by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
There’s not a much sweeter win in all of MMA than defending a world title, but for WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner his last victory came at the cost of his bodily health. Following a win over top contender Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, it was the champion who had to undergo several surgeries that will likely keep him out of action until late summer.
The champion stopped by MMAWeekly Radio recently, and disclosed that all in total he had two hand surgeries, two pins, six screws, and a plate inserted into his hand, a broken blood vessel in his eye, and a broken foot. All told at this point, Varner says he is about a month out from being able to punch again on his broken hand, and then he’s ready to get back into camp and fight.
“September’s when I’m looking to get back in there,” Varner said. “I’m thinking the WEC will have me headline the card in September, and I’m hoping for that. I’m going to start training coming into this next week.”
As for possible opponents, Cerrone’s name still remains at the top of the list following the stoppage in their last fight, and the champion is more than happy to settle the unfinished business between to two fighters.
“If it’s Cowboy, I’d love to shut him up. I’d love to shut all of his fans up. Whoever his web manager is, I’d like to smash his face in, too,” stated Varner. “You go to his website, they have him down as 10-0 on his website. So funny, I’m pretty sure he’s 9-1 cause if he was 10-0 he’d have a world title sitting on his mantle.”
Admitting that sitting out has been just about the hardest thing ever, Varner says that he doesn’t want a warm-up fight when he comes back, he only wants to face the best in the world because that’s what champions are supposed to do.
“When you’re a world champion there is no easy fight,” said Varner. “You don’t have time to get ring rust. You’ve got to be ready to face the best in the world whenever they call you. I love it, and I’m ready for it.”
He also commented on his place in the ever-expanding lightweight division, where top fighters are all scratching and clawing to get to the top of the weight class.
“I feel I am one of the best lightweights in the world. Top five, bar none,” he said. “There’s not too many people in the world at 155 pounds that can beat me, and since my injury, I’ve gotten more confident. I believe in myself a lot more than I ever have, and I’m just ready to get back in there and just do my thing.”
Jamie Varner will continue to coach and work with teammates at Arizona Combat Sports before getting back into his own camp for a possible September return.