by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
World Extreme Cagefighting lightweight champion Jamie Varner will return to action on Aug. 3 to take on top contender Marcus Hicks, as confirmed to MMAWeekly.com by sources close to the fight.

Varner won the WEC title by knocking out former champion “Razor” Rob McCullough in February of this year. His fight with Hicks will be the first defense of his newly won title.

The Arizona Combat Sports fighter moved to the WEC after debuting in the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2006. After defeating Sherron Leggett in his first fight for the promotion, he moved on to face McCullough for the title.

Hicks steps into the bout with Varner currently sporting an undefeated record with none of his fights ever making it to a judges’ decision. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt has been extremely impressive in all of his fights since joining the WEC in May 2007.

In his last fight out, Hicks finished Ed Ratcliff in the first round with his signature submission, the guillotine choke, and it was rumored at that point that the winner would face Varner for the championship.

The event is set for Aug. 3, likely in Las Vegas, and will also feature a rematch between current WEC light heavyweight champion Brian Stann and Steve Cantwell.