WEC 46 featured a lightweight title bout between Jamie Varner and Benson Henderson. Urijah Faber looked to get back on track againt top-ten ranked Raphael Assuncao. Two wrestlers squared off at Kamal Shalorus took on Dave Jansen. Mike Brown also returned for the first time since he lost his featherweight title. Check out some immediate reaction from ProMMA.info.
Jamie Varner vs. Benson Henderson
The title fight between Jamie Varner and Benson Henderson did not have very much offense. Varner seemed to have the advantage with his hands and in the clinch, while Henderson scored with kicks. Varner won the first round with some good grappling control and a close guillotine choke. The second round was a textbook 10-10 round as neither fighter got any of their offense going. In the third Varner shot for a double leg, and Henderson locked in a tight arm-in guillotine and quickly got the tap.
Both fighters showed what they need to work on. Henderson needs to improve his striking game. He backed straight up when Varner came forward with strikes and barley landed any punches. A rematch between Donald Cerrone and Henderon should be just as exciting a their first match up last year.
Raphael Assuncao vs. Urijah Faber
In the first round it looked like it was going to be another rough night for Faber. He had no way to close the distance, and Assuncao was dominating the clinches. In the second round Faber began to work his wrestling a little bit and almost finished a modified guillotine. Later in the round he dropped Assuncao with a hard straight. In the third Faber once again floored his opponent. Assuncao tried to scramble and gave up his back. Faber quickly secured the choke.
Faber did get back on track, but even with the victory he showed some holes in his game. He had no way to get inside on the feet, and he seemed physically small in the clinches. A title fight is probably next, but Faber’s future is probably at bantamweight.
Dave Jansen vs. Kamal Shalorus
For the first few minutes of the fight it looked like Jansen had the cleaner and more effective striking. However, Shalorus started to find the range with his wide and looping punches. He caught Jansen with some heavy shots caused some cuts. Jansen tried to go to his wrestling game, but the 2004 Olympian had no trouble stopping the takedowns.
Jansen said in interviews that he wanted to wear down his opponent and then take over with cardio. Shalorus showed the best cardio in his MMA career and scored his biggest victory. In order to take the next step in the lightweight division he will need to improve his striking. He has natural power and an iron chin, but he needs to throw straighter punches and move his head.
Mike Brown vs. Anthony Morrison
All week the talk was about how Mike Brown wanted to get back into the cage to erase his last defeat. The former WEC champion did just that. Anthony Morrison tried to keep the distance early with kicks, but Brown stayed patient and was eventually able to score a takedown. Once the fight was on the ground, Brown won the scrambles and quickly finished the fight with a rear naked choke.
Brown reminded everyone that he is still a quality featherweight. His next fight will be interesting considering the recent improvement of the division.
Mackens Semerzier vs. Deividas Taurosevicius
After the shocking the MMA world in his WEC debut, Mackens Semerzier returned tonight hoping to duplicate his success. However, Deividas Taurosevicius showed that experience and proper game planning can make a difference in the fight game.
In the first two rounds Taurosevicius continually pushed for takedowns. Instead of properly defending the takedowns, Semerzier tried to catch a guillotine choke. He was not able to secure any body control, and it just made it easier for Taurosevicius to get dominant positions on top. From the top, Taurosevicius avoided submissions and landed enough strikes to win. In the third, Semerzier made a bit of a comeback with some close submission attempts, but it was too little too late.
Look for Taurosevicius to move up the featherweight ladder. This was his second victory in the WEC over quality competition.