Their first time around was so good, it was named the 2009 "Fight of the Year" by several MMA websites and publications, including MMA Fighting
. The expectations for the rematch between WEC lightweight champion Ben Henderson
and challenger Donald Cerrone
are for nothing short of a crowd-rousing encore.
At Thursday's pre-fight press conference, the two fighters did little to lower the bar for themselves, admitting that because the WEC is venturing to pay-per-view for the first time, everyone on the card aims to impress the audience and make sure it's not a one-time only affair.
"We bust our butts as hard as anyone, and this is our chance to shine and showcase our skills and show people who haven't watched us before, 'Man, these guys like to throw down. They're exciting,'" Henderson said. "I'm excited for that shot. All of us fighters are."
Cerrone went even further, saying a classic would emerge from the top two fights on the main card (the main event is the WEC featherweight championship between Jose Aldo
and Urijah Faber
"The four of us are going out there and laying it on the line," he said. "I guarantee there is Fight of the Year here. If Ben and I don't do it, Urijah and Aldo will definitely do it."
The first fight between the duo took place at WEC 43 last October and featured a series of riveting momentum turns throughout the five-round affair. The pair, who are good enough friends outside of the cage that Henderson invited Cerrone to his wedding, brutalized each other for 25 minutes.
The fight was so physical that upon reaching the locker room at its conclusion, Henderson collapsed and was rushed to the hospital to be rehydrated. It's a prospect which he says he'll have no problem repeating.
"I love it," he said. "I relish it, I revel in it. I can't wait to do it again. Let's do it again."
"Hell, yeah," Cerrone agreed from his side of the stage.