A proposed WEC 48 lightweight matchup between former champion Jamie Varner (16-3 MMA, 4-1 WEC) and intriguing prospect Kamal Shalorus (6-0-1 MMA, 2-0 WEC) has been nixed.
Varner first posted news of the dissolution of the potential matchup on his Twitter account Wednesday night, and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has since confirmed that Shalorus was forced to withdraw from the event after failing to receive medical clearance for a few lingering, yet not serious, injuries from his hard-fought January win over Dave Jansen.
Bout agreements were never distributed for the contest, and it now appears likely that Varner will re-booked on another card at a later date.
"WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber" takes place on April 24 at ARCO Arena in Sacramento, Calif., and features two title fights: featherweight champion Jose Aldo vs. ex-champ Urijah Faber and newly crowned lightweight title-holder Benson Henderson vs. Donald Cerrone.
Shalorus, an Iranian who wrestled for England in the 2004 Summer Olympics, made his WEC debut in late 2009 and replaced Alex Karalexis on short notice at WEC 42. There, he scored a quick, 86-second knockout of Will Kerr. He then followed up the successful debut with a unanimous-decision victory over then-unbeaten Jansen (14-0 at the time) at WEC 46.
A powerful wrestler with potent striking, Shalorus is considered among the WEC's top prospects. An exact timetable for his return has not yet been established.
Varner, who held the WEC's 155-pound title from February 2008 to January 2010, lost the belt to then-interim champ Benson Henderson at WEC 46. The loss snapped Varner's five-fight win streak, which began after a submission loss to Hermes Franca at UFC 62.
Varner returned from a year-long layoff due to hand and foot injuries when he fought Henderson.