On Sunday, January 10, 2010, the WEC will host its first show of the year with WEC 46 – Varner vs. Henderson. The event will take place at the ARCO Arena in Sacramento, California, which is home to the Sacramento Kings of the NBA. The main event of the evening will be a title fight in the WEC lightweight division, which is the heaviest weight class in the WEC. The bout will be a lightweight title unification bout between WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner and WEC interim lightweight champion Benson Henderson. Both Varner and Henderson are decorated collegiate wrestlers based out of Arizona. Varner wrestled at the NCAA Division I program at Lock Haven University in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, while Henderson was a two-time NAIA All-American wrestler at Dana College in Blair, Nebraska. Both fighters also hold the rank of purple belt in Jiu-Jitsu with their only clear stylistic difference coming in their striking background. Varner was a NCBA boxing champion at Lock Haven, while Henderson holds the rank of black belt in Taekwondo. The main card of WEC 46 will air live on Versus in the United States at 6 p.m. PST / 9 p.m. EST.
The other featured bout on the main card will see the return of local Sacramento favorite Urijah Faber, who had to take some time off after suffering a hand injury in his last bout in June, where he lost a rematch with Mike Thomas Brown to regain the WEC featherweight title that he used to hold. Faber will now look to reestablish his dominance in the featherweight division when he faces off against highly-touted Raphael Assuncao, who is a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu and is also widely ranked as a Top 10 featherweight just like Faber.
The main card will also see a lightweight clash between undefeated Team Quest fighter Dave Jansen and former Olympic wrestler Kamal Shalorus. Jansen, who represents the new wave of Team Quest fighters in MMA will put his gaudy 14-0 MMA record on the line, when he steps into the cage with a fellow undefeated WEC lightweight veteran Shalorus. The Iran native was a standout freestyle wrestler for Great Britain in the 2004 Summer Olympics and will look to continue his ascent up the lightweight ladder.
Mike Thomas Brown, another former WEC featherweight champion will also be fighting on the main card in an attempt to regain his status as one of the division’s top 145-pound fighters, which is a division he reigned over for just over a year before losing to current WEC featherweight champion Jose Aldo in November. He will face off against WEC newcomer Anthony Morrison, who is coming off a 69-second submission (punches) win over four-time UFC lightweight veteran Alvin Robinson last month at Ring of Fire 36 – Demolition.
The final bout on the main card, which will be televised on Versus will take place in the lightweight division, where former IFL lightweight standout Deividas Taurosevicius will take on one of last year’s biggest surprises in Mackens Semerzier. Taurosevicius is a native of Lithuania that trains with Renzo Gracie. He made a name for himself in the now defunct IFL as a lightweight, before winning his debut as a featherweight in the WEC in October. He will square off with Semerzier, who shocked the MMA world by submitting former IFL featherweight champion and Nova União Jiu-Jitsu black belt Wagnney Fabiano via triangle choke in a fight that Fabiano was clearly dominating, which would have possibly earned him a title shot. Now Semerzier sets his sights on another former IFL star, as he attempts to show the world that his win over Fabiano in October was not a fluke.
-Jamie Varner vs. Benson Henderson (Lightweight Title Bout)
-Urijah Faber vs. Raphael Assuncao (Featherweight Bout)
-Dave Jansen vs. Kamal Shalorus (Lightweight Bout)
-Mike Thomas Brown vs. Anthony Morrison (Featherweight Bout)
-Deividas Taurosevicius vs. Mackens Semerzier (Featherweight Bout)
-Charlie Valencia vs. Akitoshi Tamura (Bantamweight Bout)
-Wagnney Fabiano vs. Clint Godfrey (Bantamweight Bout)
-Mark Hominick vs. Bryan Caraway (Featherweight Bout)
-George Roop vs. Eddie Wineland (Bantamweight Bout)
-Will Campuzano vs. Coty Wheeler (Bantamweight Bout)