by Al Yu – MMAWeekly.com
World Extreme Cagefighting makes its way to Albuquerque, New Mexico on Wednesday February 13. The event will be highlighted by three championship fights including a title defense by “Razor” Rob McCullough against Jamie Varner.
“This is a wonderful opportunity. I’m so excited to finally get my shot at a world title,” elated Varner.
In what will be the biggest fight of his career, Jamie Varner started his training camp five months ago in preparation for his shot at the title.
“I started my training camp in September. I’m going into this fight in the best shape of my life. I’m looking forward to getting in there and actually fighting and having a good time. Whatever happens happens. I try not to put too much pressure on myself.”
Rob McCullough is coming off a TKO victory over Rich Crunkilton. The win was the first successful defense of his WEC Lightweight belt. McCullough previously defeated Kit Cope to claim the vacant title.
“Rich Crunkilton’s game plan was flawed in the fact that he thought he had better standup than he really did. I think that’s where he went wrong,” explained Varner. “My standup is much better than Crunkilton’s and I plan on using my boxing and my striking ability to setup my takedowns and get the fight to the ground. I see this fight either ending by a knockout or a submission.”
“I think stylistically, this is a great fight for me. He really doesn’t bring much to the table as far as wrestling and grappling is concerned. That’s where a lot of my fights do end up.”
Brimming with confidence, Varner was very candid with his thoughts about his opponent.
“Four of his last six fights have been wins over guys with losing records. My well roundedness will lead me to victory in this fight,” stated the Arizona Combat Sports fighter. “Either he’s the good counter striker or he’s the bully. I never really see him put pressure on guys that are tough. I’ve seen a lot of his fights; he never really comes forward and run right through the guys. It kind of seems he waits for them to make the first move.”
Jamie Varner worked hard to get where he’s at today. The former Rage in the Cage Champion’s diligence earned him an opportunity to fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Varner made his octagon debut at UFC 62 but suffered only the second loss of his career when he was submitted by Hermes Franca.
“Honestly that loss to Hermes Franca was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. It made me hungrier than I’ve ever been,” commented Varner.
The aforementioned hunger was unmistakable.
Since his loss, the Arizona resident rebounded with a victory over Jason Gilliam before making his successful entrance into the WEC. Varner is coming off an impressive win over Sherron Leggett via TKO in his debut.
“I’ve matured and grown more as a fighter. I feel like I’m ready for this fight. If I get in trouble, I feel like I can fight my way out of whatever.”
“My biggest set back has always been me,” revealed the NCBA National Boxing Champion. “I’m not worried about what he’ll bring to the table. I’m not worried about what he can do. I’ve trained with some of the best strikers; I’ve brought in a lot of good kickboxers, boxers, great wrestlers and great Jiu-Jitsu guys for this camp. I train for everything.”
Next Wednesday evening Jamie Varner has the opportunity solidify himself as one of the top lightweight fighters in the world. Claiming the WEC Lightweight belt would signify the pinnacle achievement of his career.
“The longer this fight lasts, the better the opportunity I have to win,” said Varner. “A good striker is usually most dangerous in the first round. If I can take him to deep waters, I feel like that plays into my advantage.”
“I do not see this fight going past the third round.”