Moose’s Pre-Event Picks: WEC 43 – Cerrone vs. Henderson

Moose’s Recommended Play: Cerrone (-350) over Henderson (+285)

Sound the trumpets! Unravel the red carpet! Bring your women to me!

Alright, the realist in me says that none of that’s going to happen, but I need to get in the proper frame of mind to make something happen – right here, right now. What I want to happen is that my analysis of tomorrow evening’s WEC 43: Cerrone vs. Henderson event ends up being a profitable exercise for everyone who makes my advice. Easy enough, right?

This will be my first “official” pick for MMA Full Contact, although, I’ve known those guys for a while and they’ve made some money off my picks before, so the least they could do was provide me with a public forum to help someone else cash in. After all, as my wife will attest, I’m all about helping others (attractive blondes, in particular).

The required analysis of a typical WEC card isn’t quite as an exhaustive as looking at a UFC or Strikeforce throw down. Why, you ask? Well, from a gambler’s perspective, there usually isn’t a whole lot to analyze for WEC cards because most sportsbooks only take action on a handful of their fights, and, predictably, this card is no different. As of an earlier check, preferred MMA Full Contact books and are only entertaining wagers on the Cerrone vs. Henderson and Crunkilton vs. Dave Jensen fights.

As much as I’d love to take a crack at both, I’ll stay away from the Crunkilton fight. Both times that I’ve wagered on Clete in the past, he’s let me down in losses to Hermes Franca and fellow sex addict Razor Rob McCullough. Dave Jensen is undefeated and very tough, but I still can’t force myself to pick against Crunkilton… so I’ll just stay away and concentrate on the Cerrone vs. Henderson fight.

The Cerrone vs. Henderson fight is for the WEC interim lightweight title because legit title holder Jamie Varner is still sidelined with a broken hand sustained in his split-decision victory over Cerrone at WEC 38. Eventually, Varner will come back and fight the winner of this fight to “unify” the titles. Lucky him. Yeah, title fights all around!

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone is 10-1 (including a win over McCullough) with his only loss being to Jamie Varner at the aforementioned WEC 38. An ex-rodeo cowboy (nickname now makes sense?), he has outstanding Muay Thai and a very solid ground game with an incredibly active guard. Although you would think a Muay Thai fighter would primarily have wins via strikes, Cerrone often uses his Muay Thai to soften up his opponents and catch them in a submission. As a result, 9 of his wins are by submission.

Ben Henderson is a bomb-throwing, two-time NAIA collegiate wrestling All-American, looking to take the next step in his career. He can take a ton of punishment – as can Cerrone – and keep coming forward. Henderson is 6-1 with his only loss almost 3 years ago to household name Chad Klingensmith, and primarily has wins via strikes although he uses his wrestling to control opponents and get dominant position.

After careful analysis, I like Cerrone in this fight. Although I think the line is a little inflated at Cerrone 350/100, Cerrone should be able to work his strikes to catch Henderson early, drop him, and then catch him in a submission. The longer the fight goes, the better the chances for Henderson, but, I think Cerrone carves out another victory via submission in the first two rounds set up by strikes.

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