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Jamie Varner retained his WEC 155 pound title the other day by knocking out challenger Marcus Hicks at 2:08 of the first round. I spoke to Jamie about that fight and about some MMA current events. I also would like to thank Jason from LG Sports Marketing for setting this up. TheGARV: Hey, Jamie. Congratulations on your victory the other night. Were you expecting a 2 minute fight against Hicks? Varner: No, man. To be honest I really wasn't. I figured maybe a knockout at the end of the first round, maybe more so into the second. I thought I'd have to wear him out a little, make him a little bit tired and then go in for the kill. But I was lucky enough to land one of those knees and that second kick I threw to his body is what really hurt him. That kick opened him up and then landing those knees was the beginning of the end for him. Your stand up game is looking really sharp. You have a wrestling base, but now your striking is really integrated with the wrestling. The game has evolved so much. Before, wrestlers could get away with just wrestling and being in good shape. But now the way the game's evolved you have to be good at everything. I actually started boxing in 4th grade, long before I ever started wrestling. Then I quit boxing for a long time. Picked it back up when I was 17 years old and I use boxing as cross training for wrestling. My trainers over there at Combat Sports, Trevor Lally and Todd Lally, they're awesome stand up coaches. They're great stand up coaches and they've been working with me on getting my boxing and kickboxing perfected. Guys like Chuck Liddell use their wrestling skills to keep the fight standing. Is that what you're tying to do? You know, just with this fight, yeah. I was looking to use my wrestling just to keep the fight on my feet, because I have such an advantage on my feet with the reach. And I felt like I was a little bit faster, a little bit more explosive with my punches. I even felt that my boxing was more technical than his. So I thought I had the advantage on the feet and that's definitely where I wanted to keep the fight. Unless I started eating too much punishment, then I could always take him down. But I wanted to test the waters on my feet, that's how I used my wrestling. He was a tough son of a bitch, though, he took me down. But I was able to use my wrestling to get back to my feet. Your nickname is The Worm. But you also have another nickname, Showtime. What's up with that? Ok, The Worm was not by my choice. That was actually my trainers, Trevor and Todd Lally. They actually went behind my back and gave me the nickname The Worm before my very first UFC fight and I never wanted that nickname, I never agreed to that. They gave it to me because in wrestling and in grappling, I scramble really well so I'm hard to submit. And they were like: Oh he worms out of everything, he's the worm, he The Worm! I'm like, No. I'm not gonna be The Worm. And so when I got my contract and all the fighter information that they filled out for me, they filled out my nickname as The Worm. And that's how I got it. I told the WEC when I signed with them that it was not my nickname and they were not to put it on their website. And so far they haven't done it. So you're now Showtime? Um, yeah. I don't really go by it. I just thought it was a cool nickname. I wanted to put my stamp on it before someone else took it. But I just like going by Jamie Varner. Saturday night got some big fights coming up. Give us your thoughts on GSP vs Fitch. I think GSP is an amazing athlete and I don't see him losing anytime soon. You don't Fitch's wrestling is going to help him against GSP? No, I don't think so. Heath Herring vs Brock Lesnar? From what I've heard, Heath doesn't like to train that hard. And he's not the smartest fighter when he's in there, so I'd have to give the edge to Brock Lesnar. [Lesnar is] a physical specimen and a great wrestler. I don't think Heath Herring has ever fought a wrestler as good as Brock Lesnar. What about Brock's tattoo? The one on his chest? Holy cow. That's insane. That had to hurt. (Laughs) I think it still hurts. Also fighting at UFC 87 is Huerta vs Florian. I think Huerta's gonna be exposed. I really feel that Kenny Florian is gonna do what Clay Guida was supposed to do, what Clay Guida was doing. I think Huerta's gonna get exposed and I think Kenny Florian will prevail. I think early on in the fight he's either gonna submit him or cut him. Your fight against Razor