Ben Henderson To Challenge Jamie VarnerWorld Extreme Cagefighting will begin 2010 with one of the best events in the promotion’s history at WEC 46, as WEC Lightweight Champion Jamie “The Worm” Varner defends his title against WEC Interim Lightweight Champion Ben “Smooth” Henderson in the main event of the stacked January 10th card.

In featherweight action, former champion “The California Kid” Urijah Faber makes his much-anticipated return against fast-rising star Raphael Assuncao, who is looking to vault himself into the title picture.

Varner (16-2-0, 2 NC) has been sidelined due to injury since his controversial title defence against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at WEC 38 back in January. He was previously set to rematch Cerrone, but had to withdraw from the fight. Cerrone went on to lose a close decision to Henderson at WEC 43 on October 10th.

Henderson (10-1-0) captured the WEC Interim Lightweight Championship with his victory over Cerrone and became the #1 contender for Varner’s title in the process. While many discounted Henderson’s chances going into the fight with Cerrone, he put on an impressive performance and survived a series of tight submissions.

The pair will clash to unify the promotion’s Lightweight titles in the main event at WEC 46.


Faber (22-3-0) will return to action for the first time since his five-round loss to current WEC Featherweight Champion Mike Brown at WEC 41 in June. Faber broke his right hand early in the fight and injured his left hand in the later stages, but showed huge heart and fought to a decision.

Assuncao (14-1-0) has won six straight fights since his disputed Majority Decision loss to former top contender “The Big Frog” Jeff Curran in 2006. He has emerged victorious in his two WEC outings and earned a hard-fought decision win over Yves Jabouin at WEC 43.

Faber will unquestionably be the hometown favourite in the fight, but Assuncao possesses a solid submission game. However, he has won his two most recent fights by decision and he will not be able to outpace Faber, who is known for his incredible cardio.

A victory for Faber will put him one step closer to another shot at the title, but it is unlikely that the WEC will rush to match him up against Brown anytime soon. Having lost twice to the champion, Faber will need to string together a series of impressive wins or consider a change of weight class.


WEC 46 takes place on January 10th at the Arco Arena in Sacramento, California.