by Jamie Varner – Special to MMAWeekly.com

Welcome to my training


My first title defense
is less then 30 days away and I have been training for this fight for about 10
weeks now. 


My training camp has
been pretty intense.  In May I
started with my strength and conditioning coach preparing for this fight with
Marcus Hicks.  I added this aspect
to my training before the “Razor” Rob fight and I think it gave me the edge and
ability to recover in between rounds more efficiently.


I work on my strength
and conditioning three days a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) and he basically
takes me through one of the hardest workouts I have ever been through.  If you ever played football and wrestled
you should try to combine the two-a-days and wrestling’s “hell week”
and that is how I feel after a single workout.


On Mondays I spar MMA,
so after getting killed by my strength and conditioning coach I get the
pleasure of being one of the smallest guys in the sparring session.   We go 10 five-minute rounds,
rotating opponents.  At some points
I am sparring with heavyweight Olympic level wrestlers, or nationally ranked K1
powerhouses.  Our trainers (Todd
and Trevor Lally) do not think sparring should be much different then game time,
so we are going hard and people have been known to get KO’d in these


On Wednesday’s we focus
on sparring for boxing.  I have
been going to some of the great Phoenix Boxing gyms and getting it on with
southpaws and guys built like Marcus. 
We have our boxing sessions set up very similar to our MMA. No take
downs just boxing and the science of boxing.


On Friday’s we spare
Muay Thai Kickboxing and again I am in the gym with bigger and more experienced
guys throwing me around and sometimes beating me down.  While it is frustrating dealing with
these guys that all out weigh me by 20-40 pounds but when you combine that with
my strength and conditioning come fight night I am usually the stronger
opponent in the ring.


Every morning I work on
my ground game with Gustavo Dantes and wrestling with our National level
wrestling coaches.  While writing
this, I am realizing how spoiled I really am to be at such a great training
camp where they bring it all together like this.


In the afternoons I
teach a beginning MMA class and work with a team of amateur fighters, training
them and teaching them the game of MMA.


I spend my life either
going to or coming from the gym. 
Everything revolves around my training and getting better so I can one
day be called one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. 


This week’s training
has been filled with MMA sparring with a former Shooto champ that is also a
southpaw.  We are fine-tuning and
breaking down some of Marcus’s technique and training around him.  The Lally’s are insane!  The AC broke in the gym, so instead of
10 five-minute rounds with a minute rest, we were only going to do eight 10-minute
rounds.  The fine print was 30-second
breaks.  I think they must have
forgotten it was 117 degrees outside.


By the fourth round,
the walls in this 15,000-foot training facility were sweating and the windows
fogged.  The faint of heart and
those not preparing for fights left and it was just the pros, 130 degrees and
two of the meanest twins you will ever meet.


For my fans, this is my
biggest test yet.  Almost anyone
can win a belt, champions defend them. On August 3, I
will defend this belt.  Tune into
MMAWeekly for more blogs, as we get closer to this fight.


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Jamie Varner defends his World Extreme Cagefighting lightweight
title against Marcus Hicks at WEC 35 on August 3 in Las Vegas. WEC 35 will air
live on the Versus network. You can find out more
about Jamie and email him at JamieVarner.com.
Jamie is sponsored by MTX Audio
and LG Sports Marketing