When veteran lightweight Drew Fickett meets Jamie Varner this weekend in the main event of XFC 16, he’ll be motivated by more than just a recent slump, he’ll be looking to teach a lesson.
With a pro record of 41-16 that began 1999, Fickett has seen the inside of a ring or cage more times than most and he feels like he has an idea of how the sport of MMA should be viewed and represented. In his eyes, Varner — a fighter whom he considers to have been a student of his — doesn’t fall in line with that and it’s on his shoulders to show him the error of his ways.
“I just want to set things straight,” Fickett said through a press release. “It just sucks. I mentored the kid and now I have to beat his ass. Hopefully I can, to teach him a lesson. The sport isn’t about being a fighter. It’s about being a good person too. In my mind Jamie has become ‘Hollywood’ and selfish. He’s in love with being a fighter. I fight because I like the sport. I wish more people took it seriously instead of just wearing a Tapout shirt and want to ‘flaunt being a fighter.’
“There is a lot of animosity on my part because I’ve mentored a lot of kids like Efrain Escudero and Dominick Cruz and they’ve gone on to do big things, but they’ve had moments of being starstuck. I came up the hard way. I made it into the UFC after 27 fights. I like the sport and I wish and hope that fighters would respect the fact that they are athletes and realize it’s not about being all glamorous. It’s about being an athlete and a good person. At the end of the day I have nothing but love for Jamie but I want to beat his ass as a spectacular athlete not a ‘fighter’.”
Fickett gets the chance to serve up Varner the dose of humility he thinks he needs this Friday night at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum in Knoxville, Tennessee; the fight will air live on HDNet.