Jamie Varner announces his retirement at UFC Fight Night in Phoenix
Following a 35-fight career spanning more than 11 years, former WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner retired from the sport on Saturday night after suffering a loss to Drew Dober at UFC Fight Night on FOX: dos Santos vs. Miocic.
Varner came into the fight during one of the roughest stretches of his career, going just 1-3 in his past four bouts before falling to Dober.
The fight ended in the first round after Varner dropped to the canvas and got dazed when his head accidentally hit the mat. Dober took advantage and locked on a fight-ending rear-naked choke at 1:52 in round one.
As soon as the fight was over, Varner spoke to UFC commentator Joe Rogan and announced his retirement. Varner stated that he had planned on his retirement Saturday, regardless of a win or a loss.
"I’ve done everything I wanted to do in this sport, and my next move is to coach and inspire these up-and-coming athletes and make this sport better," Varner said. "I hope the UFC comes back here. There are a lot of good gyms and fighters and former world champions that live here, and I look forward to being a part of it. Honestly, I’m going to remember the 11 losses more than the 21 wins, it’s just bittersweet.
"It’s been a better part of a decade since I’ve gotten a win in my hometown. I think it’s God’s way of saying it’s over. I’ve had a great, fun career and I’ve done everything I wanted to. I had the most prestigious belt around my waist, and that was the WEC belt. I held it and defended more than anyone else. It’s been a real fun ride. I can’t believe it’s over.”
While Varner’s recent run in the UFC ended with the longest losing streak of his career, the former WEC champion managed to put on some very exciting fights throughout his time with the Zuffa family.
Varner retires with a 21-11-1 record (2 no contests) overall, including a 7-9-1 record between the UFC and WEC.