The hits just keep on coming for next month’s UFC on FOX 9. Jamie Varner is the latest victim of the dreaded injury bug.
MMAjunkie on Monday learned Varner has suffered an injury in training and has been forced to withdraw from the event. A promotion official confirmed the change and said the company is actively seeking a replacement opponent for Pat Healy (31-16 MMA, 0-2 UFC), who was slated to face Varner (21-8-1 MMA, 3-3 UFC).
Featuring a flyweight title fight between current champ Demetrious Johnson and challenger Joseph Benavidez, UFC on FOX 9 takes place Dec. 14 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, Calif. The evening’s four-fight main card airs on FOX following prelims on FOX Sports 1 and MMAjunkie.
The bout between Healy and Varner was expected to take place on the night’s preliminary lineup, though an official bout order has not yet been revealed.
The durable Healy is for a fourth time hoping to get an official UFC win. In April, he handily defeated perennial contender Jim Miller, but the result of the contest was overturned after Healy tested positive for marijuana. Most recently, he lost a unanimous decision to fast-rising prospect Khabib Nurmagomedov at September’s UFC 165 event.
Varner was looking to rebound from a split-decision loss to Gleison Tibau at August’s UFC 164 event. The former WEC champ in 2012 returned to the UFC’s octagon for a second stint in the promotion and has alternated wins and losses in his four appearances.
A timetable for Varner’s return wasn’t immediately established.
For more on UFC on FOX 9, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Jamie Varner)