SAN ANTONIO – Heavy.com is on the scene for tonight’s “WEC 43: Cerrone vs. Henderson” card in San Antonio, Texas. We’ll be providing live results and commentary for the entire show, including all preliminary bouts.
We’re settled in cageside here at the AT&T Center. The building is still fairly empty, but the line for the Chuck Liddell autograph signing outside appears to be a mile long – and Chuck has been signing and taking pictures with fans for over two hours. Once they wrap that up, the place should fill up fairly quickly.
First fight was scheduled to take place at 7pm ET, but the start time has been pushed back a few minutes. We should be under way shortly.
DEIVIDAS TAUROSEVICIUS VS. JAVIER VAZQUEZ
Round one: Taurosevicius lands a glancing head kick. Vasquez pressing the action. Taurosevicius with another glancing head kick. Vazquez shoots for a takedown but it’s stuffed. Vazquez works for an armbar, but Taurosevicius powerbombs him. Vazquez secures a triangle choke and holds it for a minute, but Taurosevicius eventually works his way out. Taurosevicius in side control. Tauro back up to his feet, but drops down into the guard and throws a few bombs. Vazquez is constantly working for a submission and Tauro is constantly looking to punch him in the face. Tauro stands up and knees him repeatedly in the bum. Vazquez with a high rubber guard to close out the round. This one was close, but it goes to Tauro.
Round two: Tauro fakes an inside leg kick and switches to a head kick that misses. Both men exchanging punches on the feet. Vazquez is pressing the action. Vazquez lands a nice right that staggers Tauro against the cage, but Vazquez doesn’t press and Tauro recovers. Great leg kick from Tauro and follows it with a shot that may have hit Vazquez in the junk, but he shakes it off. Tauro with a side kick. Tauro circling away, but lands a leg kick that takes Vazquez off his feet, but he gets up immediately. Vazquez lands a hard right. Tauro shoots for a takedown but it’s stuffed. Both men swinging wildly to close out the round. Vazquez took this one, but another one that could go either way.
Round three: Tauro with a hard straight right. Vazquez drops Tauro with a right, looked more like a slip than an actual hard shot landing. Vazquez on top, Tauro has a half-butterfly guard. Tauro with the rubber guard and lands several punches, but stops working and the ref stands them up immediately. That was quick. Tauro comes with a straight but Vazquez drills him in the face, sending Tauro staggering across the cage. Vazquez follows up with a missed flying knee, and they scramble around the cage until Vazquez lands on top. Vazquez is working for an arm triangle but not having much luck. Vazquez takes his back and lands some big elbows and punches. Javier working for the submission, but Tauro is able to flip over and get Vazquez in his guard. More elbows from Vazquez. Tauro is looking for a submission, but can’t get it. Vazquez takes this round and it should be enough to get him the win.
Deividas Taurosevicius d. Javier Vazquez (Split decision, 29-29)
COTY WHEELER VS. CHARLIE VALENCIA
Round one: Wheeler tries a spinning back kick that misses badly. Valencia lands a big knee that stuns Wheeler, who goes to the ground and grabs a leg. Wheeler on the ground going for a leg lock that appears to be a figure four, but Valencia is out and in the guard. Wheeler is up and knocks Valencia down with a big right. Wheeler presses him into the corner and lands a few wild punches, but Valencia survives. Valencia looks woozy. Wheeler has OX tattooed across his stomach. Both men look very tired. Wheeler with a kick that takes Valencia off his feet, but he gets up. Wheeler goes for a spinning kick again, but Valencia kicks him in the back while it’s happening. Valencia with a right. Wheeler fakes a superman punch into a spinning backfist. We have ourselves a tiny version of Jon Jones here. Wheeler kicks him in the junk, but Valencia is okay. Valencia probably won that round, but it was close.
Round two: Ox is still very tired. And suddenly, it’s a leg kick fest, with both guys throwing wicked kicks. Wheeler tries a spinning backfist again, Valencia ducks and takes him down. Valencia in Wheeler’s half guard, but stands up and Wheeler goes for the leg lock again. Valencia grabs the cage right in front of the ref and pulls himself up. More leg kicks all around. Valencia goes for a high kick, but Ox catches it. Valencia with a great body kick and goes for the takedown, misses at first but finally gets it. Valencia in half guard again throwing elbows. Valencia tries a wacky armbar but Ox gets out, only to be taken down immediately. Wheeler goes for the leg lock again, but he’s not getting it, so he tries a few upkicks that miss. Valencia back on top. Wheeler appears to be attempting an arm triangle from the bottom. I love this offense. It’s not doing anything, but it’s fun. Valencia takes this round.
