by Ricardo Mendoza – MMAWeekly.com
DONALD CERRONE VS. BEN HENDERSON
Exciting fan favorite lightweight Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone faces off with grappling wunderkind Ben Henderson. These two will be fighting for the interim WEC lightweight championship, as current champion Jamie Varner is still healing up from injuries. Both tend to maintain a frantic pace and always go for the finish, so don’t expect them to go the distance.
If the fight stays on the feet, Cerrone will have the obvious advantage due in part to his past kickboxing experience, but Henderson showed in his last fight that he has some power in hands. On the ground, Henderson has the advantage thanks to his wrestling and submission ability. He must not get too over confident though as Cerrone is a very dangerous fighter off his back with triangle chokes and armbars.
The difference in the bout will be which fighter can set the tone from the onset and get his opponent out of his groove. When it’s all said and done look for Cerrone to come out on top after some early trouble by stopping Henderson with strikes late in the fight.
RICH CRUNKILTON VS. DAVE JANSEN
WEC veteran Rich Crunkilton faces off with M-1 Challenge veteran Dave Jansen. Crunkilton comes off a long hiatus due to injury, while Jansen will be making his WEC debut. This is an important fight for both as a win could propel the winner to a possible title shot sometime next year.
Both are more than capable ground fighters. Don’t be too surprised if an entertaining ground battle ensues. On the feet, Crunkilton has the slight edge, but Jansen is most dangerous on the feet while in the clinch using dirty boxing. The only real difference between the two is that Crunkilton has faced much better competition.
This will be a close fight, but at the end of the day look for Crunkilton to win a close decision based on more effective striking.
RAPHAEL ASSUNCAO VS. YVES JABOUIN
Highly touted Brazilian featherweight Raphael Assuncao faces off with French Canadian striker Yves Jabouin. Assuncao may be only a fight or two away from a title shot, while Jabouin will try to make an instant impact by defeating him.
Assuncao has the distinct advantage on the ground and he should use that to its full ability. Jabouin isn’t as effective on the ground, but if he can keep the fight on the feet, he has a great chance at success. Jabouin can incorporate a lot of kicks and knees, which would throw Assuncao off his solid boxing base.
These two will feel each other on the feet, but as the fight wears on look for Assuncao to take the fight to the ground and lock on a submission for the victory.
DAMACIO PAGE VS. WILL CAMPUZANO
Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts bantamweight Damacio Page faces off with WEC newcomer Will Campuzano. Campuzano is a late replacement for Akitoshi Tamura, who pulled out due to a foot injury. Expect this to be a quick and exciting fight between two high-paced fighters.
Page showed that he has some massive power in hands in his last fight in a brutal knockout of Marcos Galvao. His only loss in the WEC was to current bantamweight champion Brian Bowles. Campuzano will be fighting an uphill battle the entire fight as he is fighting on late notice and the toughest opponent of his career.
Page will have the advantage in almost every aspect of the fight and he will use it to full advantage as he overwhelms Campuzano to a stoppage victory.
ANTHONY NJOKUANI VS. MUHSIN CORBBREY
Kickboxing wunderkind Anthony Njokuani takes on EliteXC veteran Muhsin Corbbrey. This will be an excellent fight between two accomplished strikers that lay it out on the feet. Njokuani has looked good since making his WEC debut and a win could put him into the next level in the lightweight division, while Cobbrey will look to make an instant impact.
The difference in the fight will be Njokuani’s ability to keep the fight on the feet, which will enable him to pick Cobbrey apart, earning a stoppage victory.
SCOTT JORGENSEN VS. NOAH THOMAS
Former NCAA wrestler Scott Jorgensen takes on Ultimate Fighter 5 participant Noah Thomas. Thomas is a late replacement for Rafael Rebello, who pulled out due to an injury. Thomas had an unsuccessful WEC debut and gets one more chance to redeem himself.
Jorgensen will go back to his roots and take the fight to the ground, where he will impose his wrestling on Thomas. Thomas’s only chance will be to catch Jorgensen in a submission, but that is unlikely as Jorgensen pounds out a victory.
WAGNNEY FABIANO VS. MACKENS SEMERZIER
IFL featherweight champion Wagnney Fabiano takes on Miguel Torres trained featherweight Mackens Semerzier. Semerzier is a late replacement for Eric Koch, who pulled out due an injury. Fabiano is regarded as one of the best featherweights in the world and it’s only going to be a matter of time before he gets a crack at the title.
Look for Fabiano to impose his will early and get Semerzier on the ground, where it will only be a matter of time before he locks on a submission.
EDDIE WINELAND VS. MANNY TAPIA
Former WEC bantamweight champion Eddie Wineland takes on former title challenger Manny Tapia. Both are coming off losses and need a win to stay alive in the WEC. This fight could be a real treat, as both are solid strikers that could put the other’s lights out.
Tapia is the much more skilled fighter on the ground and he should take advantage of that. These two will have some exciting exchanges on the feet, but Tapia will play it safe and take the fight to the ground en route to a decision victory.
CHARLIE VALENCIA VS. COTY WHEELER
Mixed martial arts veteran Charlie Valencia takes on wily bantamweight Coty Wheeler. Both are coming off wins and are looking to move up the ladder in the bantamweight division.
Valencia has shown his ability to control the fight on the feet, while Wheeler has shown that he is unpredictable with skills on the ground. The difference will be Valencia’s wrestling experience, as he uses it to keep the fight on the feet and batter Wheeler to a late stoppage.
JAVIER VAZQUEZ VS. DEIVIDAS TAUROSEVICIUS
Former King of the Cage champion Javier Vazquez takes on IFL veteran Deividas Taurosevicius. Vazquez is a late replacement for Mark Hominick, who pulled out due to an injury. Vazquez lost a disputed decision to LC Davis at the last WEC and gets one more shot.
Both are ground fighters, but Vazquez is the more technical of the two and that could be the difference in the fight. Neither will light the world on fire on the feet, but once the fight hits the mat expect Vazquez to outclass Taurosevicius en route to a decision victory.