilton. Clearly favouring a fight on the floor Jansen utlilized regular takedowns but was often foiled by an over-active referee who seemed unwilling to entertain the idea of a battle on the ground, standing the fighters up repeatedly. This gave an advantage to Crunkilton who had the advantage on the feet. By the third round fatigue was a major factor for both fighters but Jansen stuck to his gameplan and scored more points with a number of takedowns which proved enough to give him a unanimous decision.
Donald Cerrone Vs Ben Henderson
Finally we have the main event of the evening and the battle to claim the interim lightweight belt between Donald Cerrone and Ben Henderson was to exceed many peoples expectations. As entertaining a ground fight as we’ve seen all year, Cerrone showed slick submission skills from the bottom throughout catching Henderson in a variety of guillotines, arm triangles, triangle chokes and kimura attempts. Ben Henderson is one cool, calm and collected customer though and somehow managed to find a way out of each submission when lesser men would have tapped.
Henderson did have his own success on the ground however, particularly in the second and third rounds when he was able to nullify the submission threat by posturing up and raining down blows on Cerrone. His opponent bounced back in the fourth and fifth rounds though with yet more submission attempts allowing Henderson to perform some more Houdini like escapes. Going to the score-cards it looks like Cerrone has this one by three rounds to two but the judges have seen it differently and Ben Henderson is declared the new Interim Lightweight Champion. Both fighters deserve enormous credit for their performance though some are left scratching their heads at the final outcome.
With the win Henderson is now set to face Jamie Varner to unify the title towards the end of the year.
Fight Of The Night: Ben Henderson Vs Donald Cerrone : $20,000 each
Knockout Of The Night: Anthony Njokuani : $10,000
Submission Of The Night: Mackens Semerzier : $10,000