Jamie Varner: Jeff Sherwood | Sherdog.com
Former WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner has been released by WEC and UFC parent company Zuffa LLC.
Word of Varner’s release was first reported by PunchDrunkGamer.com, and Sherdog.com has since confirmed the news with the fighter’s management.
Varner made his Zuffa debut at UFC 62 in 2006, losing via armbar submission to Hermes Franca in the third round. The Arizona native rebounded with a victory over Jason Gilliam seven months later at UFC 68, finishing his opponent with a rear-naked choke just 94 seconds into the lightweight contest.
In August 2007, the Arizona Combat Sports product made his WEC debut and proceeded to run off four straight victories. In that span, Varner defeated “Razor” Rob McCullough for the lightweight title and defended it against both Marcus Hicks and Donald Cerrone, before losing the belt to Benson Henderson at WEC 38 in 2009.
The Henderson loss marked the start of Varner’s current slump, which has seen him go 0-3-1 in his last four outings. The 26-year-old fought to a split draw with hard-hitting Kamal Shalorus at WEC 49, and then dropped back-to-back bouts against nemesis Donald Cerrone and top-shelf wrestler Shane Roller at WEC 51 and WEC 53, respectively.