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Trading Punches: WEC 46 Preview & Predictions Editor-In-Chief Cory Brady along with our very own David Andrest are back once again to break down this weekend’s WEC46 card. This event kicks off the New Year for the WEC and will be broadcast LIVE on VERSUS Sunday, January 10 at 9p.m. ET.

WEC 46 will be going down from the ARCO Arena in Sacramento, California and features a lightweight championship unification battle between WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner and WEC interim lightweight champion Benson Henderson as the headliner, also on the card, former WEC champion Urijah Faber will fight Raphael Assuncao, and much more.

So come along as Andrest and Brady make their picks for the WEC 46 main card and continue the Trading Punches 2010 season, and as always, please feel free to put up or shut up by posting a quick set of your own picks in the comment section below.

(Champ) Jamie Varner vs. (Interim Champ) Benson Henderson

David Andrest: I’m finding myself quietly excited about this fight.  Varner is coming back with a chip on his shoulder after the performance against  Cerrone.  Henderson looking to complete a mission.  It seems like a pretty simple fight to call.  If Henderson can avoid the one big punch from Varner,  he should have a smooth road to a unanimous decision victory.

Winner:  Benson Henderson  via decision

Cory Brady: There’s nothing quiet about how excited I am about this one. These are two of the most consistently entertaining athletes in the sport, period, and Sunday will be an early candidate for 2010’s Fight of the Year; mark my words. Varner will be looking to keep this fight on the feet, and I expect for Henderson to meet him there… for a little while at least. It’s hard to gauge whow the lengthy layoff will affect Varner in this one. Henderson could end up grinding him down if it makes it to the fourth and fifth rounds. I’m going to take a chance here and go with my gut that thinks that Varner will clip Henderson with a big punch at some point in the second or third round.

Winner: Jamie Varner via TKO

Raphael Assuncao vs. Urijah Faber

David Andrest: Urijah Faber makes his return after looking mortal against Mike Thomas Brown. Assuncao is legit and has a chance to do something special for himself, and something devastating to the WEC.  A win over Faber all but kills the promotions dream of  WEC on PPV.  But , I don’t think that will be the case,  Faber is drawing from experience against much better fighters, and it’s  that experience will make the difference.

Winner:  Urijah Faber  via decision

Cory Brady: The biggest factor in this bout is that Urijah has never been tapped in his professional career, and he’s not going to start here. In my opinion he’s a better striker, and there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s a better wrestler, so there’s no reason why Faber should lose this bout on paper.

Winner: Urijah Faber via decision

Dave Jansen vs. Kamal Shalorus

David Andrest: This has potential to steal the show.   Both men undefeated and hungry for a win.   At 14 -0  Jansen’s victories have come mostly in the form of  submissions.   You slip up against “The Fugitive”  and he is going to choke you.   Shalorus at 5-0 is still very new but with 4 KO’s  on his young record Jansen would be best served to get this fight to the ground.  Again I’m going to side with experence.

Winner: Dave Jansen via decision

Cory Brady: There’s nothing like a good old “striker vs. grappler” match-up, and this bout defines the term. Jansen is an amazing wrestler with 8 of his 14 wins coming by submission, while Shalorus has recorded 4 knockouts in his 5 professional victories. The difference in this one will undoubtedly be experience, to which the edge goes to Jansen. The conflicting styles of these two will force a finish one way or another in my opinion.

Winner: Dave Jansen via submission

Mike Brown vs. Anthony Morrison

David Andrest: Anthony Morrison has a tough draw here,  Mike Brown is the best 145lb fighter in the world  not named Jose Aldo.  I think Mike Brown wins this fight, and does so quickly.  Morrison has a real opportunity here, a good showing against Brown could elevate the fighter win or lose.

Winner: Mike Brown via submission

Cory Brady: Can you say “brutal beatdown”? There’s just no way I see Morrison avoiding one this evening. I see Brown walking across the cage and battering Morrison’s face for as long as it takes to drop him to the ground where a tight arm-triangle will be appliedThis fight should look a lot like the Leonard Garcia fight.

Winner: Mike Brown via submission

Mackens Semerzier vs. Deividas Taurosevicius

David Andrest: Semerzier’s submission of Wagney Fabiano came as a huge surprise to the MMA universe. While very talented, I think Taurosevicius is an experienced controlling fighter who will use good positioning to set up a late submission of Semerzier.

Winner:  Delvidas Taurosevicius via submission

Cory Brady: This fight will tell us exactly how good Semerzier really is. Was his victory over Fabiano really that big of an upset? A solid performance over a fighter as experienced and durable as Taurosevicius will leave little doubt as to whether Mackens is the real deal.

Winner: Mackens Semerzier via submission

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