Cerrone, Ratcliff Greenlit for WEC 45

By Brian Knapp Dec 18, 2009
On the eve of their year-end main event, World Extreme Cagefighting lightweight contenders Donald Cerrone and Ed Ratcliff passed their final pre-fight test.

Cerrone tipped the scales at 155 pounds for his showdown with Ratcliff (155) in the WEC 45 main event on Saturday at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. Sixteen of the 18 other competitors on the docket also met their contracted weights without incident during Friday’s official weigh-in at the Key West Ballroom.

Co-headliner Anthony Njokuani checked in at 157 pounds for his bout with Chris Horodecki (155) and was given one hour to reach the 156-pound threshold. Njokuani hit 155 on his second attempt. Likewise, former bantamweight title challenger Takeya Mizugaki (137) needed extra time to meet the 136-pound weight limit for his matchup with Scott Jorgensen (135). Mizugaki cleared the hurdle by registering a weight of 135 before the 5:30 p.m. local deadline.

Anchored at Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts in Albuquerque, N.M., Cerrone has lost two of his past three fights. He last appeared at WEC 43 in October, when he dropped a unanimous decision to interim lightweight champion Benson Henderson in one of the year’s best fights. Gifted standing and on the ground, the 26-year-old Cerrone has secured nine of his 10 career victories by submission. He has never been finished.

Ratcliff, meanwhile, has only competed twice in the past two years. The 26-year-old karate and tae kwon do black belt outpointed Phil Cardella at WEC 42 four months ago, as he rebounded from his quick submission loss to Marcus Hicks in March 2008. Victories over Alex Karalexis and Affliction veteran Brett Cooper highlight his resume. Only one of Ratcliff’s eight bouts has gone the distance.

Once the cornerstone of the International Fight League, the 22-year-old Horodecki will ride a two-fight winning streak into his promotional debut. He will have his hands full against Njokuani, an explosive striker who blasted through EliteXC castaway Muhsin Corbbrey and IFL veteran Bart Palaszewski in his two most recent outings.

WEC 45: Cerrone vs. Ratcliff
Saturday, Dec. 19
Palms Casino Resort
Las Vegas

Donald Cerrone (155) vs. Ed Ratcliff (155)
Anthony Njokuani (156) vs. Chris Horodecki (155)
Joseph Benavidez (135) vs. Rani Yahya (135.5)
Takeya Mizugaki (135) vs. Scott Jorgensen (135)
Anthony Pettis (155) vs. Bart Palaszewski (155)
Muhsin Corbbrey (156) vs. Zachary Micklewright (155)
Chad George (135) vs. John Hosman (135)
Courtney Buck (146) vs. Brandon Visher (144)
Brad Pickett (136) vs. Kyle Dietz (135)
Jameel Massouh (145) vs. Erik Koch (146)
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