Recently crowed WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner (14-2) will make his first title defense against Marcus Hicks (8-0) at the WEC's Aug. 3 event in Las Vegas.
A source close to Varner today confirmed the rumored bout with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Formal announcement of that fight, and others, is expected to come during Sunday's "WEC 34: Faber vs. Pulver" event, which airs live from California's ARCO Arena on VERSUS beginning at 9 p.m. ET.
Varner claimed the WEC belt with a third-round TKO of Rob McCullough in February. The Arizona Combat Sports fighter has lost just once -- via third-round submission to Hermes Franca at UFC 62 -- in his past 16 fights (with two no-contests).
Soon after winning the title, Varner helped push through litigation that calls for the regulation of mixed martial arts in the state of Arizona. Varner wrote about that experience in a guest column for MMAjunkie.com.
Hicks, meanwhile, has posted eight consecutive victories -- six via submission -- to begin his professional career. He's 3-0 in the WEC with three consecutive victories via guillotine choke over Sergio Gomez, Scott McAfree and, most recently, Ed Ratcliff in March. "The Wrecking Ball" is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt but also has professional boxing experience.
For more on WEC 35, which will likely be headlined by WEC welterweight champ Carlos Condit vs. Hiromitsu Miura or WEC light heavyweight champ Brian Stann vs. Steve Cantwell, check out the MMA Rumors section of MMAjunkie.com.