Round three: Both men land straight rights at nearly the same time. Wheeler takes Valencia down with another leg kick but he’s back up immediately. Ox with another spinning back kick that misses and gets kicked in the back. Valencia with a good body kick. Valencia pressing the action now, perhaps looking to finish. Ox with the body kick followed by a leg kick. Valencia is chasing him down, but stops to wipe off his feet. Ox is telling him “Let’s do this” and Valencia responds with a flying knee. Ox gets kicked in the junk now, but he’s okay as well. Spinning back kick from Ox that misses again. He keeps trying, at least. Valencia hits him with a power right but Ox slaps himself in the face to indicate that he can’t be hurt. Another spinning back kick from Ox. He didn’t hit a single one the entire fight. Very entertaining fight and round.
Charlie Valencia d. Ox Wheeler (unanimous decision)
MANNY TAPIA VS. EDDIE WINELAND
Round one: Both men circling and feinting jabs. Wineland showing good footwork, lands a leg kick. Tapia lands an overhand right. Tapia lands a good left. Tapia tries to finish but Wineland ducks and gets in an uppercut. Tapia with the inside leg kick. Wineland is dodging most of Tapia’s punches and looks quick and precise. Wineland with the leg kick. Tapia misses another punch and Wineland lands a counter left. Tapia tries to clinch but Wineland shakes him off and lands with the right hand. Wineland is literally pulling an Anderson Silva with his head movement here, dodging everything Tapia throws at him. Tapia goes for the takedown but Wineland stops it. Tapia finally lands a punch, which has to feel good. And then he lands about five more. Wineland takes this round.
Round two: The crowd is chanting for Manny now. Tapia lands a good body shot. Wineland with a great uppercut. Wineland loads up the right hand but misses. Wineland stuns Tapia with a right, but he recovers quickly, only to get punched in the face again. Wineland appears to be having the time of his life tonight and is smiling. Tapia finally lands one but misses the next three shots. Wineland’s head movement is awesome. Tapia drops down to try and go for a single, but Eddie stuffs it and punches him again. Eddie is switching between regular and southpaw stances. Wineland is so much faster than Tapia. Wineland wins another round.
Round three: Wineland with a right hook, then lands about four punches, causing Tapia to try for another takedown. Doesn’t work this time, either. Wineland with the inside leg kick. I don’t want to say Wineland is making Tapia look like a fool here, but it’s pretty close. Tapia can’t connect with anything, because Wineland is too fast and dodges it with ease. Tapia tries for a clinch but Wineland shakes it off and lands a right. Tapia is finally attempting some knees and kicks, perhaps realizing that he’s not going to win the boxing war tonight. Tapia is telegraphing his overhand right and Eddie is ducking it with ease. Every time. Tapia misses a half-hearted flying knee. Wineland with a body kick. Wineland with a superman punch and then a takedown to end the fight. Great display by Wineland here.
Eddie Wineland d. Manny Tapia (unanimous decision)
WAGNNEY FABIANO VS. MACKENS SEMERZIER
Round one: Semerzier had trouble making weight yesterday, so we’ll see if that affects him here. Both guys circling slowly and the crowd is getting restless. Fabiano charges for a takedown. Semerzier stuffs it briefly but Fabiano ends up in half guard. Semerzier secures a triangle. Fabiano taps and Semerzier wins one hell of an upset.
Mackens Semerzier d. Waggney Fabiano (submission)
SCOTT JORGENSEN VS. NOAH THOMAS
Round one: Super fast entrances for both guys, as they are running low on time. Jorgensen pushes forward with a takedown. Thomas tries to pull rubber guard but Jorgensen picks him up for a power bomb that sees Thomas land on his feet. Jorgensen takes him down and goes into the guard. Thomas with an armbar attempt but Jorgensen shrugs him off. Jorgensen drops Thomas with a big right and follows it up with punches and elbows on the ground, but Thomas nearly gets an armbar. Jorgensen back in the guard and lands several big right hands and elbows. Jorgensen lands another big right and Thomas is out. Ref stops the bout.
