Jamie Varner showed remarkable courage last night in his preliminary fight with UFC 173 as he tried to fight on against James Krause despite having badly injured his foot.
In the end Varner had to admit defeat at the end of the first round after having fought most of the five minute spell with what he believed to be a broken ankle which continually gave out on him as he tried to battle through the pain.
However, after being assessed at the hospital Varner was able to confirm via Twitter that he had actually broken his foot in two places and tore ligaments after his limb landed awkwardly on the mat during an early striking exchange.
It was painful just watching him continue to fight after the damage occured and after the event Dana White said that he felt the bout should have been stopped.
“”If that was my guy I would have thrown the towel in, in a second,” White told reporters after the fight.
He took his hat of to the former WEC lightweight champion’s gutsy display though.
“He fought that whole round. The corner didn’t throw in the towel, the ref didn’t stop the fight, but he wasn’t complaining, either. You’ll see guys, lesser things happen and guys try to stop. Varner is all heart and that’s a tough one.”
This was Varner’s third loss in a row, and fears over being cut from the promotion may help to explain why Varner was willing to go to such extreme lengths to try to find a way to win.
Varner’s warrior spirit resonated with fans last night and could help him earn a stay of execution in the promotion, though at this stage White hasn’t stated one way or the other whether they’ll keep him or not.