Jamie Varner makes his long-awaited return to the UFC on short notice to face an incredibly tough and undefeated star in Edison Barboza. Varner (19-6-1) will look to take whatever chance the UFC gives him when he goes toe to toe with Barboza (10-0), the man with one of the nastiest KO’s so far this year. Varner is no rookie to the sport and while many doubt him, he was the longest lasting WEC champ and has always been involved with good fights.
Jamie Varner is coming off a very quick first round knock out of an ex training partner and UFC Alum Drew Fickett. He is a golden gloves boxer in Arizona, and a fairly decent MMA Wrestler which could be a different test for Barboza. Varner has been training full-time at the MMA Lab with the likes of Efrain Escudero and UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson. While many are counting Varner out early, he will surely make this a great fight and an “upset” might not be as farfetched as many fans paint it to be.
Edson Barboza is a muay thai / kick boxing based fighter with great movement and power and should be all about kicking Varner early to mimic a recent Dakota Cochrane beat down of Varner. Barboza has all the tools to send a decent fighter fleeing early and if he tags Varner, his comeback chance could crumble very early.
Barboza is a threat to anyone in the division in the striking department, but hasn’t been fully tested in his wrestling. Varner will look to exploit that and see if the Brazilian has any flaws, while trying not to get knocked out. The Barboza vs. Varner bout is slated to be on the night’s preliminary card, as the heavyweights will be handling the main card duties.