If you think that Jamie Varner is content simply sitting back and waiting to see Joe Silva's name pop up on Caller ID, you would be wrong. Less than two weeks out from his UFC 155 victory over Melvin Guillard, the former WEC champion has volunteered himself for bouts with several members of the UFC lightweight division.
The name sitting atop his list is none other than fellow UFC 155 fighter Joe Lauzon.
Lauzon and Varner had a tremendous scrap at UFC on Fox 4 in a match considered to be a leading candidate for 2012's Fight of the Year until Lauzon outdid himself against Jim Miller later in the year.
“I want to start my retribution tour,” Varner told the Sherdog’s “Cheap Seats”. “I want to start fighting the guys that I’ve lost to. First would definitely be Joe Lauzon. I’d really like to fight Joe again."
Varner made it clear that he wasn't looking to take anything away from Lauzon, but still feels that he can avenge the only blemish on his 2012 record.
Joe’s awesome and he had an amazing game plan for me. The fact that he broke me down so technically, to the littlest move, like my head position on my double leg, and was able to capitalize on it, that’s incredible. It speaks volumes about him as a fighter and as a technician. I definitely feel that if we were to fight again and I had a full training camp, I would win that fight. I think it would be different.
If successful, Varner would then like a rubber match with Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone. While fighting in the WEC, the two met twice with each man having his arm raised once. On both occasions, the duo took home Fight of the Night honors, so we should expect nothing but fireworks in a trilogy bout.
Other than those fights, there aren't many losses that Varner can avenge. UFC champion Benson Henderson is his current training partner while Shane Roller retired in 2012 after losing four of his final five fights.
Unless he plans on making a pit stop in the Oregon correctional system, Varner will be unable to take on current inmate Hermes Franca. The longtime UFC veteran defeated Varner in his promotional debut, but is serving a 42-month sentence related to a sexual relationship with an underage jiu-jitsu student.
The final two losses on Varner's record came at the hands of regional fighters Dakota Cochrane and Jesse Moreng.
This so-called "Retribution Tour" must have been a recent revelation for Varner, who went to JunkieRadio late last week with four completely different opponents in mind. That short-list included Rafael dos Anjos, TJ Grant, Matt Wiman and Ultimate Fighter winner Ross Pearson.
"I think Dos Anjos is on a streak, so he may be on my radar more so than anyone else, but Grant, I've been hearing his name pop up a lot, as well."
In any situation, Varner's 2012 comeback was the feel-good story of the year for MMA fans. When he returns this spring, expect to see another exciting clash, regardless of who stands across from him inside the Octagon.