When the UFC announced that former WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner was coming back on short notice to face knockout artist Edson Barboza at UFC 146, nobody expected him to win.

Okay maybe not nobody, but outside of Varner’s closest friends, family, management team and sponsors, he didn’t seem to have much of a chance in most people’s eyes against one of the top up and coming talents in the UFC.

It all changed when Varner flattened the young Brazilian with strikes in the first round, and pulled probably the biggest upset thus far of 2012.

The one person not shocked by what happened that night was Varner himself because he knew that his passion for fighting had returned and the fighter that lost four out of six fights between 2010 and 2011 was gone.

“I have love for this sport again and that was one thing I was missing for a long time,” Varner told MMAWeekly Radio. “If you love something, you don’t want to just do it once a month. If you love golf, you don’t golf once a month or like twice a year, you try to golf as much as possible. I love to fight, I love to compete, so I want to try to compete as much as possible.”

Competing as much as possible is one of the reasons Varner stepped in on short notice for his next fight coming up this weekend at UFC on Fox 4 when he faces Joe Lauzon. There are more than a few fighters that don’t like short notice bouts because they don’t have time to prepare properly, cardio can be an issue, and after the fight nobody wants to hear about how they lost because they took the fight on short notice.

Varner subscribes to a different philosophy when it comes to short notice fights because for him it always comes down to risk vs. reward.

“The thing is for me, I have everything to gain and nothing to lose, just like in the last fight with Edson Barboza. I was like a 4 to 1 or 5 to 1 underdog going into that fight, and if I lose to Edson Barboza, I’m supposed to lose to Edson Barboza, but if I beat him it catapults me in my career,” said Varner.

“The same thing goes with the Joe Lauzon fight. I lose to a guy like Joe Lauzon, I’m supposed to lose to a guy like Joe Lauzon. He’s a great fighter, he’s got a lot of wins in the UFC, he’s a stud, a very well known, well liked fighter.”

As stacked as the UFC lightweight division has been over the last few years, the time it takes to get to the top of the rankings isn’t actually all that hard. It’s hard in terms of getting the wins, but rarely does any fighter at 155 pounds put together a huge winning streak of more than three or four victories just because the weight class is so impossibly stacked.

Look at current top contender Nate Diaz and just his fights at lightweight over the last few years.

Diaz was 1-3 at lightweight before a short stint at welterweight, but since returning to 155 pounds, he’s put together three wins in a row and he’s now awaiting the next title shot in the division. Technically, Diaz is 4-4 at lightweight in his last eight fights, but it’s those three wins recently that put him near the top of the division.

Varner seems himself traveling a similar path because beating one of the top rising prospects in Edson Barboza, and then beating a real Octagon veteran like Joe Lauzon puts him right in the dead center of the contender’s race in the UFC.

“The win over Barboza definitely gave me the recognition that I deserve and shows that I belong, but the true test is Joe Lauzon. That guy is battle-tested; that guy has only lost to the best. He’s only lost to the best in the world. So if I can go out there and I can beat him, that just goes to say that I’m one of the best in the world and my next fight will be a top contender,” Varner stated.

That’s the key to Varner when facing a guy like Lauzon on short notice. The Massachusetts native has fought in the UFC 12 times and has just four losses on that record. Lauzon doesn’t lose to guys he’s supposed to beat, and has competed with some of the best lightweights in the world over the years.

Varner believes beating Lauzon is the perfect addition to his resume to catch the eye of UFC matchmaker Joe Silva and putting him on the 155-pound title fast track.

“Those are the only guys he’s really lost to are top ten guys,” Varner said about Lauzon. “So if I was to go out there and beat him. I would be in the running for maybe a No. 1 contender fight.”

Follow @DamonMartin on Twitter or e-mail Damon Martin.
For more
UFC News and UFC Rumors, follow MMAWeekly.com on Twitter and Facebook.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

UFC Fight Night 68 prelims results, Proctor, Collier, Quinonez pick up wins

  • 24 days ago
  • 5 views

The first three fights from UFC Fight Night 68 are in the books, and all of them were pretty entertaining. We're 1/4 of the way through UFC Fight Night 68 and the card the first three fights all feat read news >>

UFC Fight Night 68 results: Joe Proctor puts Justin Edwards to sleep with seconds left

  • 24 days ago
  • 5 views

NEW ORLEANS – Justin Edwards fought one of the best fights of his career, but it wasn’t enough to earn him the victory. Joe Proctor choked him unconscious with two seconds left in the fight.Filed und read news >>

UFC Fight Night 68's Shawn Jordan says win over Derrick Lewis tonight puts him near Heavyweight Top 10

  • 25 days ago
  • 3 views

If all goes as planned later this evening (Sat., June 6, 2015) inside Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, La., and Shawn Jordan wins the rematch against Derrick Lewis, "The Savage" feels he will cra read news >>

RFA 26 video highlights: Gilbert Smith wins title with this slick armbar

  • 25 days ago
  • 40 views

Gilbert Smith is the new RFA welterweight title, and this nifty armbar is the reason why.Filed under: AXS TV Fights, Featured Videos, News, Videos read news >>

RFA 26 Results: Gilbert Smith Wins Welterweight Championship with Surprising Armbar

  • 25 days ago
  • 23 views

Gilbert Smith toppled Ben Smith to win the welterweight championship at RFA 26 on Friday night in Denver. read news >>

GLORY 22 results: Sittichai Sitsongpeenong wins lightweight contender tournament

  • 25 days ago
  • 20 views

"Killer Kid" defeated Josh Jauncey and former champion Davit Kiria at GLORY 22 to win the lightweight 'contender' tournament. The muay thai sensation, Sittichai Sitsongpeenong put forth a dominant ef read news >>

DaDa 5000: BYB Extreme Fighting Series 'is going to eclipse MMA and boxing'

  • 27 days ago
  • 232 views

Dhafir Harris, also known as DaDa 5000, believes Backyard Brawls Extreme Fighting Series will seamlessly fit into the crowded combat sports landscape.Filed under: Featured Videos, News, Radio Highlig read news >>

RFA 26 is Next Step in the Clinton Williams Breakout Plan

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 views

Clinton Williams believes 2015 is his year to break out, and Friday's RFA 26 is his next step into the limelight. read news >>

Paige VanZant Says Strawweights are UFC Women’s Deepest Weight Class

  • 28 days ago
  • 35 views

UFC strawweight star Paige VanZant believes that the women's 115-pound division is the deepest women's weight class. read news >>

On three fight win streak, Jussier Formiga believes it's 'his time' to fight for the title

  • 28 days ago
  • 1 views

Jussier Formiga thinks he has done enough to warrant a title shot against Demetrious Johnson after his unanimous decision win over Wilson Reis at UFC Fight Night 67. Jussier Formiga just made put tog read news >>