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WEC Lightweight Champion Jamie Varner responds to mouthpiece-gate

jamie varner wec
For those who watched Jamie Varner upset "Razor" Rob McCullough last week at WEC: "Condit vs. Prater" to capture the WEC Lightweight title, you witnessed a rarity in mixed martial arts (MMA) competition.

During the early stages of the third round, Razor stepped up his game oh so briefly from his performance in the first two rounds and hit Varner with a solid punch, causing "The Worm" to lose his mouthpiece.

Varner immediately shot for the takedown, which resulted in McCullough taking the top position and trying to get in some ground and pound. Varner was able to get up from the ground and, in a surprising move, he called a timeout to get his mouthpiece.

Fighters are not allowed to request timeouts in MMA. Nonetheless, the ref took Varner's cue and stopped the action.

The Worm's corner washed out his mouthpiece before restarting the action. This delay in the action some say caused Varner to recoup. However, he sees it different as told to

Here's the snip:

"The fact is that was the first break in the action. When Rob hit me, I went into survival mode and went for the takedown. Rob was on top of me trying to finish. When I got up he backed away and I called for my mouthpiece. Rob could have rushed me and I was watching him for that. The referee saw the break and that Rob was backing up not moving forward and for my safety he allowed me to get my mouthpiece. I really did not feel like the referee knew or saw any break and he did the right thing allowing Rob to attempt to finish me, when he was able to he gave me the mouthpiece back. Did the mouthpiece rest help me? No I was 13 minutes into the biggest fight of my life, I needed a day to recover not a few seconds. I think it was pretty text book."

Varner clearly dominated McCullough throughout the entire fight. Varner's assessment is right on. Even with the clean shot from Razor, "The Worm" was hurt but not so much where he looked disoriented or even close to being stopped.

It's a weird situation ... but much ado about nothing.

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