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Tag: Jamie Varner

WEC 46 Results: Henderson Chokes Varner to Unify Lightweight Title, Faber and Brown Successful in Returns

Benson Ben Smooth Henderson Jamie Varner WEC 46
(Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly.)

Three months after Benson Henderson squeaked past Donald Cerrone in a grueling (and controversial) five-rounder at WEC 43, and a year after Jamie Varner defended his lightweight title in his own contentious battle against Cowboy, the WEC’s top two lightweights met last night at the ARCO Arena in Sacramento to determine an undisputed 155-pound ruler — and this time, the scorecards would not be necessary.

Henderson’s inhuman ability to resist submission holds served him well in WEC 46′s main event. The first round saw Varner latch on a tight guillotine against the fence after slamming Henderson to the mat, but "Smooth" stayed calm and escaped. Except for one strange moment when Varner wandered away with his back turned after taking a body kick — apparently looking for a pause in the action, which he didn’t receive — Varner seemed to have the edge early on. The second round was an evenly-pitched striking battle, with both fighters testing out their kicks; Henderson looked comfortable against the champ, but wasn’t pushing the pace.

In the end, Henderson’s reactive style turned out to be the perfect strategy. Midway through the third round, Varner shot in for a double-leg takedown, and Smooth countered with a flying guillotine that made Varner tap almost immediately, earning him the WEC’s unified lightweight title. Varner wasn’t exactly gracious in defeat: "S*** happens. I was winning the fight, all he was doing was throwing body kicks. I got the takedowns, had the control…go ahead and boo. I came to fight, Ben came to grapple. Two different things." Christ, what a bitch.

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Donald Cerrone Agrees to Return in December Against Ed Ratcliff


(Ed Ratcliff KO’s Brett Cooper with a spinning back kick at Total Combat 12, 12/17/05.)

Donald Cerrone may have to wait a little longer to get his rematch with Jamie Varner. Contrary to previous rumors that Cerrone would be facing Varner in December while interim champion Benson Henderson recovers from their epic five-rounder at WEC 43, Sherdog is reporting that Cerrone will instead fight fellow lightweight contender Ed "9mm" Ratcliff at a WEC show on December 19th in Las Vegas. The bout could serve as the card’s main event — not an ideal situation, but at least Henderson will get his rightful shot at Varner’s belt when he’s healthy again.

In case you’re unfamiliar, Ed Ratcliff (7-1), has won three of his four fights in the WEC, most recently taking a unanimous decision over Phil Cardella at Torres vs. Bowles, and his aggressive, unpredictable style should match up well with Cowboy’s. Ratcliff grew up in Chicago studying traditional martial arts, earning black belts in Karate and Tae Kwon Do, and began his MMA training with Ken Shamrock at age 17; he had his first pro fight when he was 18. He now lives and trains in San Diego, and describes his primary motivation for fighting as "$$MONEY$ LOL."

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The WEC Is Going to Need Their Interim Lightweight Belt Back, If That’s Cool

Benson Henderson WEC MMA
(Eh, it was mostly plastic anyway. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

Following Benson Henderson and Donald Cerrone‘s five-round war at WEC 43, lightweight champ Jamie Varner said he’d be down to take on Henderson in December, which seemed a little selfish considering Varner had spent the last nine months recuperating from his Cerrone-related injuries, while Henderson had just sustained his. Certainly Varner and the WEC would allow their new interim lightweight champ at least a three-month turnaround before putting him in another tough battle, right? Well, if Rashad Evans has the correct information, that’s not the plan, and Bendo is about to get screwed:

Earlier today on ESPNs “MMA Live,” guest host and teammate of Donald Cerrone at Greg Jackson’s Submission Fighting, Rashad Evans, had this to say when asked if it looked like Henderson and Varner would still be fighting in December to unify the belts even in spite of “Smooth’s” medical issues: “No it doesn’t, and it looks like ‘Cowboy’ is going to go ahead and get the fight with Varner.”
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Jamie Varner May Never Fight Again; Cerrone vs. Henderson For Interim LW Title in September (UPDATE)

Jamie Varner MMA WEC
(Oh, please. In my day, we’d fight with three broken hands. Photo courtesy of Brawlin.net.)

Jamie Varner‘s technical split-decision over Donald Cerrone at WEC 38 counted as a win on his record, but it sure didn’t feel like one. Varner left the cage that night with a broken hand, a broken foot, impaired vision from the illegal knee that ended the match, and heaps of abuse from fans who thought he should have sacked up and finished out the last three minutes of the fight, which he was leading on the scorecards. Five months later, Varner is still feeling the after-effects of that brutal five-rounder. Last week, he Twittered the disappointing news that his hand is still fractured, and with no return date in sight, reports began emerging that his cowboy-hat-wearing nemesis and Benson Henderson would fight for an interim lightweight title. And then, things got even worse.

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Faking Or Not, Jamie Varner Was Pretty Effed Up

Jamie Varner WEC MMA
(F*ckin’ boo him.)

