Jaime Varner: “I Came to Fight, Ben [Henderson] Came to Grapple”

Written by Tom Ngo
January 11th, 2010

Got cheese? Jaime Varner might be needing some to go with his whine as the former WEC lightweight champ wasn’t in the props-giving mood following his 3rdRound submission loss to now-undisputed 155-pound champion Ben Henderson on Sunday night at WEC 46.

“I was winning that fight. All he was doing was throwing body kicks,” Varner said  after the disappointing loss. “I had the takedowns, I had the control.”

For the most part, the two opening rounds mirrored each other, and for the most part Varner is correct. He did secure a couple of takedowns, however didn’t manage to do much while the fight was on the mat.

Henderson was able to squirm his way back to his feet each time and was able to keep Varner contained in his clinches, while scoring most of his points on body kicks.

It was clearly something the former title holder didn’t appear to appreciate too much.

“I came to fight,” Varner stated. “Ben was the better man. He caught me in a guillotine. He’s a studly dude. I wanted to box, … he wanted to kick. (Expletive) happens.”

Well, outside of a couple of strikes, neither title holder was able to make anything happen for much of the first 15 minutes. And that’s why fans inside Arco Arena in Sacramento, California started raining down boos on the main event fighters.

They weren’t the only ones unhappy in Cow Town as Varner continued his rant during the WEC 46 post-fight presser. When asked about how the broken right hand that kept him sidelined since last January affected his performance, Varner claimed it wasn’t an issue because it wasn’t utilized.

“My hand felt fine. I wish I could have hit Ben with it because it would have been a much shorter night tonight,” Varner stated.

Varner made it perfectly clear he wanted to bang, but unfortunately Henderson didn’t. Henderson opted to focus on other aspects of his game to win the fight, not just throwing bombs, and there’s NOTHING wrong with that. That’s why it’s called MIXED MARTIAL ARTS …

You did have almost three full rounds to do something about it and weren’t able to close the deal, give the man some genuine props!

During the year Varner was sidelined, he somehow earned the rep as a quitter, something Henderson quickly, and loudly, pointed out prior to Sunday’s contest. Well, nobody likes a quitter and the fans were no different as they were already letting him have it even before he took the mic inside the cage for his post-fight interview.

Varner made matter worse when he refused to show love to the man that had him crying uncle with more than 2Rounds left on the table.

Well, boo him all you want Sacto fans, Varner could care less.

“I feel that a lot of the fans can be fickle. If I had KO’d Ben, I think a lot of them would’ve loved me,” Varner stated. “He didn’t want to box. I came to fight, Ben came to grapple. Two different things.”

Classy and classless. Those are also two different things.

On a side note, newly-minted champion Ben Henderson was nothing but respectful towards the man he unified the title against.

“Jamie Varner is a tough, scary-looking dude. I was a little intimidated at first,” said Henderson, who is believed to be headed towards a rematch with Donald Cerrone in October. “Thankfully, I came out on top.”

“Two, four, six, eight, who do we appreciate … “

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