Jamie Varner's 2012 saw the former WEC champion rejuvenate his MMA career after going 3-1. His 2013 campaign has yet to get started.
It's a problem Varner refers to as "purgatory" for the fighter, speaking to MMA Junkie about his options for a future fight.
I was hoping to get something lined up for the end of May, but all the guys I want to fight are pretty much booked. Jim Miller, T.J. Grant, Rafael dos Anjos – not that I have anything against these guys, but all the guys in the Top 10 are pretty much booked.
Varner is even exploring a rematch with Joe Lauzon or Donald Cerrone. His loss to Lauzon was a Fight of the Night winner and Fight of the Year winner at the World MMA Awards show.
His history with Cerrone is well documented as the rivalry was built upon pure dislike for one another. Varner was hit with an illegal knee and left unable to continue, and by rule, the fight went to the scorecards and Varner was awarded a technical split decision.
The victory left a bad taste in everyone's mouth and Varner quickly found himself excommunicated from the MMA world. Fans turned against him and it began a slow downward spiral that had Varner hitting very close to rock bottom.
He would go on to lose three out of his next four bouts including losing his title to Benson Henderson and losing via unanimous decision to Cerrone in their rematch.
Varner has since turned his career around and outside of a few rematches along with the above mentioned names, the Arizona native has another name in mind for a future showdown.
"There's only a couple fights that kind of make sense, and one is Diego Sanchez," Varner said in the article. "But he just recently fought and I actually like Diego. I've been a big fan of his. If that fight came up, that would be a great fight for me, as well."
Varner made it a point to say he's not attempting to call anyone out; it appears as if he's not only turned the corner in the cage but outside it as well.
Although the former WEC champ lists a number of tough fighters for possible future opponents, Varner knows it doesn't come without some risk.
Donald, Joe Lauzon and Diego Sanchez, I know no matter what happens, I'm probably going to walk away with a bonus – so that's great, he said. My biggest fear is, I know any one of those guys, I'm probably going to end up going to the hospital. Whether I win or I lose, those are just such tough guys that can take intense amounts of punishment that it's a win-lose situation no matter what. I may win the fight, but I'll end up in the hospital with some sort of broken something.
Varner doesn't have a death-wish but has a new-found love for the sport of MMA after going through a rough patch in his career.
"I didn't want to fight. They'd tell me I had a fight lined up and I was like, 'F---. I've got to fight.' Now I can't wait to fight."