Bryan Levick put together this great interview!
The WEC's Lightweight Champion has been in the limelight since defeating Cerrone about a year ago. The often quick and reserve champion had some very interesting things to say about BJ Penn, Ben Henderson, and of course the Donald Cerrone rivalry.
Cerrone called him a chicken...(well, sort of)
Bryan Levick: Cerrone spoke of an incident that he said took place at UFC 101 in which he confronted you and you backed down from him. Is there any truth to that?
Jamie Varner: He is so full of s**t, I’ve heard that story too. Supposedly we were in the back in some room, it was me, Cerrone and Leonard Garcia. That never happened, he is just trying to stir up more s**t. He’s such a hillbilly, I don’t even know what else to say! To be honest with you he doesn’t deserve the attention that he is getting.
Cerrone is an easier fight than Henderson
Jamie Varner: Cerrone is an easier fight, don’t get me wrong they are both tough fighters, but they are tough in different ways. They are polar opposites. When I’m fighting Cerrone I know the fight is going to take place standing, I don’t have to worry about him shooting in for a takedown. As far as Henderson is concerned, he is constantly looking for the takedown, so I have to look out for that at all times. It’s easier not having to worry about someone shooting in and having a stand-up war. When I am in there with Cerrone I can dictate where the fight goes.
Renaming the WEC to the Urijah Faber show...
Bryan Levick: You have been very vocal about the WEC’s constant push of Urijah Faber and how they don’t get behind any of the other fighters the way they do Faber. Are there any instances in particular of the WEC giving Faber more opportunities than they do other fighters:
Jamie Varner: It should be called The Urijah Faber show instead of World Extreme Cagefighting. They keep giving Faber all of the big promotional deals, in fact they just hooked him up with Amp Energy Drink. Amp just became the official energy drink of the WEC. I called the WEC regarding Amp about two months ago because a buddy of mine who works with Pepsi told me about it. I asked the WEC to get me on board with them and they said they would see what they could do. Lo and behold Faber got the deal.
BJ and the UFC
Bryan Levick: How do you stack up against the lightweights in the UFC?
Jamie Varner: I’d say I am top three or four. There’s some tough fights for me there. BJ Penn is ultimately the toughest fight for me. I’d say another tough fight for me would be with Grey Maynard. He’s such a strong wrestler, I’ve been the dominant wrestler in all of my fights, Henderson will be the first fighter that I have faced that is as good a wrestler as I am. I’d have really good fights with Kenny Florian, Diego Sanchez and Joe Stevenson. I think I match up really well with them. Frankie Edgar is a good fighter but he should be fighting at 145lbs, I am bigger and more athletic than him.