Varner's Career in Jeopardy

Written by Tom Ngo
January 29th, 2009

To say that WEC lightweight champion Jaime Varer is having a tough week would be an understatement. Although he was able to successfully defend his title against Donald Cerrone at WEC 38 this past Sunday, he now has to deal with a broken right hand, a fractured foot and a possible detached retina, which could end his career at the age of 24.

“I broke my right index metacarpal, completely fractured,” Varner said on Sherdog.com. “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 was struck with an unintentional illegal knee to the head in the 5thRound of his bout at the San Diego Sports Arena in San Diego, California. After he was given the mandatory five-minute recovery period, Varner complained of dizziness and loss of vision in his right eye.

The fight was stopped immediately, and under the regulations of the California State Athletic Commission, a fight automatically goes to the judges’ score cards when unintentional strikes leave a fighter unable to continue.

Four days after the fight, Varner is still having difficulty with his peripheral vision.

In addition to that, the champ had broken his punching hand in the bout’s earlier rounds.

“…I broke my hand in the 1st or 2ndRound,” said Varner. “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 anymore.”

Unfortunately the injury-bug continued to strike at the worst time, as Varner lost another limb in the later rounds.

“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 4th and that was it. My foot was completely done. So I walked out for the 5thRound with one hand and some takedowns. I had to grind out a decision … I knew the 5thRound was going to be boring. I couldn’t offer anything really damaging.”

Although he incurred three significant injuries, one which is career-threatening, those didn’t hurt nearly as badly as the crowd’s reaction when the doctor’s stopped the fight prematurely.

“What hurt me the most was the crowd. They had no idea about the pain or suffering I was going through,” stated a disappointed Varner. “They had no idea … 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 death.”

In the fans’ defense, they didn’t know the seriousness of Varner’s injuries at the time. However, it is known now and 5thRound.com would like to send their prayers and best wishes to Varner for a healthy recovery.

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