Following a decisive win over Melvin Guillard at UFC 155 last week, Jamie Varner already has a handful of opponents in mind for his next bout, which he’d like to occur in April.
Varner told MMA Junkie Radio he’d like a match up with Rafael Dos Anjos, Ross Pearson, Matt Wiman or TJ Grant in April. Dos Anjos and Grant where are at the top of his wish list.
"I think Dos Anjos is on a streak, so he may be on my radar more so than anyone else," Varner said. "But Grant, I've been hearing his name pop up a lot, as well."
Varner, a former WEC lightweight champion, has gone 2-1 since coming to the UFC in May of last year, his sole loss being a “Fight of the Night” performance against Joe Lauzon at UFC on FOX 4 in August.
Dos Anjos seems like a game opponent for Varner, riding a three-fight win streak including an impressive grappling clinic against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Mark Bocek at UFC 154 in November.
Grant would be a good challenge as well, boasting a perfect 3-0 record since dropping down from welterweight to lightweight in Oct. 2011. His most recent win came at the hands of fringe contender Evan Dunham at UFC 152 in Sept.
“Handsome” Matt Wiman could be an attractive match up in his own right though. A winner of five of his past six, Wiman tapped out submission specialist Paul Sass, handing him his first professional loss, in their fight at UFC on FUEL TV 5 in September.
Finally, while Pearson may not be a step up in competition for Varner, 3-3 in his past six appearances in the cage, the Brit’s heavy hands and submission savvy all but promise an exciting scrap.
A top candidate for “Comeback Fighter of the Year” in 2012, can Varner surge to become a true contender at 155-pounds in 2013?