Mixed Martial Arts Lightweight Champion
World-class champion Jamie Varner has recently teamed up with Arizona Pain Specialists, crediting them as “the only medical facility tough enough to treat MMA fighters.” Arizona Pain Specialists takes that title seriously and has worked with Varner to help him prepare to defend his World Champion title in a fight against worthy opponent Ben Henderson on January 10th, 2010.
Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a type of fighting incorporating multiple fighting styles. As the former mixed martial arts lightweight champion, Jamie Varner is 155 pounds of pure fighting skill. Varner is called an “all-around” fighter on many devoted blogs, and that’s exactly what he is: a fighter skilled and proficient in bringing down his opponent with a variety of techniques. MMA athletes fight in hand-to-hand combat, wearing only gloves and kickboxing trunks as their uniforms. Rules are fairly simple, disallowing truly disarming moves such as eye gouging and biting but allowing the fighters to put each other in choke holds, a move which usually wins the fight. As tough as this sport is, one has to imagine there will be serious injury inflicted to the fighter. Varner has experienced his fair share: a broken hand, broken foot, injured NCL, injured knee, and chronic lower back pain among his war wounds.
After breaking his hand in a fight (and continuing to fight through multiple rounds) in January 2009, Varner was medically required to take eight months off. He then began a rigorous 16-week training schedule in preparation to defend his world championship title. With the limited training time, the most impact needed to be made in the shortest amount of time, and Varner couldn’t afford to take more time off to wait for pain to subside. Varner credits Arizona Pain Specialists with a renewed vigor in his workout and training routine, especially important as his fight to defend his title was quickly approaching. Varner had noticed before being treated at Arizona Pain Specialists, he would be on the treadmill five minutes before his back pain started interfering with his workout. Now he can work out pain-free, and that’s important. Before being treated at Arizona Pain Specialists, Varner used simple methods such as frequent ice baths and sessions in a hyperbaric chamber to aid in his recovery, stating that those methods were all he believed he had time for. Since being treated at Arizona Pain Specialists, Varner has discovered he has time for modalities that show major results.
“Arizona Pain Specialists is very conveniently located,” Varner says. “I can zip right up the 101 and never have to wait in the office. I get the VIP treatment every time. I can go in, get the work done, and I always feel so much better.”
Arizona Pain Specialists has also made Varner a believer – in acupuncture.
“I was never a believer in acupuncture, but Arizona Pain Specialists is awesome. After acupuncture I feel so much better and feel looser in my workouts. I have no back pain and am able to move around as much as I need to.”
Varner was also quick to point out that treatment with Arizona Pain Specialists isn’t just for cage fighters.
“I would put us (cagefighters) and football players right up there with each other. Whenever you’re dealing with a contact sport, you’re always susceptible to injuries… I am fortunate to have found Arizona Pain Specialists to fix me up before I go into this bout,” Varner said of his previous fight.
He went on to state:
“I would definitely recommend Arizona Pain Specialists to other athletes and competitors. There are a lot of guys I have fought with who have way worse injuries than mine and I am fortunate to have found Arizona Pain Specialists.”
Varner has roots in Arizona, as he is an alumnus of Deer Valley High School in Glendale. He was a two-time regional champion and state runner-up with the Skyhawk wrestling team and speaks fondly of his MMA beginnings.
“I started training in MMA when I was 17,” he said. “I would wrestle during the school year, and then do MMA during the summer, working in four or five fights. I had my first fight when I was 18, and I knew I wanted to keep doing it.”
Varner attended Pima Community College and Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, and after winning the National Boxing Championship and All American Wrestler honors, Varner returned home to Arizona and continued in cage-fighting.
As a spinal meningitis sufferer as a child, Varner speaks of Phoenix Children’s Hospital in glowing terms.
“They are a great place and have saved my life twice. I had spinal meningitis as a kid, and other hospitals turned my family away, saying they couldn’t help us. Phoenix Children’s Hospital said they could help, and then did, saving my life.”
Varner works to give back to Phoenix Children’s Hospital whenever he can, including organizing charity events. Last year alone, he was able to raise $19,000 for the hospital. Varner is also highly accessible to the public in ways other professional athletes are not. He teaches classes at Arizona Combat Sports. Varner is also a regular Twitter updater and has a personal website as well.