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Former UFC Fighter Paul Varelans dies at the age of 51 due to COVID-19

LockerRoom Team
18 January 2021

One of the earliest UFC Fighters, Paul Varelans has died at the age of 51 due to COVID-19. Varelans had contracted with Coronavirus back in December and was placed into a medically induced coma recently. Sadly, he did not recover from the same and passed away this past weekend.

Nicknamed ‘The Polar Bear’, Varelans was born in 1969 and had played football prior to making his UFC debut on July 14, 1995, at UFC 6: Clash of Titans. He secured a win over Cal Worsham at the tournament and then fought Tank Abbott in the semi-finals where he suffered a TKO defeat.

He then returned for UFC 7 and secured wins over Gerry Harris and Mark Hall to become the finalist of the tournament before losing to Maro Ruas. At UFC 8, he secured a win over Joe Moreira in the quarter-finals but pulled out of the tournament after sustaining an injury.

He finished his MMA career with a record of 9-9 with 8 of his wins coming via stoppages. Apart from his run in the UFC, Varelans also performed in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) where he faced former ECW champion Taz.

UFC had released the following obituary for Varelans on their website

“Few nicknames are as apt as the one given to Mr. Paul Varelans. One look at the 6-8, 300 pounder, and you would instantly agree that “Polar Bear” fits the bill. But beyond his moniker, Varelans was a staple of the early UFC broadcasts, a powerful and effective fighter who was resilient in the face of danger, and who was able to beat fighters like Cal Worsham, Mark Hall, and Joe Moreira consistently. Yet when he stepped up against the next level of competition, UFC standouts like Tank Abbott, Marco Ruas, Dan Severn, and Kimo Leopoldo always prevailed. This pattern continued in his post-UFC career (which lasted until 1998), with losses against Igor Vovchanchyn and Mark Kerr,” the article read.

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