Jamie Varner Faces Shane Roller; Eyes UFC, Donald Cerrone and TUF


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit
Jamie Varner

Jamie Varner

Jamie Varner knows he has a tough test in front of him on Thursday night at WEC 53. Not only is he fighting Shane Roller, but he may very well be fighting for his career, as the WEC merges with the UFC.

Still, that doesn’t mean Varner doesn’t have other goals going into his fight.

The former WEC lightweight champion believes he can still earn his way back to a shot at the belt, and also has a grudge to settle against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. It’s actually the second fight with Cowboy as to why he’s on this card at all.

“The whole reason why I fought Cowboy was to get on this card,” Varner explained to MMAWeekly Radio. “The WEC, I talked to them and they didn’t guarantee me, but they were like you go out there and you fight the Cowboy, cause I was still banged up from the Kamal (Shalorus) fight, my hand was messed up, my foot was messed up, my ribs were real banged up, and they’re like, if you want to get that title shot against Ben (Henderson), you fight the Cowboy, you beat the Cowboy, there’s a good chance you may get that.”

Varner accepted the fight against Cerrone, against his better judgment, and went in and had a solid performance, but came up short against his arch rival. He was also disappointed to find out before his fight with Cerrone ever happened that the WEC had already decided he wasn’t going to get the title shot anyway.

“Things didn’t happen in the fight the way I wanted them to, but even three weeks before that fight they had announced that Anthony Pettis was fighting Ben Henderson in my hometown, so I was a little bit bummed out about that, but nevertheless my performance against Cowboy wasn’t a championship performance,” Varner commented.

With two fights in the books against Cerrone, the Arizona native is gunning for a third. The two lightweights don’t like each other any more now than they did a year ago, and they probably won’t be exchanging Christmas cards this year either.

What Varner really wants is to get Cerrone in his home state the next time the UFC comes to Arizona.

“I think it’s only fair to have him fight me on my home turf,” Varner stated. “I went to the snake’s pit there in Broomfield, (Colo.). That crowd was the most ridiculous crowd ever. They’re just a bunch of classless hillbillies out there, it was crazy. I thought it would have been fair, it would have been nice, but I guess you’ve got to beat B.J. Penn, or Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock to get a back-to-back rematch.”

Varner does have an idea to get him and Cerrone a nice payday and an opportunity to further their careers, and at the end they get to punch each other in the face one more time.

“Both times me and Cowboy fought, it’s been fight of the night, so why not save that fight for the UFC. What I would like to see happen is even better, we both get through these fights coming up, then maybe be coaches on one of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ seasons to finish up our trilogy. Coach ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and then have our trilogy be on pay-per-view or something,” Varner said.

He has no mixed feelings about Cerrone.

“I hate that guy, he’s an idiot,” commented Varner.

Before he can even think about getting on “The Ultimate Fighter” or a third shot at Cerrone, he’s first got to get past Shane Roller on Thursday night. Varner has actually fought twice in the UFC before shifting over to the WEC, and make no mistakes about it, when the companies merge he wants to be part of the UFC again.

Even though Varner just signed a new extension with the WEC, none of that will matter if he loses on Thursday night.

“I’m not going to go back unless I win this fight. I know the WEC, they just signed me to a nine-fight deal, but they have no problem cutting me if I lose two fights in a row. First and foremost, I’ve got to get through Shane Roller. I’ve got to win this fight, and then I can start worrying about the UFC,” said Varner.

“I’m fighting for my life. It would be one thing if I signed this nine-fight deal and no matter what they couldn’t cut me, but Zuffa they can do whatever they want. So I’ve got to go out there and put on a good performance and I’ve got to win.”

To get ready for his upcoming fight, Varner left his comfort zone in Arizona and traveled to San Jose, Calif., to train. Working alongside the coaches and fighters at American Kickboxing Academy, Varner got to see how their team operates and says it will now become a part of every training camp going forward.

It’s that experience that led Varner to the mindset he has going into his fight with Roller. He got back to the basics.

“Going out there made me want to be that kind of dynamic fighter I used to be,” Varner confessed. “I got so used to standing up, wanting to punch people, that made me kind of lose track of who I was. The Jamie Varner people didn’t know if he was going to take you down and pound you out, or stand up, punch you, kick you, knee you, and that’s what I had to get back.”

What Varner expects out of this upcoming fight is pure excitement, and that’s something he guarantees every time he steps in the cage. It’s that attitude that Varner believes will make him a commodity in the UFC as well.