Scott Jorgensen d. Noah Thomas (Round one, TKO)
MUHSIN CORBBREY VS. ANTHONY NJOKUANI
Round one: Not much action for the first minute and a half or so, and the crowd doesn’t like it one bit. Njokuani with an inside leg kick. Njokuani misses a right hook and Corbbrey lands a body shot. Njokuani is testing out his reach. Njokuani with an inside leg kick. Njokuani lands two big hooks and gets the clinch against the cage. Corrbrey tries what appears to be a flying armbar but fails. Njokuani standing over him and landing punches. Njokuani with a falling punch and then gets back up immediately. Corbbrey is kicking him in the knees. Njokuani backs off and motions for him to stand, so he does. Njokuani lands a right and Corbbrey responds in kind. Njokuani with a left hook to the body followed by an overhand right. Njokuani lands a combo and Corbbrey misses a head kick. Njokuani takes this round.
Round two: Corrbrey pushing now, lands a combo. Crowd is really booing the lack of action now. Njokuani with an inside leg kick. Njokuani lands a big leg kick that drops him to the ground, and then punches him right in the face. Corrbrey goes limp but another punch wakes him, then Njokuani puts him out. And does some breakdancing in the middle of the cage for good measure.
Anthony Njokuani d. Muhsin Corbbrey (Round two, TKO)
And that ends our coverage of tonight’s preliminary bouts. Dave will be taking over for the televised bouts.
WILL CAMPUZANO VS. DAMACIO PAGE
Page has the greatest nickname in the history of this sport. I defy you to find a better nickname than “The Angel of Death”. You can’t do it.
These two guys came out swinging wildly and the place came unglued. Page then took him down, took his back and submitted him. Just about the most exciting one minute fight you will ever see.
Damacio Page d. Will Campuzano (Round one, submission)
They aired a commercial for Ultimate Fighter and everyone booed when Rampage was shown.
RAFAEL ASSUNCAO VS. YVES JABOUIN
Jabouin is the training partner of Georges St. Pierre and has Greg Jackson in his corner. Urijah Faber is on commentary. I think Frank Mir just winked at me. Seriously. Okay, maybe not.
Remember what I said in my preview for this show about Assuncao possibly trying to stand and trade with Jabouin, even though he’s awesome on the ground and not great on the fight? Yep, that’s how this fight started. Strangely, it was Assuncao who took the fight to the ground first, but he wisely decided that was a bad idea. Assuncao finally went for a takedown, but Jabouin ended up on top for a bit before standing back up again. This Assuncao, he’s a wise man.
There’s a fan behind me who keeps alternating between chants of “elbow” and “knee”. Great advice, but I’m not sure who it’s for. Apparently Assuncao took it to heart, though, because he ended the round with a knee.
Watching Jackson and Firaz Zahabi work a corner is so unique and calming.
Jabouin hit a great spinning back kick halfway through the second round that sent Assuncao roughly ten feet across the cage and against the fence. Nothing really happened before that.Assuncao finally went for a takedown with about one minute left, but Jabouin stuffed it. And then Assuncao locked in a guillotine, Assuncao reversed it, and Assuncao was on top as the round ended.
Assuncao dropped him in the early moments of the third, but Jabouin got up and fired off a superman punch. Assuncao went for a takedown and then started the process of taking his back. He finally got it secured and flattened out Jabouin, but didn’t have the choke in. Jabouin did a very good job of avoiding the choke, never allowing Assuncao to get his hands anywhere near the throat. And then Jabouin got up and landed a spinning back kick. And then he tried another. He’s got an exciting style, that’s for sure. As if to accentuate that, he threw two awesome spinning back fists before getting clinched against the cage.
This was a fairly close fight and I’m not sure how I would call it. Both guys think they won.
One judge scored it 30-27 for Assuncao, the other 30-27 for Jabouin. What? The third judge, the only intelligent one, scored it 29-28 for Assuncao, so he wins the split decision.
DAVE JANSEN VS. RICHARD CRUNKILTON
First round saw the fight turn into a grappling battle halfway through. Jansen was able to land some big shots while standing in the guard, but Crunkilton eventually escaped. Crunkilton dropped Jansen with a right but Jansen wasn’t hurt badly.
Second round saw Crunkilton take a hard knee to the groin. The fans accused him of faking until they showed the replay on the screen. At this point, everyone realized he was not, in fact, faking it. They took a few minutes to let Crunkilton catch his breath. Fight continued going back and forth for the rest of the round. Jansen was absolutely relentless here.
