PRO MMA ( was notified by the WEC on Tuesday that Zuffa’s World Extreme Cagefighting organization will be coming to the Covelli Centre in Youngstown, Ohio on Wed., Sept. 2, 2009.

“WEC 43: Cerrone vs. Henderson” will air live on Versus beginning at 9pm ET/6pm PT. Tickets for the event will go on sale starting Thurs., July 9 at 10am ET.

With lightweight champion Jamie Varner unable to defend his title due to a hand injury, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone will face feared striker Ben Henderson for the interim lightweight title in the main event. The show will mark the WEC’s first visit to the state of Ohio.

WEC General Manager Reed Harris spoke about the company’s Eastern expansion, “The fight fans in Youngstown have a history of being some of the best in the country. We’re happy to bring a championship fight and loaded card to our first trip to Ohio. We know the fans in Youngstown, and in surrounding areas like Cleveland and Pittsburgh, are anxious to see the WEC live.”

Former professional bull-rider Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (10-1, 1 NC) will be looking to keep the positive momentum going after he won his most recent fight against James Krause on June 7 via 1st-round rear naked choke submission.

Prior to that bout, Cerrone lost for the first time ever, in a five-round war against WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner back in January.

Cerrone came into MMA as an undefeated decorated Muay-Thai fighter. Already known as a dangerous striker, Cerrone then applied himself to learning the submission game. Now three years and ten professional MMA wins later, he has nine victories by way of submission.

Now Cerrone will face Ben “Smooth” Henderson (9-1) who is also a skilled submission fighter. Cowboy believes he has the advantage standing, “He’s got an awesome ground game and he’s a superior wrestler. The only thing he lacks is his standup. I believe that I have what it takes to become champion. I know Ben well and like him, but when the cage door closes, I want to win that belt.”

It is an intriguing match up for sure. Cerrone believes he is the better striker and he may well be, however for what it is worth, Henderson has two professional (T)KO wins and Cerrone has none.

Fighting out of Glendale, Ariz., Henderson is a former two-time NAIA collegiate wrestling All-American and has scored WEC wins over Anthony Njokuani and most recently against Shane Roller in April. Henderson’s only professional loss came in 2006 in his second  bout.

With his background in wrestling and a black belt in Taekwondo, Henderson is capable of finishing his opponents standing or on the ground and seems mentally ready for the fight, “There are guys who get in the cage and you can see in their eyes that they’re a little bit overwhelmed by the whole thing. I don’t think I’ll be overwhelmed. I love Cerrone’s game and his ‘Terminator’ style. He just keeps coming forward. As far as standing up with him and trading some blows, I’d love to. Let’s go out there and have fun.”

Remaining bouts for WEC: Cerrone vs. Henderson will be announced at a later date. For more information about current WEC fight news, visit

By:  Jack Bratcher

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