WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner defends his title against Ben Henderson on Jan. 10 at WEC 46 in Sacramento.

Did you know the WEC has a show coming up on Jan. 10? It’s true. WEC 46 is taking place on Sunday, Jan. 10, at Arco Arena in Sacramento, Calif., and it will air live on Versus. Do you know who is fighting in the main event?

Jamie Varner (16-2-2) will be defending his lightweight title against the extremely talented Benson Henderson (interim champ). However, according to Varner, there are many people who have no idea he is fighting in the main event, because the WEC has been so focused on promoting Urijah Faber.

The event is taking place in Faber’s hometown of Sacramento, so that could be one explanation, but Varner said this also happened when the WEC held their last San Diego show.

Varner was a guest Wednesday evening on Cageside Beat, the official radio show of ProMMA.info (www.promma.info), and talked about this issue he had with the WEC’s promotional strategy:

…That’s one thing I don’t like about the WEC, they put all their marquee dollars into Urijah Faber, so when Urijah lost his world title to Mike Brown, it’s like who is Mike Brown? And then I’m fighting the main event for this fight coming up, and you would have no idea that I’m the main event in Sacramento, cause all we’re doing is pumping up Urijah Faber. And the fight in San Diego, all they’re doing is pumping up Urijah Faber.

Zuffa, in general, does have a tendency to promote their events this way. A good example is the TUF 10 Finale. Most of the ads focused on Kimbo instead of Roy Nelson and Brendan Schaub. And as a champion, like Varner, it has to be aggravating. Varner explained he liked Urijah and it wasn’t personal:

I love Urijah, and I’m grateful I get to be piggy-backed with a guy I look up to. I look up to Urijah Faber. I think he’s a great success story in the sport and he’s one of the most positive guys I’ve ever met. He’s really changed my life, just talking to him and being his friend for the past two years, he’s really changed me. But as far as business goes, I don’t think it was good business for the WEC, they need to spread the wealth, they need to build up the lightweight division. They need to build up the guys like Jose Aldo and Mike Brown. They need to build up everybody like Brian Bowles, Miguel Torres, and Joey Benavidez, all those guys in the 145 pound division – Scott Jorgensen. But instead, all they’re doing is focusing on Urijah and I don’t agree with that.

As Varner stated, the WEC is full of talented fighters, and especially moving forward, it is going to be more important than ever to start shining the spotlight on these other guys, especially if they are going to move into the pay-per-view market which seems to be the plan. You can check out the entire interview with Varner at www.blogtalkradio.com/cagesidebeat.

By: Jack Bratcher

Here is the WEC 46 trailer. See what you think. It does start with Urijah and end with Urijah…

7 thoughts on “Lightweight champ Jamie Varner not happy with WEC marketing”
  1. I understand his frustration but guys have to realize it is a business. People are far more into Faber than Varner or really anyone else in WEC. The promotion isn’t that well known and they need to sell tickets.

  2. But people would be alot more into Varner if they promoted him correctly. I have been saying for a while that he is one of the most underappreciated fighters in MMA. That guys has some legit skills.

  3. Ha-

    We had Jamie flying into the show on the 19th…..tons of media set up… he called in sick… no show.

    Then I see his twitter that day where he’s offering to meet people while Xmas shopping that day…must not have been that sick.

    His twitter….
    “So I’m not at the fights didn’t do the q&a I wanna give back!the first person that meets me at Tempe market place gets a Xmas gift from me!
    2:24 PM Dec 19th, 2009”

    He needs to get his stories straight.


  4. “But people would be a lot more into Varner if they promoted him correctly.”
    This is pretty funny right about now.

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