What A 2012 It Was For Jamie Varner


Just look at the year Jamie Varner has had.  After an 0-3-1 run with Zuffa, the former WEC Champion Varner found himself in a rut.  But sometimes, the sign of a real champion is how someone bounces back from a rough time.  Varner won two fights in the XFC, including one over UFC veteran Drew Fickett, before he found himself getting a call from the UFC as a last minute replacement for Evan Dunham in a fight against Edson Barboza in May at UFC 146.

Barboza had been on an absolute tear, a four fight winning streak including a leg kick TKO of Mike Lullo and a Knockout Of The Year candidate win over Terry Etim.  Varner was not supposed to make it through the first round according to some pundits, but Varner came in looking sharper than ever, and it was Barboza who did not make it through the first round.  Jamie Varner was back in business.

Varner got the call to be a short-term replacement yet again.  Varner’s next fight was in August at UFC on FOX: Shogun vs. Vera against the record holder for Fight Of The Night bonuses Joe Lauzon as a replacement for the injured Terry Etim, a match that was destined to be another Fight Of The Night bonus for both men.  Little did anyone know how right they would be, as that fight is this writer’s selection for Fight Of The Year, and will be found on many a ballot across the internet, as well as at the World MMA Awards.  Joe Lauzon captured the victory via triangle choke in the third round, but fans knew what they had just witnesses.  After a fight like that, Varner found himself back in the good graces of the Zuffa brass, and these good fortunes would only continue into his next bout.

“The Young Assassin” Melvin Guillard is known for his explosive standup, his impressive athleticism, and his questionable gas tank.  Once within reach of a Lightweight Championship match, losses to Joe Lauzon, Jim Miller, and Donald Cerrone quickly derailed his hype train.  With a 1-3 record in his last four fights, Guillard was coming in looking to right the ship.  And when the first fight was postponed due to a Varner illness, Guillard was the first to call Varner scared and claim that he wasn’t sick.  The bad blood was running rampant.  And it became clear in the second fight at UFC 155 that it was on.  Guillard and Varner put on a fight that could have been Fight Of The Night were it not for the barnburner that happened in the PPV co-main event between Joe Lauzon and Jim Miller.  Nonetheless, Varner took home the split decision, and closed out his 2012 with a victory.

From jobless to 2-1 in his last three UFC bouts, pundits had written off Jamie Varner prematurely.  At UFC 155, he showed everyone that he still has a lot left in his gas tank.  What’s next for the former WEC Lightweight Champion?

Photo Credit: Jamie Varner’s Website

  • For a guy that no one even thought about when saying rankings anymore, he sure has done well coming in to the UFC and beating two borderline top 10 guys and having one of the best fights of the year.
    I don't think he will ever contend for the title or be a solid top 10 but he is one of those gusy just outside of the top 10 LWs, right there with Lauzon, Guillard, Tibau and Dos Anjos.

    He used to be a douche but he even admitted this himself and said he's matured, which I can see, he actually is a cool guy and I guess training with Bendo has changed his career and personality!

    Looking forward to some more Jamie Varner come 2013

    • agree he will never be a top contender but he will be in and out of the Top 10 which is more than hundreds of fighters could dream to reach in MMA.
      i used to dislike Varner , i remember watching him for the first time in the UFC choking some guy and then doing this crazy dance i think it was the worm dance and then some other crazy dance standing, then when he fought Cerrone the first time on the WEC and even kinda hate him for the rematch with Cerrone where Cerrone put a beating on him.

      But after losing his belt to Bendo and getting beat by Cerrone he change, then i felt bad when Roller choke him out in the last WEC event and was release by zuffa so he didnt got to the UFC.

      After the WEC was absorb i always cheer for the WEC guys in the UFC and they have done well, and when Varner came back i was happy to see him KO Barboza! hope he gets the good fights the UFC needs more of those fights.