Former WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner makes up one part of the most bitter MMA feud this side of “Rampage”-Rashad, with the other spot being filled by Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. The two have spewed venom back and forth ever since their controversial January 2009 meeting.
Varner and Cerrone battled back and forth for the majority of five rounds before the referee stopped the fight when Cerrone landed an illegal knee to a grounded Varner, prompting the fight to go to the judges’ scorecards, who awarded Varner with the split decision win. The two fighters, who are set to meet again this September 30th, have publicly traded barbs since that night but Cerrone may have taken things too far recently when he wished death upon Varner and used a variety of insults and slurs to describe him. In a media conference call to promote their upcoming meeting, Varner revealed that the vitriol has had little effect on him and that he is simply looking forward to clearing things up in the cage.
“I feel like I don’t need to get caught up in all the name-calling and all the bantering back and forth,” said Varner. “(On) September 30, we get to go out there, we get to settle our differences and hopefully we walk out of the cage and the beef is squashed. Or, you know what? Maybe the animosity continues, but nevertheless, I’m not going to concern myself with it anymore.”
Varner indicated that he believes Cerrone has gained the success that he currently enjoys partly due to their very-public feud and he also took some time to clear up Cerrone’s accusations that he looks for the easy way out.
“I felt that this animosity and this beef since this first fight has kind of catapulted his career,” said Varner. “He feels like I looked for the easy way out (in the first fight) when it was the doctor who stopped the fight. I want to clear the air.”
Opting to take the high road, Varner even pointed out how Cerrone has evolved as a fighter and what it is he is looking to avoid from “Cowboy” come fight night.
“I would definitely have to say that his jiu-jitsu game off his back has gotten a lot better,” said Varner. “I wasn’t so concerned about his jiu-jitsu the first time we fought, but now there’s a definite concern. He’s added a couple of new submissions I didn’t see before or wasn’t too worried about in the first fight. I see this as a fight where if he makes a mistake, hopefully I can catch him, but if not, it’s gonna be a three-round war. I think my wrestling and speed will be the difference in this fight, just like it was in the last one.”
Varner and Cerrone will rehash their beef in the cage this September 30th at WEC 51: Aldo vs. Gamburyan which will take place at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colorado.