by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Very rarely does the WEC ever announce a scheduled fight as a true No. 1 contender’s match. A rare occurrence of this was when former champion Jamie Varner took on Kamal Shalorus with a shot at Ben Henderson’s lightweight title on the line.
Varner and Shalorus fought to a draw.
Thus ended the experiment of the WEC naming a fight with the winner guaranteed a title shot. That’s why the upcoming bout between Anthony Pettis and Shane Roller could have title implications on the line, but nothing is guaranteed yet.
“I can’t say that, and the only reason I can’t say that is that I haven’t had that specific discussion with Sean Shelby,” WEC General Manager Reed Harris told MMAWeekly Radio.
“I would tell you if we had, had that discussion. Obviously we theorize about fights all the time, but what we plan in our theories never quite works out because guys actually get in the cage and fight. I think that’s a mistake a lot of promoters make, and that we don’t make, is we wait till the fight happens.
“If you map it out before the fight happens, it always ends up never working out the way you want it to.”
As far as the two lightweights that squared off in June, according to Harris, Shalorus will likely be out nursing injuries for a while. When he does return, although he’s the type of fighter that will take on anybody, he won’t likely face Varner in his first fight back.
“I think they’ll do other fights and circle around to do that fight,” Harris commented about Varner and Shalorus. “Kamal’s funny. He’s just like, ‘I want to fight.’ He doesn’t care who he fights. I could throw him in there with Chuck Liddell and he wouldn’t care.”
Harris says that since Varner’s injuries ended up not being as severe as originally thought, matchmaker Sean Shelby is already in the planning stages of bringing the Arizona fighter back to the cage, although nothing is concrete yet.
One thing that is for sure is Henderson coming back this year to defend his title. It could be against Varner, Shalorus, Pettis, Roller, or maybe a new contender that emerges. The WEC GM says there will be plenty of opportunity as the company is currently in the planning stages of several more events in 2010.
“You’ll see Ben back, and what we’re trying to do is we’re going to have to put together obviously some great cards. We’ve got September. I think I have something maybe in October. We definitely have something in November. We definitely have something in December,” said Harris.
“December’s our AMP Energy Hometown Takedown contest and all the different cities are voting, and I’ll just throw this out here from the WEC, we’d really like to see somewhere that probably has an average temperature of about 80 degrees.”
For now, Harris will get ready for the upcoming WEC 50 show in Las Vegas before the rumored event in Colorado for WEC 51 in September.