Jamie Varner was by all accounts ill before the Nevada Athletic Commission cancelled his bout Saturday against Melvin Guillard at “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 16 finale.
As UFC President Dana White described it, Varner was vomiting like the Exorcist backstage.
Guillard doesn’t question that his opponent was ill, but he does question why.
“I think it was a little bit of fear, a little bit of nerves and it got the best of him,” Guillard told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show.
To back up his claim, Guillard explained that shortly before hearing that Varner was sick, he’d been warned that his opponent’s camp was concerned about him greasing.
“I’m in the locker room getting my rules meeting from the ref, and the end of that rules meeting was a little disturbing because the referee was like, ‘His corner wanted me to let you know that they are a little concerned about you greasing.’ I’m like, ‘What?’ I’ve done nothing but respect this guy and his camp,” Guillard said. “I’ve said nothing bad about him or his camp, and [they’re] going to sit there and try to falsely accuse me of possibly greasing? I’m like, ‘OK, whatever.’ I get undressed out of my suit and I put on my fight gear and I’m warming up now … and not even 15, 20 minutes later, the commissioner walks in and says, ‘Melvin, I think your fight might get scratched.’”
Guillard did have a March 2005 Freestyle Fighting Championship 14 win over Roger Huerta declared a no contest by the Mississippi State Athletic Commission after greasing allegations were made. However, he said he didn’t grease then and certainly wasn’t going to against Varner.
“I think it was foul play for him to even say that because I thought we had a mutual respectful agreement that we were going to fight hard and give the fans what they wanted to see,” Guillard said. “That was what we talked about at the weigh-ins when we walked in the back. Then for him to pull that stunt and then on top of that to say that I might be greasing? That was like telling me you’re my buddy, but then going to another guy and talking behind my back.”
Guillard was also upset with the fight’s cancellation because family and friends had traveled to Las Vegas to see him compete. He’ll still get a chance to tangle with Varner, though, as the fight has been rescheduled for UFC 155 on Dec. 29.
“Deep down inside, I think the guy’s a little bit afraid of me and I’m going to prove it in two weeks because I’m not letting this fool out of the first round,” Guillard said. “I’m going to impose my will and I’m going to give him his walking papers.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:37:34).