(Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly.)
Though various MMA pundits called the decision bullshit, a royal screw-job, and a miscarriage of justice, it’s undeniable that Benson Henderson is one of the toughest bastards to ever put on fingerless gloves. In last night’s interim lightweight title fight at WEC 43, Henderson survived an endless assault of chokes and armlocks courtesy of Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone that would leave the average fighter asleep with shattered limbs. But in a controversial end to the thrilling five-rounder, all judges scored the fight 48-47 for Smooth due to his consistent takedowns and ground-and-pound. Not that Henderson was always dominant from the top position: At one point in the second round, Cerrone landed enough punches from his back that Henderson appeared to be momentarily dazed. Cowboy shouted to the referee that his opponent was out, but Henderson quickly recovered. In the end, it was just the latest in a string of WEC main events that could be considered 2009′s Fight of the Year; if you missed it, click here. Henderson will now take on Cerrone’s old nemesis Jamie Varner at a WEC event to be named later.
Elsewhere on the card, what we were calling the biggest squash match of the year turned into what may be the upset of the year as Miguel Torres student Mackens Semerzier — who came into the fight as a 3-0 rookie — somehow managed to lock in a triangle-choke in the first round against top-ranked jiu-jitsu ace Wagnney Fabiano. After scoring a takedown, Fabiano got a little sloppy in Semerzier’s guard and paid the price. Also, Raphael Assuncao notched a split decision over GSP’s homeboy Yves Jabouin thanks to his superior grappling and impressive ability to take a hard shot. Jabouin was every bit the explosive striker that he was advertised as, but his spinning back kicks and superman punches barely rattled the iron-chin’d Assuncao.
Full results from WEC 43 are after the jump…