Former World Extreme Cagefighting lightweight champion Jamie Varner earned his most impressive win since being released by the WEC on Friday night, defeating Drew Fickett by first-round TKO at XFC 16.
Varner floored Fickett with a huge right hand just 10 seconds into the first round, then pounced on him and continued swinging wildly until Fickett turned over and turtled up, and that's when the referee stepped in to stop it. The whole fight lasted just 41 seconds.
Afterward Varner credited Fickett, a longtime friend, for inspiring him to get into MMA.
"Drew Fickett is the guy that got me into this sport," Varner said. "I was a junior in high school and I went to a fight, and I saw him fight -- he was a wrestler, he was well rounded, he had all this heart. I looked up to him before I knew him and all I wanted to do was meet him. I had the opportunity to meet him, he took me under his wing and taught me how to train. ... I love the guy. I wouldn't be here without him."
It was a solid showing from Varner, and a show of class afterward. Varner says he wants to sign with the UFC, and this was the kind of performance that could get him into the Octagon.
In other XFC 16 action:
--The co-main event was a mismatch, as Josh Samman dominated Mikey Gomez, getting on top of him in the first round, brutalizing him with ground and pound and forcing him to tap out to strikes.
--Marianna Kheyfets and Heather Clark battled through a good first round, but late in the round Clark's eye became badly swollen, and after the first the doctor urged the referee to stop the fight. Clark, to her credit, wanted to keep fighting, but the referee and the doctor decided she shouldn't go on, so Kheyfets won by TKO.
--In a 130-pound fight, Chris Wright easily beat Len Cook by unanimous decision, 30-27 on all three judges' cards. Wright improved to 6-1-1, and if he can cut another five pounds he's worth keeping an eye on as the UFC begins to fill out its new flyweight division.
--In a superheavyweight fight that showed just how ugly it can be when 600 pounds of flesh rolls around in the cage for 15 minutes, Chase Gormley beat Brandon Sayles by unanimous decision, 29-28 on all three judges' cards.
--Amaechi Oselukwue landed a devastating right hand to the chin of Julio Gallegos, knocking him cold in the first round.
--Dustin West got things started with an entertaining first-round TKO of Stoney Hale. The fight was sloppy and quick but fun while it lasted.