And now we have our first fight in the crowd.
Crunkilton, perhaps sensing that a decision loss could be coming his way, starts off the third round strong, landing several big shots. Jansen bails and takes him down. Crunkilton locks in a D’Arce choke. It’s pretty tight but Jansen is fighting it. And just like that, Jansen gets out of it and is back on his feet. Crunkilton lands more shots and Jansen takes him down again. The ref stands them up after about 3 seconds of non-action on the ground. This guy has been standing people up all night long. Jansen eats more shots and gets another takedown. That’s the story of this fight right there. Jansen very nearly gets a kimura, but Crunkilton is able to stop it. I would tap at the mere mention of a kimura, honestly.
Jansen wins the decision. He was able to take Crunkilton down at will.
DONALD CERRONE VS. BENSON HENDERSON
Very exciting opening to the round that sees Cerrone slip to the mat, Henderson charge forward, and Cerrone lock in a guillotine. Henderson is able to get out of it, but Cerrone transitions to a triangle. Henderson is able to get out of that as well. Henderson lands a big takedown and a couple of big power shots. but Cerrone pushes him off. And by “pushes him off”, I mean he pushed him so hard that Henderson’s feet came off the ground. Henderson is in the guard now, working more punches. The round ends.
Henderson has Troy Polomalu hair. They started off this round a little more cautious. Henderson gets a takedown, but Cerrone pushes him off, dodges another takedown attempt and immediately takes his back. But Henderson gets out and goes back into the guard. Cerrone has lightning quick transitions. Cerrone lands a punch off his back that stuns Henderson and gets an armbar, but Henderson gets out. Just some absolutely outstanding grappling here. Henderson is on his feet in the guard and lands a couple of punches, but Cerrone lands an upkick. The round comes to a close with Henderson still standing in Cerrone’s guard. Another incredible round.
Henderson gets Cerrone down and works to take the back but Cerrone is lightning fast and rolls out. Henderson has some great submission defense and Cerrone has great transitions. Cerrone pushes him off again, sending Henderson about five feet across the cage. Dude has some power in his legs, I think. Both guys back on their feet now. Henderson shoots for a takedown and finally uses a trip to get it, but Cerrone gets back up almost immediately. Henderson could be tiring. And yes, just when I say that, he takes Cerrone down again, but Cerrone gets back up. If this goes to the judges, it’s going to be an interesting decision. Cerrone finally stuffs a takedown attempt. The round ends.
The championship rounds begin now. Jamie Varner is shown on the big screen and thunderous boos result. Cerrone goes for a takedown and then locks in a D’Arce. This one is even tighter than the one in the first round. Henderson escapes. Wow. Henderson shoots but Cerrone gets out of Dodge. Another shoot by Henderson and another stuff by Cerrone. Takedown by Ben but Cerrone stuffs it again and then thorws a punch to Henderson’s face while he’s on his knees. Henderson relentless in his takedown attempts here, but he’s not getting them. Another shoot from Henderson, but this time Cerrone catches him. Cerrone with a vicious uppercut to a kneeling Henderson. Cerrone standing now with Henderson on his back. Henderson gets up. Cerrone lands a leg kick that sends Henderson sprawling as the round ends.
This is a close fight, but I’m giving the edge to Henderson going into the final round. It’s been an absolute war, though.
Fifth and final round now. And Cerrone and Henderson hug. Henderson shoots for the takedown but Cerrone stops it. Pressed up against the cage now, but Henderson is still trying for the takedown. Cerrone with a standing elbow that drops Henderson but Henderson gets another takedown. Cerrone throws him off again. Henderson on his back with Cerrone standing. Cerrone goes for a stomp but realizes that it’s not legal. He motions for Ben to get up. Henderson trips and falls to his back and Cerrone falls on top of him. Henderson getting back up and going for a takedown, but Cerrone pulls guard and locks in a triangle choke. Henderson gets out and Cerrone locks in an omoplata, but Henderson escapes from that as well. Both fighters back up now with under a minute to go. Cerrone gets another triangle into an armbar but Henderson flips out of it.
What a fight. Seriously. This has fight of the year written all over it. Even though Cerrone had it on aggression, the judges give the fight (and the belt) to Henderson by unanimous decision.