(Yep, that’s the whole televised portion of the event. Henderson/Cerrone fight starts at around the 81:00 mark.)
While the judges’ decision in Saturday night’s WEC 43 main event between Donald Cerrone and Ben Henderson may have seemed like an absolute travesty to some, the one guy who isn’t complaining is, shockingly enough, the "Cowboy" himself. After losing three of the five rounds on all three judges’ scorecards, Cerrone acknowledged that there might be some who gave him the nod, but insisted that Henderson “definitely won the fight.” Wow. Did not see that coming. Said Cerrone:
"I’m obviously disappointed in myself. I didn’t go out there and show what I had the first couple of rounds. I asked my coach, ‘What round are we in?’ He said, ‘Fourth.’ I said, ‘Oh, [expletive], I better get going.’ …The guillotine, I felt him gargling one time. But that son of a bitch just kept holding on. Then one time I felt like he was knocked out on top of me. I was looking at the ref like, ‘What?’ But [Henderson] just kept coming around."
Fair enough, Donald. But allow me to tell you why you, and the judges, are wrong:
Henderson was most effective with takedowns and ground-and-pound, but never did he really come close to ending the fight. All of the nearly fight-ending moments came from you, Donald. Many of them were while you were on your back, and that may not look great to the judges, but they put Henderson on the defensive nonetheless.
Obviously a submission attempt shouldn’t score points just for being attempted, but neither should a takedown if the guy doesn’t follow up with anything afterwards. When Henderson is locked up in a triangle choke or armbar and he’s trying to escape, that means he’s not mounting any offense of his own. Similar to a guy who’s been taken down and is laying there trying not to be punched or elbowed, as long as he’s constantly defending he is not scoring.
Personally, I had that one even heading into the fifth, and I’d love to meet the person who wants to argue that Henderson won that last round. His takedowns became less and less effective as the fight wore on, and it was Cerrone who stayed on the offensive with effective aggression and attempts at ending the fight. Sorry, Donald. You may disagree with me, but the fact is that you got screwed.