Jamie Varner (pictured) upset Edson Barboza on short notice in return to UFC. Varner proceeded to lose three of his next four fights, including two straight.
Many believed Saturday’s UFC 173 tango against James Krause was a must-win for “C-4.”
Well, Varner lost, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort. The former WEC lightweight champion broke his left ankle in the opening moments of the bout, though continued to swing for the fences with one leg despite falling on his face several times because he had no base.
UFC president Dana White said “that’s the kind of stuff that builds legends” had Varner won via Hail Mary KO.
While White was impressed by Varner’s warrior spirit, White also said he would have tried to save Varner from himself.
“It could have [been stopped], yeah,” White said of the scrap. “Listen, usually guys quit. Guys will tap out and say, ‘Ah, I broke my ankle.’ There was no quit in that kid. So that’s one of those situations where he kept going. I don’t know. That’s a tough one. But, by the end of that round, he was done. He was like, ‘I’m done.’
“But he fought that whole round [with a broken ankle]. His corner didn’t throw in the towel, the ref didn’t stop the fight, but he wasn’t complaining, either. Varner’s all heart. But normally, yes, if that was my guy, I would have threw the towel in in a second. I would have threw the towel in, me personally.”
Despite his current skid, based off White’s comments, Varner will most likely get another go inside the octagon once his ankle heals up.