Varner Headed Back to School for Pre-Med

By Chris Nelson Jan 10, 2011
Jamie Varner | Dave Mandel/

“That’s it, I’m dropping down to 145,” read the message from Jamie Varner’s Twitter account Sunday.

“Look out jose,” it added, presumably in reference to UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo.

However, the former WEC lightweight champion later wrote, the message was not from himself, but from a “buddy who thought it would be funny to tweet that garbage.

“My twitter got hijacked last night! I’m not going to 145,” Varner clarified in a later message. “I’m goin back to school for pre-med... then gonna figure it out from there!”

Varner, who has previously attended Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania (where he studied accounting) and graduated from Pima Community College in Arizona, did not specify where he planned to study or how long he expected to be away from MMA competition.

Despite a 4-0 start to his WEC career, the 26-year-old Arizona native was released by WEC and UFC parent company Zuffa LLC in late December after going winless in his last four outings.

After keeping his title in a controversial technical decision against Donald Cerrone in January 2009, Varner sat on the shelf for nearly one year to rehab a hand injury he sustained in that bout. Upon his return, Varner lost his belt to Benson Henderson when he was submitted via third-round guillotine choke at WEC 46.

Varner would next fight to a foul-marred split draw against Kamal Shalorus at June’s WEC 49. His slump continued in September, when Varner dropped a unanimous decision in an anticipated rematch with now-nemesis Cerrone, though the bout earned “Fight of the Night” honors for WEC 51.

In December, at the final WEC event, Varner was submitted in his home state by powerhouse wrestler Shane Roller, a loss which capped his 0-3-1 year and prompted his exit from the company.
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