Jamie Varner (above) will likely toe the line with Shinya Aoki
on May 29. | Photo: Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog.com
Visa issues will reportedly prevent Brazilian Willamy
Freire from competing against Dream lightweight champion
Dream “Fight for Japan”. Instead, Aoki will likely face former
WEC lightweight king Jamie Varner
at the event.
Sherdog.com confirmed on Friday with a source close to the
negotiations that the bout “seems very likely” for the May 29 show,
which will emanate from the Saitama Super Arena near Tokyo.
It was initially thought that former MFC lightweight king
McKee would step in for Freire to meet Aoki, but it now seems
that the 41-year-old is now off the bill. According to a separate
source close to the event, McKee was in the process of making the
proposed matchup official, and then was informed by the promotion
that they had found another replacement.
Dream “Fight for Japan” will also feature the opening round of
the promotion's tournament to decide Dream's first-ever
bantamweight champion, as four tilts will be featured on the card,
as will two unrelated featherweight bouts featuring Caol Uno taking
Nishiura and Mitsuhiro
Ishida locking horns with Joachim
Varner, 26, has gone 0-3-1 in his last four bouts. After putting
together a five-fight winning streak from 2007-2009, Varner had his
WEC lightweight title lifted by Benson
Henderson at WEC 46 in January 2010. Varner then followed that
defeat by fighting hard-hitting Kamal
Shalorus to a split draw five months later before dropping
back-to-back contests to Donald
Cerrone and Shane
Roller, respectively. Varner was released by the promotion
following his loss to Roller in December 2010.