WEC lightweight champ Jamie Varner may have won a grueling title defense against Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone on Sunday — but between his injuries, the fan reaction, and his bank account, he isn’t exactly feeling like a winner right now. During an appearance on Sherdog’s "Beatdown" radio show yesterday, Varner rattled off the laundry list of ouchies that he left the cage with last weekend:

"I broke my right index metacarpal, completely fractured. So I have to get pins put in it tomorrow (Thursday). Then I go next week to see my eye doctor to make sure my retina isn’t detached. And if it’s detached it could be a career-ending injury…I broke my hand in the first or second round. I don’t know exactly where. I remember one time in the fourth round that I just couldn’t hit him with it. I told my corner that I couldn’t use it anymore…He checked one of my kicks early in the fight and that’s where I fractured my foot. Then I kicked him in the head with it in the fourth and that was it. My foot was completely done. So I walked out for the fifth round with one hand and some takedowns…I knew the fifth round was going to be boring. I couldn’t offer anything really damaging."

During that fifth round, Cerrone was able to score his first takedown of the night, then kneed Varner in the face when the champ was trying to get up. Varner’s knees — just barely — were touching the mat. Referee Josh Rosenthal halted the action and called the illegal blow unintentional, but Varner couldn’t continue, claiming that he couldn’t see. The fight went to the scorecards, and the crowd erupted in boos. Needless to say, the idea that some fans think Varner faked his injury to get out of finishing the last couple minutes of the fight doesn’t sit well with him:

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Faber Wins Easy, Varner Retains Lightweight Belt at WEC 38

Jens Pulver Urijah Faber MMA WEC
Donald Cerrone Jamie Varner WEC
(Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly; gif courtesy of the UG.)

Former WEC featherweight champ Urijah Faber was able to score a victory over Jens Pulver for the second time last night at WEC 38 — and in 23 minutes and 26 seconds less than it took in their first meeting last June. Their co-headlining bout started fast and physical, with Pulver tossing Faber to the ground after a high kick attempt. But it wasn’t long before Faber drilled a vicious left hook to Lil’ Evil’s ribs, doubling over the former UFC champ and backing him up. Faber seized the opportunity and fired off punches until Pulver hit the ground, then followed Pulver to the mat and set up a fight-ending choke. The win earned the California Kid a $7,500 Submission of the Night bonus.

Jamie Varner and Donald Cerrone also got some extra cash for the evening’s Fight of the Night, in which Varner defended his lightweight title and gave Cowboy the first loss of his career. Though Cerrone was the aggressor for most of the fight, and won many of the striking exchanges — thanks in large part to the long reach of his left high kick — Varner was able to take the challenger down at will, and inflicted major damage with his ground-and-pound. In the middle of round three, a punch from Varner opened a cut near Cerrone’s left eye that clearly inhibited his vision; his right eye was already swelling shut from previous abuse.

In the fifth round, Cerrone scored a successful takedown of his own, but made the mistake of bouncing a knee strike off Varner’s head while the champ was still kneeling. The action was immediately halted, and was never restarted, as a seemingly agonized Varner told doctors that he couldn’t see, and shouted "fuck!" more times than I’ve ever heard on basic cable. The fight went to the scorecards, where two judges saw it for Varner, and one judge (possibly blind himself) called it for Cerrone. The crowd booed Varner; distraught about how the fight ended, he told the fans "fuckin’ boo me, I’m better than that," and promised Cerrone a rematch as soon as he was cleared by the athletic commission.

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Heads-Up: WEC 38 Next Weekend


(Varner on Cerrone: "If he goes toe to toe with me, he’s a dead man.")

Though it’s being swallowed in the collective hype of UFC 93, UFC 94, and Affliction: Day of Reckoning, the WEC is holding their next event this coming Sunday (1/25) at the San Diego Sports Arena in San Diego, CA. For once, Urijah Faber‘s fight won’t be the most interesting one on the card. Sure, his three-round rematch with Jens Pulver will be a must-see for California Kid/Lil’ Evil fans, but the real heat is behind the lightweight championship main event, in which defending champ Jamie Varner looks to make his second belt-defense against Donald Cerrone, the undefeated Greg Jackson-product who was one-half of WEC 36′s best fight. You can watch the action live on Versus beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT; the full lineup is below…

MAIN CARD
Jamie Varner vs. Donald Cerrone (for lightweight championship)
Urijah Faber vs. Jens Pulver (FW)
Danillo Villefort vs. Mike Campbell (WW)
Jose Aldo vs. Rolando Perez (FW)

UNDERCARD
Benson Henderson vs. Anthony Njokuani (LW)
Edgar Garcia vs. Hiromitsu Miura (WW)
Dominick Cruz vs. Ian McCall (FW)
Scott Jorgenson vs. Frank Gomez (BW)
Blas Avena vs. Jesse Lennox (WW)
Charlie Valencia vs. Seth Dikun (BW)

Related: WEC 39 goes down March 1st in Corpus Christi, Texas, featuring the featherweight championship bout between Mike Brown and Leonard Garcia, and a welterweight title scrap between Carlos Condit and Brock Larson.

