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With Terry Etim Injured, Jamie Varner Steps In for Another Massive Opportunity vs. Joe Lauzon

(“I call that punch the ‘parlay-wrecker’.”)

When Jamie Varner returned to the UFC last month as an injury replacement against Edson Barboza at UFC 146, virtually nobody gave him a chance. (We called it “the biggest UFC squash-match of the year,” if you want to get specific.) Barboza was the undefeated wheel-kickin’ buzzsaw in the lightweight division, and Varner was just a WEC washout who had lost a decision to Dakota Cochrane the previous year. Varner admitted that Barboza was literally the only guy in the UFC he didn’t want to fight. And yet, he stormed the Brazilian golden boy, knocking him out in one round, and earning another tour of duty in the UFC. The question is, can he do it again?

It was reported yesterday that Terry Etim has withdrawn from his UFC on FOX 4 match with Joe Lauzon — yeah, yeah, that godforsaken UFC injury bug, the world is ending, etc. — and will be replaced by Varner. Inconsistent as of late, Lauzon has gone 3-3 in his last six appearances, most recently getting knocked out by Anthony Pettis in February.

In other words, the dynamic will be totally different for Varner this time. He isn’t the lamb being led to slaughter. He’ll have a tremendous amount of confidence going into the fight, and as long as he can avoid messing around on the mat too much with Lauzon, Varner could take another step toward one of the greatest career comebacks in UFC history. Your predictions, please.

UFC on FOX 4 takes place August 4th at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, and will feature Mauricio Shogun vs. Brandon Vera, Lyoto Machida vs. Ryan Bader, and Travis Browne vs. Ben Rothwell.

Cagepotato Comments

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Get Off Me- June 28, 2012 at 7:46 pm
I still think Barboza will be champ at 155 in the UFC.
I am glad he got the Varner fight out of the way, No UFC champ ever had a perfect record...but was that ever tough to watch.
KidDinomite- June 28, 2012 at 10:06 am
This was an interesting and awesome fight for me. I was rooting for Barboza all the way. I heard Varner had accepted the fill-in role and actually felt sorry for him for the leg-torture and KO I thought he was about to receive. However, I actually started to root for Varner when I saw that he exposed Barboza's over-reliance on leg kicks. Then he went a step further and KOed him, which ended up looking like something out of Rocky, which moved me further during the post-fight interview. If Varner doesn't let his ego get in the way of his fighting ability, he could be a champion, IMO.
RB- June 28, 2012 at 9:26 am
I laughed so hard when Varner KO'd Barboza.. I'll always thank him for that.
Houstons db- June 28, 2012 at 7:33 am
Varners the man. I hope he can string together a bitchin win streak. Possible title run. Maybe....
Jon Fitch and Exciting in the same sentence- June 28, 2012 at 6:52 am
I was willing to bet my house on Barboza. All the credit in the world to Varner for that one. Man, I was really suprised. I'm thinking Lauzon hangs tough and gets the submission. Barboza better make a strong comeback.