by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
With champion Jamie Varner sidelined for an undetermined amount of time, the WEC has opted to put No. 1 contender, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Ben Henderson together for an interim lightweight title fight on Sept. 2 in Youngstown, Ohio.
The bout agreements have been issued and both fighters are expected to sign for the fight, which will mark the WEC’s first appearance in the state of Ohio, and the first major MMA show to hit the city of Youngstown.
The show is expected to emanate from the Covelli Center in Youngstown, which plays home to Mahoney Valley Thunder, a semi-professional football team, and is the main arena in city for sporting and music events.
The fight between Cerrone and Henderson will serve as the main event for WEC 43 but at this time no other bouts have been determined for the September card.
Cerrone and Henderson enter this bout on strange terms, as the two fighters considered each other friends. Henderson has actually lobbied Cerrone to come to Arizona to train in the past.
Friendship will be put aside, however, as Cerrone takes his second shot at WEC gold after dropping a decision to Varner earlier this year. Henderson looks to make the biggest jump in his young career as he vies for the championship in his 11th professional fight.
The bout also marks the first time that the WEC has utilized an interim championship.
Stay tuned to MMAWeekly.com for more information on this card as it becomes available.