|Born||James Christopher Varner
October 12, 1984
Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Weight||156 lb (71 kg; 11.1 st)|
|Reach||72.0 in (183 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Glendale, Arizona|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|University||Lock Haven University|
|Notable school(s)||Deer Valley High School|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
James Christopher Varner (born October 12, 1984) is an American mixed martial artist who is currently signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He is the former WEC Lightweight Champion champion.
Mixed martial arts career
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Varner competed twice in the UFC. His first appearance was against lightweight veteran Hermes Franca, which Varner lost via submission (armbar) in round 3. His final appearance was against formerly undefeated Jason Gilliam, which he won via first round submission (rear naked choke). After this win, Varner transferred to the WEC.
World Extreme Cagefighting
Varner successfully defended his WEC Lightweight Championship belt against the previously undefeated Marcus Hicks on August 3, 2008.
He next retained his title on January 25, 2009, defeating Donald Cerrone via technical split decision at WEC 38. The fight was highly competitive and won the Fight of the Night award. However, the fight was stopped prematurely in the fifth round when Cerrone hit Varner's temple with an illegal knee while Varner was still on the ground. Varner was given time to recover, but he was unable to continue, noting that he had double vision and had sustained a broken hand.
The controversial nature of the stoppage and many fans' disapproval of the result tarnished Varner's reputation as a tough fighter. The months following led to potential rematch opportunities which never occurred, amidst speculation that Varner was avoiding the fight and exaggerating an array of injuries that preceded the Cerrone match. This, as well as Varner's subsequent inability to perform since the Cerrone fight (despite Cerrone's ability to do the contrary), led the WEC to set up an interim title bout between Cerrone and Henderson. Henderson defeated Cerrone via unanimous decision to win the WEC Interim Lightweight Championship.
Varner was expected to face Kamal Shalorus on April 24, 2010 at WEC 48, but the bout was called off due to an injury sustained by Shalorus. Varner/Shalorus was then rescheduled for June 20, 2010 at WEC 49. The match ended in a split draw.
In his first post-Zuffa fight, Varner fought Tyler Combs for XFO and won via submission in the first round. He was also in negotiations for a possible fight against Dream lightweight champion Shinya Aoki at the end of May 2011, but the bout did not materialize.
Varner has signed a three fight contract with XFC. He debuted on the XFC 14 show, defeating Nate Jolly via KO in round one. He returned on the XFC 16 High Stakes card which took place on February 10, 2012 from the Knoxville Civic Auditorium-Coliseum in Knoxville, Tennessee. He defeated Drew Fickett via TKO due to strikes just 40 seconds into round one.
Return to the UFC
It was announced that Varner would replace Evan Dunham, who suffered an injury, to fight undefeated prospect Edson Barboza on May 26, 2012 at UFC 146. Varner defeated Barboza by TKO due to punches in the first round.
Varner replaced an injured Terry Etim against Joe Lauzon on August 4, 2012 at UFC on Fox: Shogun vs. Vera. Varner broke his hand in the second round and lost at 2:44 in the third round via triangle choke. However, his performance earned him the $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus and a Fight of the Year nomination at the World MMA Awards.
Varner was scheduled to face Melvin Guillard on December 15, 2012 at the The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale. However, Varner fell ill the day of the event and the bout was scrapped from the card. Varner/Guillard was rescheduled for December 29, 2012 at UFC 155. Varner won the fight via split decision (30-27, 27-30, 30-27). Joe Rogan said post fight that "whoever scored it 30 to 27 for Guillard should never be allowed to judge a fight again."
