The Return of Jamie Varner to the UFC Will Have to Wait
Added on Dec 29, 2010 by Brian Blake in
Following his pro debut in 2003, Jamie “C-4″ Varner built up an impressive record to 11-1 with 2 no contests before being extended an invite to perform on the sport’s biggest stage with the UFC. After splitting two fights with the premier organization he ultimately found a home within the WEC. His stock rose as he became a better fighter and eventually became the WEC Lightweight Championship.
Then 2010 struck. Despite his inactivity he came up winless in all four of his outings and for that reason he will not be included in the recent highly publicized merge between the WEC and UFC.
Varner made his WEC debut back in 2007, following his six and a half month stint with the UFC, on the undercard of WEC 29: Condit vs. Larson. Varner impressed with a TKO win over Sherron Legget in the very first round.
The win over Legget catapulted him into a title shot for the WEC Lightweight Championship against then defending champion “Razor” Rob McCoullough. Varner awed the Albuquerque crowd with his heavy hands as he pounded his way to a TKO win in the middle of the third frame, and with Varner had reached the pinnacle of his division in the WEC.
Things began to crumble for the Arizona fighter in 2009 after he took a DQ win over fan favorite Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone after Cerrone landed an illegal knee while Varner was on the canvas. After given time to recover Varner deemed himself unable to continue. Understandably, the fans were disappointed and let it be known as Varner did little to rectify the situation. Varner walked out of the cage in San Diego with the win as well as the title, but not with the support of the fans.
Little did he know, that would be Varner’s last taste of victory to date.
He carried the role of villain into his next bout with Ben Henderson who slapped on a submitted Varner with a guillotine choke midway through their five round clash. He’s lost a ton of fans, his winning streak in the WEC had come to an end and now he was a fighter without a belt. One would think things could only go up from there.
He entered the ring five months later against the acclaimed wrestler Kamal Shalrous and while many could argue that he did enough to get the win, the ringside judges begged to differ and scored the bout a draw. Next up was a long awaited grudge match between Varner and arch nemesis Donard Cerrone on the undercard of WEC 51: Aldo vs. Gamburyan in Cerrone’s home state of Colorado. Varner once again came up short in what would be voted as the fight of the night in which after five hard fought rounds neither fighter was quite ready to bury the hatchet.
Varner’s recent loss to Shane Roller via first round rear naked choke left the former lightweight champion 3-0-1 in 2010. As bright as his future once was in the MMA scene and more specifically with the WEC, it was no longer bright enough. It was recently made public that the organization that once made him a household name for fight fans all over the country would no longer be vouching for him during the final stages of their merge with MMA giant, the UFC.
Upon hearing the news, Jamie stated, “I am ready for 2011, there will be some changes in my game. It has been a nice ride with the WEC but its time for a change. Perhaps UFC will be in my future down the road…We shall see.”
Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Varner is one of the top talents in the world when speaking of the lightweight division. All fighters hit a rough patch at one time or another. Obviously his came at a very inopportune time. Yet, with a couple of solid wins, you shouldn’t be suprised to see the Arizona Combat Sports product making his walk to the cage getting ready to do battle.
Don’t fret for the former Lightweight Champion. Clearly, he’s going to keep fighting. Maybe a tune up on a regional card or maybe he gets in touch with Strikeforce CEO, Scot Coker.
Either way he’ll be back soon.
Most likely with the crowd voicing their displeasure, not that it’ll make much of impact on Varner.
The fact that he made his way back to the big leagues will be enough to silence his critics.