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WEC 35 Salaries: How the Other Half Lives

Hiromitsu Miura Carlos Condit WEC MMA
(Hiromitsu Miura and Carlos Condit. Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly.)

The Nevada State Athletic Commission has released the fighter salary figures for Sunday’s WEC show. Yeah, they’re lower than what you might see in UFC, but the greatest disparity lies in the fight bonuses. The WEC handed out $7,500 bumps for Knockout (Brock Larson), Submission (Brian Bowles), and Fight of the Night (both Condit/Miura and Varner/Hicks) — compared to the $60,000 bonuses now up for grabs in the UFC. The numbers are below; props to MMA Junkie and MMA Weekly.

Carlos Condit: $51,500 (includes $22,000 win bonus, $7,500 Fight of the Night bonus)
Jamie Varner: $37,500 (includes $15,000 win bonus, $7,500 Fight of the Night bonus)
Brock Larson: $37,500 (includes $15,000 win bonus, $7,500 Knockout of the Night bonus)
Marcus Hicks: $23,500 (includes $7,500 Fight of the Night bonus)
Brian Bowles: $15,500 (includes $4,000 win bonus, $7,500 Submission of the Night bonus)
Hiromitsu Miura: $12,500 (includes $7,500 Fight of the Night bonus)
Blas Avena: $12,000 (includes $6,000 win bonus)
Shane Roller: $12,000 (includes $6,000 win bonus)
Brian Stann: $11,000
Steve Cantwell: $10,000 (includes $5,000 win bonus)
Josh Grispi: $8,000 (includes $4,000 win bonus)
Carlo Prater: $7,000
Mike Budnik: $6,000 (includes $3,000 win bonus)
Scott Jorgensen: $6,000 (includes $3,000 win bonus)
Damacio Page: $6,000
Micah Miller: $5,000
Kenji Osawa: $5,000
Todd Moore: $4,000
Dave Terrel: $3,000
Greg McIntyre: $2,000
Total: $275,000

Underpaid: Pretty much everyone. Particularly, everyone under Steve Cantwell on the list, and Hiromitsu Miura, who went into the main event title fight with just a $5,000 base salary — and left with a long medical suspension. To put this in perspective, Matt Lindland out-earned WEC 35′s entire payroll for fighting at Affliction: Banned.

Overpaid: Nobody. Though, relative to the other fighters you might say Marcus Hicks was overpaid. For some reason, his $16,000 base salary was the night’s second-highest, after Carlos Condit.

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Fight Videos: Gina Carano’s Next Opponent, WEC Highlights

Now that it’s looking more likely that Gina Carano will face Kelly Kobald-Gavin at EliteXC’s next CBS card on October 4th, we decided to do some scouting. Above is the video of KK-G‘s last win, which came against Adrienna Jenkins last March in Minneapolis at an all-female fight event called “NFF: The Breakout.” (Props to MMALinker.) Watch as Kobald comes out like a woman scorned, beating Jenkins to the mat with power punches, then tying her up in a triangle choke and slugging her in the face until she gives up. Reffing provided by the incomparable Nick “The Goat” Thompson!

Now, some fights from last night’s WEC show


(The brief and violent lightweight title match between Jamie Varner and Marcus Hicks.)

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Condit Tops Miura in Epic WEC 35 Battle; Varner Defends Belt, Stann Loses His

Brian Bowles Damacio Page WEC MMA
(Brian Bowles’s fight-ending flying guillotine of Damacio Page. Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly.)

Even without franchise fighter Urijah Faber on the card, the WEC managed to put on one of the wildest events in recent memory last night, featuring six first-round stoppages and a welterweight title fight that you’ll definitely be seeing on “Best of the Year” lists in a few months. Following a kickass supporting card that saw welterweight standout Brock Larson smash Carlo Prater in just 37 seconds, and undefeated Brian Bowles choke out the tough and cocky Damacio Page in a bantamweight match, the broadcast featured a trio of title fights, and they did not disappoint.

Leading off was WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner in his first title defense, facing submission specialist Marcus “The Wrecking Ball” Hicks, who walked into the cage with a perfect 8-0 record. After an exchange of knees in a clinch, Hicks bulled Varner to the ground and nearly sunk in a guillotine choke. Hicks tossed Varner down again when he escaped, but “The Worm” scrambled to his feet and started pouring on an insane barrage of kicks, knees, and punches that continued until Hicks hit the deck at the 2:08 mark.

In the light-heavyweight championship match, Steve Cantwell avenged his only career loss and stole the WEC’s 205-pound belt at the same time, scoring a second-round TKO over reigning champ Brian Stann. The first frame saw Cantwell get the better of the previously undefeated “All-American” in a kickboxing match that turned absolutely frantic about 90 seconds in. There was a scary moment for Cantwell at the end of round one as he slipped to the ground and started taking heavy shots from above by Stann, but he was able to get to his feet as the horn sounded. Stann started the second round by kicking Cantwell dead in the nuts, but the challenger recovered with more sharp striking, eventually staggering Stann with a left hook and turning out his lights with a right hook.

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