Championships and accomplishments
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- Fight of the Night (Two times)
- World Extreme Cagefighting
- Sherdog Awards
- 2012 Upset of the Year
- World MMA Awards
- 2012 Fight of the Year
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|31 matches||21 wins||7 losses|
|Win||21-7-1 (2)||Melvin Guillard||Decision (split)||UFC 155||December 29, 2012||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||20-7-1 (2)||Joe Lauzon||Submission (triangle choke)||UFC on Fox: Shogun vs. Vera||August 4, 2012||3||2:44||Los Angeles, California, United States||Fight of the Night|
|Win||20-6-1 (2)||Edson Barboza||TKO (punches)||UFC 146||May 26, 2012||1||3:23||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Upset of the year 2012|
|Win||19-6-1 (2)||Drew Fickett||Submission (punches)||XFC 16||February 10, 2012||1||0:40||Knoxville, Tennessee, United States||160 lb catchweight|
|Win||18-6-1 (2)||Nate Jolly||KO (punches)||XFC 14||October 21, 2011||1||1:09||Orlando, Florida, United States||160 lb catchweight|
|Loss||17-6-1 (2)||Dakota Cochrane||Decision (unanimous)||TitanFC 20||September 23, 2011||3||5:00||Kansas City, Kansas, United States||165 lb catchweight|
|Win||17-5-1 (2)||Tyler Combs||Submission (north-south choke)||XFO 39||May 13, 2011||1||1:30||Hoffman Estates, Illinois, United States||Welterweight bout|
|Loss||16-5-1 (2)||Shane Roller||Submission (rear-naked choke)||WEC 53||December 16, 2010||1||3:55||Glendale, Arizona, United States|
|Loss||16-4-1 (2)||Donald Cerrone||Decision (unanimous)||WEC 51||September 30, 2010||3||5:00||Broomfield, Colorado, United States||Fight of the Night|
|Draw||16-3-1 (2)||Kamal Shalorus||Draw (split)||WEC 49||June 20, 2010||3||5:00||Edmonton, Alberta, Canada||Shalorus had 1 point deducted in round 2 for illegal groin kicks.|
|Loss||16-3 (2)||Benson Henderson||Submission (guillotine choke)||WEC 46||January 10, 2010||3||2:41||Sacramento, California, United States||Lost WEC Lightweight Championship|
|Win||16-2 (2)||Donald Cerrone||Technical Decision (split)||WEC 38||January 25, 2009||5||3:10||San Diego, California, United States||Defended WEC Lightweight Championship; Illegal knee by Cerrone ended fight; Fight of the night.|
|Win||15-2 (2)||Marcus Hicks||TKO (punches)||WEC 35||August 3, 2008||1||2:08||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Defended WEC Lightweight Championship|
|Win||14-2 (2)||Rob McCullough||TKO (punches)||WEC 32||February 13, 2008||3||2:54||Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States||Won WEC Lightweight Championship|
|Win||13-2 (2)||Sherron Leggett||TKO (punches and elbows)||WEC 29||August 5, 2007||1||4:08||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||12-2 (2)||Jason Gilliam||Technical Submission (rear-naked choke)||UFC 68||March 3, 2007||1||1:34||Columbus, Ohio, United States|
|Loss||11-2 (2)||Hermes França||Submission (armbar)||UFC 62||August 26, 2006||3||3:31||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Fight of the Night.|
|Win||11-1 (2)||Leonard Wilson||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Rage in the Cage 78||January 14, 2006||2||1:07||Glendale, Arizona, United States|
|NC||10-1 (2)||Tony Llamas||No Contest||KOTC: Arizona||July 9, 2005||N/A||N/A||Globe, Arizona, United States||Llamas injured by an illegal strike.|
|Win||10-1 (1)||Paul Arroyo||TKO (submission to punches)||Rage in the Cage 71||June 30, 2005||1||2:03||Tempe, Arizona, United States|
|Win||9-1 (1)||Adam Roland||TKO (punches)||Rage in the Cage 70||June 11, 2005||1||2:46||Glendale, Arizona, United States|