Rob. There was some controversy over the break in the action after your mouthpiece was knocked out. I thought you were in control of the fight, but some people feel you got an unfair advantage. Would you be willing to rematch Razor Rob? Oh I would love a rematch. I've had a few questions about that, a lot of people ask me questions about [the mouthpiece incident]. I even talked to Steve Mazzagatt about it. There was a break in the action and that was the perfect time for me to get my mouthpiece. I was wearing a clear mouthpiece and he had no idea it was knocked out. I pointed to it on the ground and he saw it. There was a break in the action. [Mazzagatti] said it was a good call and there was no problems with it. I wasn't hurt. I just didn't want to get hit in the mouth without my mouthpiece. It's so much easier to get knocked out when you don't have that damn mouthpiece in. But yeah, I would love to put that rumor to rest. I thought I was winning the fight, and mouthpiece in, mouthpiece out, he still wound up getting knocked out and he was losing the fight. What's next for Jamie Varner? I hoping the winner out of Razor Rob and Don Cerrone, the Cowboy. I think those are the next two best matchups. Or even possibly Richard Crunkilton. Any of those fights would be great. They're all right handed fighters, so when I go back to the gym on Monday I'm gonna start training for a right handed kickboxer and get ready and start getting geared up for the next one. Any shoutouts? Yeah, MTX Audio. Without them I wouldn't be able to do what I'm doing. Also LG Sports Marketing, they're my management team. Yeah, I know Jason over there, and he's a great guy. Cool. By the way, what do you think about the Rampage incident? Oh my gosh. I'm shocked by what happened there. I don't even know what to say about that. That's crazy. He just kind of snapped. I heard he's got some sort of bi-polar disorder or something. He definitely fell off the deep end. Hopefully he'll get his bearings straight and come back with some more good fight. Did you see Fedor vs Sylvia? Yeah, I watched that. What did you think? I think Fedor is an amazing fighter. He's the toughest guy in the world. But at 155 I'd say Jamie Varner would give him a run for his money. Tell Fedor if he wants to meet me at 170, 175, we can do that. (Laughs) I will be sure to mention that. Thanks for the interview, Jamie. Thanks, Garv.
Matt Serra is one of the funniest guys in MMA. Even though he and Matt Hughes are coming off losses, it looks like a showdown between these two is going to happen. I talked to Matt about this and other stuff at the weigh ins for the Kimbo card. How you doing, Matt? I'm doing all right, man. Matt, you're a fellow Strong Islander, I live right around the corner from you. Yep, we're neighbors, man. So you look all healed up from the GSP fight. I'm good, man. I'm just healing up my elbow. Everything he did to me is fine, you know what I mean. That heals up in a few days, the black eyes. But I elbowed his head at the beginning of the fight when he took me down and I did something to my ulnar nerve. So I'm just resting that up, I can't really roll or spar right now. But I'm staying in shape by jumping on the treadmill and whatnot, trying to not go nuts with the pasta, you know. But I should be all right. I'm getting it checked out some more but right now there's still some numbness in my hand. GSP didn't fight the same fight as the first time. He did not want to trade punches with you. Yeah, that's strange, right. I mean, that's smart I guess. I thought he might try to take me down. I didn't think he'd try it so early. But you know, more power to him. It worked out great for him. And it is what is is, man. It's almost like "laces out" from that Jim Carey movie. I knew the round was ending in the second round. I think I should have rolled out a little sooner. Once they stopped it, I knew man. I mean, I was coherent, I had my wits. And I was like, man I shouldn't have waited so long to get out of there. It wasn't like I was mounted and couldn't escape. I was kind of biding my time a little bit knowing it's a five round fight, letting the guy expend a lot of energy. The knees and whatnot didn't even bother me. The punch before wasn't fun but still, that's part of the game. Well, you can take a shot. Man, look at me dude. I don't have a face like that guy. I can take a licking. Nobody will notice. Yeah, exactly. What do you think about Kimbo headlining? A lot of people don't like that. Man, I don't want