(Eh, it was mostly plastic anyway. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)
Following Benson Henderson and Donald Cerrone‘s five-round war at WEC 43, lightweight champ Jamie Varner said he’d be down to take on Henderson in December, which seemed a little selfish considering Varner had spent the last nine months recuperating from his Cerrone-related injuries, while Henderson had just sustained his. Certainly Varner and the WEC would allow their new interim lightweight champ at least a three-month turnaround before putting him in another tough battle, right? Well, if Rashad Evans has the correct information, that’s not the plan, and Bendo is about to get screwed:
Obviously, you could make the argument that Cerrone deserves to rematch Varner for his belt; the only people who thought he lost the fight against Henderson were the three judges and Cowboy himself. But is it fair to basically nullify Henderson’s interim belt because he can’t compete again in eight weeks? No — it kind of sucks, actually. And that’s the problem when you’re running a promotion with only three weight classes and a very short list of names that could potentially headline an event; you don’t have the benefit of flexibility. Nobody else is available for December’s show, so if you can’t step up, then tough shit. (By the way, making Cerrone fight again in two months isn’t really fair either, but he’s a gamer and you probably won’t be hearing him complain.)
In the short term, the WEC is just flopping around the order in which Cerrone/Varner/Henderson fight each other, and since any combination of those three is a guaranteed Fight of the Night, it’s not that big of a deal. But in the long term, this seems like more evidence that Zuffa should fold the WEC and transfer its bantamweights, featherweights, and best lightweights into the Octagon, where they can find more money, more exposure, and a less chaotic environment. Because while it may not be cool that Benson Henderson got bumped a rung down the title ladder, it’s definitely not cool that his incredible fight against Cerrone took in just 8% of the viewers that Kimbo Slice vs. Roy Nelson did.