|Win||8-1 (1)||Jesse Bongfeldt||TKO (punches)||WFF 7: Professional Shooto||July 23, 2004||1||4:12||Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada|
|Win||7-1 (1)||Kyle Bradley||Submission (rear naked choke)||Fight Factory||June 26, 2004||2||2:34||N/A|
|Win||6-1 (1)||Kyle Sprouse||Submission (choke)||RITC 63: It's Time||June 12, 2004||1||1:47||Phoenix, Arizona, United States|
|Win||5-1 (1)||Garett Davis||Submission (triangle choke)||World Freestyle Fighting 6||May 14, 2004||1||3:52||Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada|
|NC||4-1 (1)||James Upshur||No Contest||RITC 61: Relentless||April 30, 2004||2||N/A||Phoenix, Arizona, United States|
|Win||4-1||Jarvis Brennaman||Submission (triangle choke)||ECS: Evolution||July 19, 2003||1||1:22||Phoenix, Arizona, United States|
|Win||3-1||Dave Klein||Submission (choke)||RITC 50: The Prelude||July 12, 2003||3||1:56||Tucson, Arizona, United States|
|Win||2-1||Justin Nauling||Submission (armbar)||RITC 49: Stare Down||June 7, 2003||2||0:38||Phoenix, Arizona, United States|
|Loss||1-1||Jesse Moreng||Decision (unanimous)||RITC 47: Unstoppable||June 7, 2003||3||3:00||Phoenix, Arizona, United States|
|Win||1-0||Carlos Ortega||Decision (unanimous)||RITC 46: Launching Pad||March 27, 2003||3||3:00||Tempe, Arizona, United States|
He is an alumnus of Deer Valley High School in Glendale, Arizona, where he also was a part of the Deer Valley Skyhawk Wrestling Team. He attended Lock Haven University where he joined the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity (he is not listed in the PI registry, if he joined it was after college) and spent his time at that school training both as a wrestler and a boxer, where he was NCBA (National Collegiate Boxing Association) Champion for the nationally recognized Lock Haven University boxing team. Also attended PCC(Pima Community College) outside of Maricopa county in Arizona.
Varner was instrumental in the legalization and forthcoming athletic sanctioning of mixed martial arts in the state of Arizona after giving testimony to the sport's legitimacy and ongoing development as an athletic profession.
- "Henderson Conquers Varner for Title". www.wec.tv. Retrieved 2010-01-11.
- "Jamie Varner vs. Kamal Shalorus likely for WEC 48 PPV main card". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
- "WEC 49: 'Varner vs Shalorus' official for June 20 in Edmonton". mmamania.com. 2010-04-15.
- "VARNER VS. CERRONE 2 SIGNED FOR WEC 51". mmaweekly.com. 2010-07-20.
- "Jamie Varner To Face Shane Roller at WEC 53". mmaweekly.com. October 22, 2010.
- "Former WEC Champion Jamie Varner Released From WEC/UFC Following Loss". mmaweekly.com. December 28, 2010.
- "Shinya Aoki Will Fight at Dream 17; McKee and Varner Possible Opponents (UPDATED)". mmaweekly.com. May 6, 2011.
- Tom Ngo (May 1, 2012). "Jamie Varner Replaces Injured Evan Dunham at UFC 146". 5thround.com.
- "Melvin Guillard vs. Jamie Varner added to TUF 16 Finale in December". mmajunkie.com. November 1, 2012.
- "Illness forces Jamie Varner out of Melvin Guillard fight". mmafighting.com. December 15, 2012.
- "Lightweights Jamie Varner and Gleison Tibau set for UFC 164 in Milwaukee". mmajunkie.com. June 19, 2013.
- Official UFC Profile
- http://www.mmajacked.com/jamievarner MMAJacked Prosite
- Professional MMA record for Jamie Varner from Sherdog
- http://www.jamievarner.com Official Site
- http://www.mtxaudio.com/mma/view_bio.aspx?u=17 Bio at MTX MMA Website
|5th WEC Lightweight Champion
February 13, 2008 - January 10, 2010