Accurately depicted or not, WEC lightweight champion Jaime Varner appears to have established a reputation for being a quitter. His WEC 46 foe, interim title holder Ben Henderson, claims that when the going gets tough, Jaime gets the hell outta there.
“In Jamie’s last fight against [Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone], he was looking for a way out,” Henderson matter-of-factly said. “It was an illegal knee, a glancing knee, what ever you want to call it, but he wanted the fight stopped. He got to the fifth round, got to deep waters and he stopped.
“He didn’t want to fight anymore. I will never stop.”
Henderson is referring to Varner’s WEC 38 showdown with Cerrone last January in San Diego, CA. The fight was stopped in the fifth round due to an unintentional knee to Varner’s head.
Under the regulations of the California State Athletic Commission, a fight automatically goes to the judges’ score cards when unintentional strikes leave a fighter unable to continue, allowing Varner to retain his title.
Following the fight, Varner announced that he had broken his right hand and has been on the sidelines since. He was slated to receive a rematch with Cerrone at WEC 43, however continued to have issues with his haymaker which forced the organization to manufacture an interim bout between Cerrone and Henderson, which turned out to be the surprise scrap of the 2009.
“Jamie knows that he doesn’t have anywhere to run,” as Henderson continued to pile on. “There’s nowhere to hide. No breaks, no timeouts, no mouthpiece spitting out, no antics. He’s in for a fight.”
Although Henderson insists Varner has no cajones, he does understand that Varner didn’t become the 155-pound champ by mistake, so he will be ready to put on the fight of his life inside the Arco Arena in Sacramento, CA this Sunday.
“I think Jamie and I match up pretty well,” Henderson, a two-time NAIA collegiate wrestling All-American, said. “He’s a good boxer and a tough fighter, so I’m ready to wage war with him. I’m ready to leave it all in the cage and win the undisputed championship.”