WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner’s
split decision victory over Donald
Cerrone at WEC 38 last Sunday in San Diego, Calif., could
become a costly title defense.
“I broke my right index metacarpal, completely fractured,” Varner
said on Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show on Wednesday. “So I have to get
pins put in it [Thursday]. Then I go next week to see my eye doctor
to make sure my retina isn’t detached. And if it’s detached it
could be a career-ending injury.”
Varner, who said he is still having trouble with his peripheral
vision four days following the injury, has been indefinitely
suspended until he can provide medical documentation that says the
eye has recovered.
But it was the fight’s stoppage and the reaction it got that might
have affected Varner the most.
“What hurt me the most was the crowd. They had no idea about the
pain or suffering I was going through,” said Varner. “They had no
idea I broke my hand in the first or second round. I don’t know
exactly where. I remember one time in the fourth round that I just
couldn’t hit him with it. I told my corner that I couldn’t use it
For Varner, the injuries kept on coming.
“He checked one of my kicks early in the fight and that’s where I
fractured my foot,” said the Arizona Combat Sports fighter. “Then I
kicked him in the head with it in the fourth and that was it. My
foot was completely done. So I walked out for the fifth round with
one hand and some takedowns. I had to grind out a decision… I knew
the fifth round was going to be boring. I couldn’t offer anything
Varner (16-2) couldn’t see anything out of his right eye
immediately following the illegal knee from Cerrone (9-1) that came
in the final round and led the referee Josh Rosenthal to halt the
bout. When a fighter can’t continue from an unintentional illegal
blow, the bout goes to the scorecards. Varner was awarded the split
Despite being on the winning end of what he called a “one-sided
fight,” Varner said would accept a rematch with Cerrone, but the
24-year-old champion has bigger things on his mind.
“It’s scary,” said Varner. “I’m just trying to think positive. I’m
trying not to think about the fans. No offense to the fans, but
they’re a little bit ignorant and they have no idea the pain that I
was enduring. For them to think I was looking for a way out -- I
fought close to 13 minutes with a broken hand and foot and I
could’ve easily quit the fight before that. Why would I endure all
that pain just to quit? I’m not a quitter. I’m a fighter. I’m a
champion and I’m going to try and defend my title to the
Editor's Note: This article inaccurately called Varner's fight
with Cerrone his first title defense. It was corrected at 4:59 a.m.
EST to note that it was Varner's second title defense.