The UFC continues to add high-quality fights to already stacked events to close out 2013. The UFC on FOX 9 event in Sacramento has added a true crossroads lightweight tilt between Pat Healy and Jamie Varner. Both veterans are in bounce back mode after suffering losses in their last encounters.
Healy was dominated in a three-round decision loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 165. It wasn’t the result “Bam Bam” was looking for after he had an exciting submission victory over Jim Miller at UFC 159 changed to a no-contest after testing positive for marijuana in the post-fight drug test.
He saw $130,000 in bonuses go up in smoke and was also suspended. It’s Healy’s second stint with the UFC, and the veteran has recorded 15 submission triumphs in his 31 career wins.
Meantime, Varner is also in the midst of his second UFC tenure. After a huge upset TKO victory over Edson Barboza, he was submitted by Joe Lauzon in a thrilling bout at UFC on FOX 4. Since then, the former WEC lightweight champ has had mixed results. Varner got back in the win column with a split-decision victory against Melvin Guillard, but was most recently defeated at UFC 164 via decision by Gleison Tibau.
Varner is a noted finisher, with 18 stoppages by knockout or submission in his 21 career victories.
This fight shapes up as a key battle between two veterans who have combined for 80 fights between them. There’s very little they haven’t seen in their respective careers. Both Varner and Healy are big, strong lightweights and with so much at stake, this fight has the potential to be a very spirited affair come December 14.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports