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Henderon and Cerrone deserved their spot

Jonathan Snowden has it in his head that Ben Henderson and Donald Cerrone should not have been placed in such a high profile bout on pay-per-view because neither is a top ten fighter. Here are some highlights of what the man had to say:

MMA fans should, but seemingly don’t, feel cheated. Henderson and Cerrone are prospects. And not particularly high level prospects.

Reporters continue to buy whatever Zuffa sells them.  First Faber, Torres, and then Brown were sold as the unbeatable stud, the next pound for pound star.  And based on what? Brown was a career long journeyman. Faber was a 135 pounder masquerading as a featherweight.  Most of Torres’ success came against unknowns in midwestern country bars. None of this seems to matter.

The presentation of these fighters, portrayed as champions and placed high on the card, is all smoke and mirrors on Zuffa’s part.  They are selling you an inferior product, and not even at a discount price.  I like Ben Henderson.  He seems like a nice kid and it will be intriguing to see him develop.  But that’s exactly what he needs to do.  Call me when he’s beaten Evan Dunham.  Call me when he’s competitive with Jim Miller (a former IFL champion.  Where is he on the top 10 lists?  champion right?) But please don’t call to tell me that he’s in the main event of a show I’m supposed to take seriously as a world class exhibition of fighting.  Prospects have their place:  it’s on the undercard. Fans deserve better.

On one hand, Snowden is right: Cerrone and Henderson are both prospects fighting for a “world title” who, in reality,  haven’t proven themselves against the best the division has to offer. But, on the other hand, Snowden is as wrong as sex with your cousin on Easter Sunday in front of the entire family: just because neither man has achieved top ten status does not mean that this fight, stamped as a co-main event, was some sort of cheat.

Cerrone and Henderson’s initial bout last October was the fight of the year. Period. The two “prospects” waged war for twenty five minutes in one of the most epic battles we’ve seen in the past decade. For that reason alone, the fight deserved it’s status.

Nobody was advertising either Henderson or Cerrone as the best in the world at 155. Everybody but the most rookie of fans is fully aware that the WEC lightweight titleholder is by no means at the top of the division.

The reason the two men deserved that spot was because their first encounter was extremely entertaining, and there was nothing in the lead-up to the bout to indicate otherwise. The resulting affair turned out to be a one-sided drubbing, but hindsight is 20/20.

Jon Fitch is definitely the number two welterweight in the world (and one of my favorite fighters). But due to the fact that he regularly goes to the judge’s scorecards in bouts that primarily consist of positional control, he doesn’t get awarded main event or co-main event slots. And rightfully so.

To be placed in a main event or co-main event bout, you have to be involved in a match-up that fans are drooling to see. Everything else, including your spot in the rankings, is secondary. Based on the frenetic, back-and-forth battle that was Cerrone vs. Henderon I, the majority of fans were pretty amped for Cerrone vs. Henderson II.

I also take issue at Snowden’s dismissals of Brown, Torres, and Faber, but I’ll leave it to somebody else to make that argument, as I have shit to do. It’s not like the strippers from the local club are going to chain themselves to the heater in my basement.