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Jamie Varner retires from MMA after UFC on FOX 13 loss to Drew Dober

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Former WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner announced his retirement from MMA on Saturday, just moments after a first-round loss to Drew Dober at UFC on FOX 13.

In his retirement announcement in the Octagon, the 30-year-old Varner, fighting in his hometown of Phoenix, cited his history of injuries as a key factor in stepping aside.

"I can't keep up with these young kids anymore," Varner said. "I'm battling injuries all the time. My hat's off to Drew, he came in, hostile territory, and fought his ass off."

Varner lost his final four fights. At UFC 173, he suffered a broken ankle in the early moments of his bout with James Krause, but got through the remainder of the round before the fight was waved off.

More Coverage: UFC on FOX 13 Results | UFC news
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In his prime, Varner was one of the sport's most exciting fighters. He defeated "Razor" Rob McCullough by knockout at WEC 32 in 2008 to win the lightweight title, and successfully defended it twice before losing it to Ben Henderson in 2010.

Varner, who finished his career with a record of 21-11-1 (2 NC), had four Fight of the Night bonuses, including one for a loss to Joe Lauzon at UFC on FOX 4 which finished high in the rankings for 2012 Fight of the Year.

"It's been an absolute dream, guys," Varner said. "I've been fighting a long time. It's been a dream. I own a gym, I've gotten to do things I never thought I could do."

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