September 24, 2011
Jamie Varner and Brett Rogers must've thought a few fights in the minor leagues would be fine on their way back to the bigs. That's not the way it's working out for the former WEC and Strikeforce stars. Both Varner and Rogers lost last night at Titan Fighting Championship 19.
Varner looked sluggish throughout his fight against Dakota Cochrane. He leaned too heavily on his takedown game and couldn't control Cochrane on the ground. Cochrane (11-1) was the much better fighter on the feet taking a unanimous decision, 30-27 on all three cards.
Varner, the former WEC lighweight champ, is now 1-4-1 in his last six. He's only 26, but has battle hand problems and other injuries for the last few years. Before the fight, Varner talked about his goals of a Zuffa return.
"I literally just took some time away from actual competition," Varner told the Kansas City Star. "I was still training and working out often. I took some fights last year that might have been (after) a little too quick of a turnaround. I needed my body to fully heal. I also took some college classes so I can have different opportunities in a few years down the road after my MMA career. For now I am 100 percent committed to MMA and getting to the UFC."
MMAjunkie says Varner was hinting at retirement on Twitter after the fight. It appears he deleted the tweet. Cochrane was a late replacement on this card. His victory shows just how sick the depth is around the country in all weight classes.
Rogers (11-4) was facing a better known entity in former UFC fighter Eddie Sanchez and result was the same. Rogers was a top-rated heavyweight for Strikeforce and even gave Fedor Emelianenko a run for his money during their 2009 fight.
Against Sanchez, he looked tentative and exhibited little growth in his game. Rogers never put his punches together and appeared unable to check a kick. Sanchez beat up his lead leg for 15 minutes. Sanchez took a split decision, 30-27, 28-29 and 30-27, from Rogers, who's now lost 4-of-5.
The best moment of the night came fromn Andrew Whitney. He and Laramie Shaffer engaged in a slugfest for two-plus rounds, but that all changed when Whitney delivered a picture perfect flying knee.
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