by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
“Do you want a revolution?”
That was the anthem echoing in the Arco Arena on Sunday night as Ben Henderson walked to the cage, and less than three rounds later it came to be a reality as he solidified himself as the undisputed WEC lightweight champion with a submission win over former 155lb king, Jamie Varner.
It’s tough to realize that Ben Henderson has only been fighting for a couple of years, but in that time he’s shown tremendous heart and the ability to stick around in any fight he’s a part of.
It showed once again on Sunday night as he struggled through a tough first round against Jamie Varner, who came out strong putting Henderson on his back, and locking on a tight guillotine choke. As usual though, Henderson battled out of the hold and lived to fight another round.
Firing some stiff body kicks, Henderson started to land with more regularity in the 2nd round as Varner magically changed his gameplan and started to strike exclusively. The fighters each traded a few hard shots, with neither gaining the upper hand.
The pace slowed down early, but the end came as quick as a lighting strike as Varner put his head down when the fighters clinched, and Henderson immediately saw his opening. The Arizona based fighter snatched onto Varner’s neck like a pitbull, and jumped into guard, pulling for all he was worth.
Knowing that he was either getting choked out or tapped out, Varner chose to go out conscious, and fell pray to the submission, handing Ben Henderson the undisputed WEC lightweight championship.
“Jamie Varner’s a tough scary looking dude, I was a little intimidated at first,” Henderson admitted following the title win. “He wants to hurt me, such hostility. Thankfully, I came out on top.”
A fighter who has shown class and humility in all of his performances, Henderson once again carried himself with the grace of a true champion giving praises to Varner and his last opponent, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, as well.
The former champion didn’t go out so gracefully.
“I came to fight, Ben came to grapple,” Varner said as the Sacramento crowd let him know how they felt about his comments.
Grappling obviously won out as Henderson secured his 4th victory in the WEC, and will now go on to defend the WEC lightweight title against any and all challengers.
“Whoever the WEC says, whoever Sean Shelby, whoever Reed Harris, whoever they say,” said Henderson. “Let’s dance.”