WEC lightweight champ Jamie Varner may have won over two of the judges in his fight against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone last night at WEC 38, but failed to do so with the crowd. After dominating the bout for four rounds, Varner ate what looked to be a semi-flush knee to the temple in the fifth round. The strike was ruled as unintentional, yet illegal, and then the drama began.
Being a fan of Varner’s for some time, I found it perplexing that the champ who was in command of the majority of the fight, would repeatedly state in his post-fight interview that he’s “better than that”. Jamie revealed to the crowd and viewers tuned into Versus, that he broke his hand in the second round and could not see after the illegal knee. While broken hands in fights are not that uncommong with heavy-hitters, the manner in which the revelation was made public was more so the issue than the injury itself.
I hesitate to bring up the word “excuses”, but Varner walked a very dangerous line with the MMA world by losing his self-control exemplified by flailing body language and out-of-line vocal expressions for an extended amount of time after the initial now-infamous-knee. I did not find much fault with the facts of the stoppage and judge’s scorecards, but Jamie exacerbated the situation by only exhibiting unfiltered emotion rather than a champion’s swagger.
We can only hope the WEC grants a much-anticipated rematch between these two. I have no doubt in my mind Cerrone will be ready for another twenty-five minute war at the drop of a hat.