On September 30, one of the most highly anticipated rematches in WEC history will finally happen. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone will take on Jamie Varner in the co-main event of WEC 51.
The two last met in January 2009, with the fight ending in controversy. Though Varner walked away with the victory and the lightweight title he came in with, it wasn’t how he wanted it. Towards the midway point of the fifth round, Cerrone unintentionally kneed Varner while he was down. Varner was unable to recover so the fight went to the judges, who gave the nod to the champion. Since that night, fans have waited anxiously for the two to meet again and that time is finally here, but what’s next for the winner?
Varner (16-3-1-2) has only fought twice since his first bout with Cerrone due to an array of injuries. In his return fight after a yearlong layoff, Varner lost his title to current champion, Ben Henderson. He then took on Kamal Shalorus this past June, which again ended in controversy after the fight was rendered a draw. Although it would not seem as if a title shot is a possibility for Varner, a decisive win could put him back in the mix.
Cerrone (11-3-1) has fought four times since the first bout with Varner. In those four fights, “Cowboy” has gone 2-2 with both losses coming at the hands of current lightweight champ Ben Henderson. Assuming this fight avoids any controversial ending, don’t expect Cerrone to get the call for a title shot anytime soon. Even with the limited number of contenders at 155 lbs, Cerrone has dropped two fights to the current champion in the last year. If Cerrone is able to “wow” the crowd with a victory over Varner, he may still be one or two wins away from another shot at Henderson.
WEC 51 takes place September 30 at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colorado. Headlining the card will be Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo who takes on number one contender Manny Gamburyan.