The title fight, scheduled for five rounds went to the judges’ cards prior to the final bell due to an illegal knee from Cerrone that caught Varner on the temple with a minute and fifty seconds left in round five. Varner was given adequate time to recover after the incident but was unable to continue and told the doctor he could not see. If a fighter wants the fight to continue he cannot tell the doctor he is unable to see.
According to section 467.7966 of the NAC rules, once a title fight has gone past three rounds and there is an injury like this where one of the competitors is unable to continue due to an illegal blow, the fight goes to the judges. If a title fight has to be stopped prior to finishing the third round, it is ruled a no contest. In this case the fight went to the judges and it was ruled 49-46 Varner, 48-47 Cerrone, and 49-46 for the winner by split decision, Jamie Varner.
Varner was very aggressive during the bout, landing solid punches and kicks standing but he really distanced himself from Cerrone in points with takedowns. He took Cerrone down multiple times practically at will and did considerable damage with a strong ground and pound game. After the bout, Varner apologized, said he broke his hand in round two, and said he is “better than that”.
Why Varner was disappointed in his performance is a mystery. He clearly dominated Cerrone and busted up the Cowboy’s face pretty bad. Cerrone’s main weakness appeared to be his takedown defense. His stand up looked solid and he has a great chin. He ate a vicious head kick from Varner at one point that would have KO’d many a man.
Fans will be salivating for a rematch between these two. Cerrone, Varner, and the fans deserve to see it played out with a decisive winner, without an early stoppage and hopefully without a controversial split decision.
To view the results of the entire WEC 38 card and read our play-by-play of the main card go HERE.
By: Jack Bratcher