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Thursday, August 20, 2009


Source - World Extreme Cagefighting:

For Immediate Release:
August 20, 2009



From The Covelli Centre in Youngstown, Ohio - Wednesday, Sept. 2; First Bout at 6 p.m. ET

Fight to Air Live on VERSUS at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT

Tickets On Sale NOW

Las Vegas, NV (USA) – Lightweight contender Ben “Smooth” Henderson finally admits to a secret he once kept close to the vest. For most of his professional fighting career, the Arizona native couldn’t see the punches his opponents launched at him. But it wasn’t for reasons you might assume.

Henderson wasn’t blinded by his opponents precision striking or lightning speed. Rather, the 25-year-old had such poor vision that he could barely make out figures and objects just feet in front of him. Shortly following his knockout win over Shane Roller in April, Henderson took the first steps toward correcting the problem. The results have been incredible for the well-spoken Taekwondo black belt.

“I have recently had surgery to correct my vision so I have been enjoying the ability to actually see my opponents,” Henderson said during a break from training. “Prior to my eye surgery, I used to memorize the seeing-eye chart to get through the vision test, but I was unable to really see before. The WEC gloves being blue really helped me out, letting me see the blue blur to avoid punches. In my first WEC fight, I missed a kick and my opponent was right in front of me. That wasn't nervous energy as some might have thought. That was my vision problem putting me at risk. In this camp, I have tried to balance my awareness with my newfound vision.”

Considering he put together a 9-1 record with the vision issues, one must wonder how dangerous “Smooth” is now that his sight is perfect. No longer reliant on the fashionable, black-rimmed glasses that once donned his face, Henderson boasts a higher confidence level than ever before. With an interim lightweight title fight against Donald Cerrone rapidly approaching, Henderson now envisions himself walking out of the Covelli Centre on Sept. 2 with the interim lightweight title. Simply put, Ben Henderson can see the light.

“The WEC has hired me to fight like a champion, to perform for the fans,” Henderson, who has trained with UFC vets Edgar Garcia and Efrain Escudero for this fight, said. “My goal is to do just that. I want the good people of Ohio to remember our fight and the MMA fans around the world to know that I belong fighting for the WEC World Title. I can assure you that I won’t stop and the fans will be entertained.

“Donald is a tough fighter and has the heart of a champion,” Henderson added. “I expect him to be on point with his striking and the only way to finish Donald is go all out and leave nothing on the table. That’s what I plan to do.”

Tickets for Cerrone vs. Henderson are on sale now and priced at $25, $45, $75, and $125. Tickets may be purchased by calling Ticketmaster Charge-By-Phone at 1-800-745-3000 or by visiting the Covelli Centre Box Office. Purchases can also be made at Covelli Centre retail locations, including Giant Eagle and Macy’s stores in the Youngstown area. Tickets also are available online through www.wec.tv or www.ticketmaster.com.

Cerrone vs. Henderson will be televised nationally live on VERSUS beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. All of the network’s live WEC events are presented in HD and Spanish language SAP where available. For more information and how to find VERSUS in your local viewing area, visit http://www.versus.com/findversus.

About World Extreme Cagefighting®

The WEC brand is recognized as one of the premier mixed martial arts organizations in the United States. WEC, founded in 2001, is the sister organization of the Ultimate Fighting Championship® and today features the most prominent light weight fighters in the world. Owned and operated by WEC Holdings LLC., and headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., the WEC produces live and taped events annually that are distributed through the Versus network.WEC programming is also available on Fox Sports en Espanol. In addition to its U.S distribution, WEC programming is shown on the TSN network in Canada and Cadena Tres in Mexico. For more information and current WEC fight news, visit wec.tv. World Extreme Cagefighting® and WEC® are registered trademarks, trademarks, trade dress or service marks owned exclusively by WEC Holdings, LLC in the United States and other jurisdictions and are licensed to WEC Productions, LLC.


VERSUS celebrates real competition across all platforms (VERSUS.com, VERSUS on Demand and VERSUS HD). Now in more than 75 million homes, the network is the national cable home of the National Hockey League (NHL), the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the IndyCar® Series as well as best-in-class events such as The Tour de France, the Professional Bull Riders (PBR), World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) and Professional Boxing. The network also offers collegiate sports featuring nationally-ranked teams from top conferences such as the Pac-10, Big 12, Mountain West and Ivy League. VERSUS features the best field sports programming on television and is a destination for sports fans, athletes and sportsmen to find exclusive, competitive events and original programs, such as Sports Soup and The Contender that audiences can't find elsewhere. VERSUS, a wholly owned company of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK), is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States.

About The Covelli Centre

Youngstown’s Covelli Centre has hosted a string of sold out events this year including the recent Top Rank championship title boxing match between reigning WBO/WBC Middleweight Champion Kelly Pavlik and Marco Antonio Rubio; as well as Celtic Woman, Globetrotters, and Disney Live. The Covelli Centre is a 5,000 seat arena owned by the City of Youngstown and is managed by privately-operated JAC Management Group LLC of Struthers, Ohio and SMG, a Philadelphia based company that provides facility services to more than 215 public assembly facilities.