to hate on Kimbo. He's making the right moves. He's with Bas Rutten, which is smart. He's learning the games. He's not fighting anymore in the backyards or whatever and I guess he did what he had to do. My whole problem is...the whole internet sensation. Because that's gonna lead to a bunch of knuckleheads, teenagers wanting to get into this, instead of doing it the right way, they're going to be grabbing their camcorders trying to become the next Internet sensation. And that's not exactly good for the sport. That's the only problem I have with it, nothing against him personally. Tim Sylvia said the exact same thing. Don't throw me in there with that fucking nimrod please. You are not a Tim Sylvia fan. Oh God. What's wrong with him? He's just a jerkoff. He used to be a nice guy too. But I guess maybe because of my feud with Matt Hughes. I heard about comments he made about my first fight with GSP. And he said some things about my buddy Drago, he was happy he got knocked out. He's just a nasty piece of shit. He was on his best behavior when I saw him. I used to get along with the guy. But some guys, they win enough fights they're not the same guy when they walk into the UFC as when they walk out. I've seen that with Hughes, unless he was always a cock and it just came out. Possible, based on his book. I didn't read it, but I heard about some things. It's hysterical. So I know you liked my video about Joe Scarola... I laughed, man. Are you still talking to Joe? No, man, he's doing his own thing and more power to him. Hopefully he does well. I don't want to hate the guy or nothing, but obviously I don't own a health club, I own a jiu jitsu school, martial arts. This is becoming a sport, mixed martial arts is taking off, but there's still the martial arts aspect of it. Joey's phenomenal at jiu jitsu and that's great, but character is a big part of who I am. What went down on show--he thinks it's about a TV show, but the whole not owning up to it just kills me. What's next for Matt Serra? You'll know I've become a cock if I start saying: Let me tell you what's next for Matt Serra. But since you said it... You know what? I'm gonna heal up my elbow and most likely be fighting Hughes, hopefully in the fall. Oh man, bad blood. That's gonna be fun, people are going to look forward to that. And I feel like a winner already knowing I get to hit that guy. What did you think about BJ Penn's win over Sherk? I though BJ looked awesome, man. I watched that fight like twice, it was cool. I thought BJ, man he really utilized that jab nice. I thought it was like the best he ever looked, especially standing, he was totally relaxed. Even walking out he was Zen-like. I like BJ, I think he's a really good guy. I've known him for awile and I'm happy for him. Now, GSP is much taller than you--- Everybody's taller than me, what's your point? Well, have you thought about 155? Or is it too tough to make? It's just takes all the fun out of everything I do, man. I like to fight. I don't mind fighting the bigger guys. I lost to GSP, but it's still a guy I feel I can take. I feel like I can do great with the bigger guys. Well, you're one and one with GSP, so a rubber match needs to happen. Maybe after Hughes. Dude, I like what you're preaching. I'm with ya. I'm with ya dude! Awesome. Matt you are the man. Thanks, man. Good talking to you, bro.

Matt SerraMatt Serra is one of the funniest guys in MMA. Even though he and Matt Hughes are coming off losses, it looks like a showdown between these two is going to happen. I talked to Matt about this and other stuff at the weigh ins for the Kimbo card. How you doing, Matt?

I'm doing all right, man. Matt, you're a fellow Strong Islander, I live right around the corner from you.

Yep, we're neighbors, man. So you look all healed up from the GSP fight.

I'm good, man. I'm just healing up my elbow. Everything he did to me is fine, you know what I mean. That heals up in a few days, the black eyes. But I elbowed his head at the beginning of the fight when he took me down and I did something to my ulnar nerve. So I'm just resting that up, I can't really roll or spar right now. But I'm staying in shape by jumping on the treadmill and whatnot, trying to not go nuts with the pasta, you know. But I should be all right. I'm getting it checked out some more but right now there's still some numbness in my hand.

GSP didn't fight the same fight as the first time. He did not want to trade punches with you.

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