“I think there have been two fights in my time with Zuffa out of seven or eight fights that haven’t been either ‘Fight of the Night’ or ‘Knockout of the Night.’ With that said, I always put on stellar performances. I’m always exciting, whether people love me or hate me, they always want to see me fight because there’s always going to be some sort of drama, there’s always going to be something,” said Varner.

“Whether I’m getting screwed out of a decision, getting kicked in the nuts, getting poked in the eye, getting beat on the ground, something’s going to happen or I’m going to drop somebody and knock them out, or I’m going to hurt somebody and win the fight in exciting fashion.”

He hopes to carry that dynamite performance into Thursday night and then beyond in the UFC. Varner faces Shane Roller at WEC 53 in the final show ever for the promotion.

view original article >>

Related News

  • 22 days ago
  • 4 views

With nine UFC and five WEC post-fight bonuses to his name, Donald Cerrone is one of those fighters who makes it tough to find just five highlights from his thrill-a-minute career. read news >>

  • 20 days ago
  • 60 views

A look at next Wednesday's UFC Fight Night card on Fox Sports 1, which features Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller in the main event in Atlantic City, NJ. I hope you're geared up for what promises to be a highly entertaining night of fights next Wednesday in Atlantic City at the Revel Casino. Lightweights Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller comprise a surefire thriller of a main event, while Edson Barboza and Evan Dunham take part in a surefire thriller of a co-main event. This card also features the retur read news >>

  • 18 days ago
  • 148 views

At UFC Fight Night 45, Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller will look to take a step closer to the lightweight championship. Noteworthy 155-pound names headed in the right direction, Cerrone and Miller have secured their UFC roster spots. However, some others competing on Wednesday are in a bad position. There are multiple fighters who could be competing for their UFC lives when they head to Atlantic City, New Jersey. Here are the fighters who are sitting on a hot seat heading into UFC Fight Night 45. read news >>

  • 18 days ago
  • 316 views

This Wednesday night, a pivotal fight takes place in the lightweight division when Donald Cerrone squares off against Jim Miller in Atlantic City. Cerrone is on a three-fight win streak, all of which were finishes that he earned fight-night bonuses for. The fight against Miller will arguably be Cerrone's biggest fight since a first-round TKO loss to Anthony Pettis in 2013. Miller comes into the fight having won three of his last four, and his last two in a row. Both of his last two wins have bee read news >>

  • 18 days ago
  • 34 views

This Wednesday's UFC Fight Night 45 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, is headlined by a lightweight clash between the Garden State's own Jim Miller and Donald Cerrone. This is a matchup with major title implications, therefore making it a pivotal scrap inside the Octagon at 155 pounds. Miller, the most recognizable face from Whippany, New Jersey's AMA Fight Club, enters the bout ranked as the No. 7 lightweight in the world, according to the UFC's official rankings. The 30-year-old was a dark-horse t read news >>

  • 17 days ago
  • 17 views

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) held its weigh in event earlier today (Tues., July 15, 2014) at the Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, for those fighters competing at the UFC Fight Night 45: "Cerrone vs. Miller" event, which is scheduled to take place tomorrow night live on Fox Sports 1. For complete UFC Fight Night 45 weigh in results and video click here. The staredowns were nothing to write home about, as is usually the case, but you can at least get a look at how each figh read news >>

  • 17 days ago
  • 24 views

Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller headline a modestly stacked Fight Night card for fight fans in New Jersey this Wednesday. If I'm not doing the Q & A format, I'll often try something else, but today it's as bare bones as it gets. It's a busy week, and I'll be tinkering with the preview format in the future. In the meantime, odds are listed respective to the listed fighter: so Barboza is -240, Story -280, and so forth. All numbers are taken from Best Fight Odds. Lightweight Edson Barboza vs. Evan Du read news >>

  • 17 days ago
  • 17 views

The ultimate prize has thus far eluded Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller, as neither man has found a way to lock down a shot at the Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight crown. read news >>

  • 17 days ago
  • 31 views

Neither Donald Cerrone nor Jim Miller has ever headlined a UFC pay-per-view. Neither guy has ever been champion (or even fought for UFC gold). Both are eternally kicking around the bottom half of the lightweight Top 10, and though they each come into Wednesday's UFC Fight Night 45 main event riding a modest win streak, they've lost their most recent bouts against top-flight competition. Still, this fight, man. This fight. If you're a hardcore MMA fan, Cerrone vs. Miller is about as close to heav read news >>