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 411mania » MMA » Columns

UFC 173’s James Krause vs. Jamie Varner Fight Was An Embarrassment For The UFC
Posted by Jack McGee on 05.26.2014

Saturday night I sat down to watch UFC 173 on PPV. I wasn't planning on watching the event that night, but a visit from a friend prompted the viewing. He is a big UFC fan and enjoys watching the PPVs still, and considering my work schedule and the fact that not many of my associates here overseas enjoy the product, I felt that it would be a fun night. Beers and snacks were enjoyed, we talked about the sport and were overall enjoying the fights and night of friendship. But then the James Krause vs. Jamie Varner fight happened, and we almost could not believe what we saw. Early in the fight, Varner clearly injured his left leg, apparently a break, but the fight continued. No one seemed to be overly concerned outside of Joe Rogan, and the fight continued. When the first round ended, Varner had to quit because he said broke his ankle. This was a horrible moment for the UFC, and just about everyone involved should be ashamed of themselves…

We hear all too often about the safety of the athlete. The NFL is battling lawsuits, hockey may be doing the same; the UFC is not at the level of these sports. They constantly fight a stigma that they are a barbaric sport. This did nothing to change the mind of those critics.

James Krause and his corner get a free past for the most part. While one could say that Krause could have backed off and or his corner should have told him too, he likely had no clue the injury was that bad at the time. He was doing his job, fighting his opponent and trying to win. While it would have been an amazingly awesome sign of sportsmanship to back off to see if Varner could stand, I cannot blame him for not doing so.

Referee Jason Herzog should be embarrassed. Varner was continually falling all over himself and was in bad shape. At no time did he protect the fighter, he let things continue like nothing was wrong. Herzog has a responsibility to protect the fighter and he failed to do so here. Often we see referees stop fights to check cuts and have the doctor check on a fighter. He didn't do so here, he failed at his job and should be ashamed of himself.

Jamie Varner's Corner also shoulders a lot of blame here. Fighters are stubborn by nature, and quitting is not in their vocabulary. Is it stupid? Yes, but sometimes there needs to be a voice of reason, you have to protect your man so that he can come back and fight another day. Jamie Varner's continued to let him fight, they continued to let him do more damage to the injury when they should have stepped in and helped their man. They should be ashamed of themselves.

And then there is Dana White, yes Jamie Varner is tough, yes he is a bad ass because while most people would be crying and crippled on the mat with an injury like this, Varner championed on because he is a fighter and that's what he does. But Dana White decided to be a promoter, spitting out clichés of Varner being tough. That's all well and good, but the fact is that your fighter, in your cage suffered a severe injury and there was no concern or compassion. No, there were clichés and hyperbole while hyping the next fight on social media. Dana White should be ashamed of himself.

Jamie Varner is a far tougher man than I, and I commend him for his fighting spirit and desire to fight on. But sometimes discretion is the better part of valor. Varner is a fighter, a warrior if you will and was never going to quit. The people charged with protecting him failed in their job, and by doing so, gave the anti-MMA pundits more ammunition to attack the sport for being unsafe and barbaric. Referee Jason Herzog, the corner of Varner, Dana White and even the NSAC doctor should be ashamed of themselves for their lack of action at UFC 173.

But hey, Jamie Varner is a tough-bad ass, I guess that's all that matters.

Note: Following my original posting, it was revealed the Varner broke two bones in his foot and tore ligaments during the fight. I wish his a speedy recovery.

Jack McGee is an aspiring investigative journalist with interests covering TV, Movies, Wrestling, MMA and Sports. When not hunting the Incredible Hulk, Jack works on his surfing, his Johnny Utah like throwing motion and origami.


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