Diego Sanchez - MMAWEEKLYUFC lightweight Jamie Varner has been hitting the gym hard as of late in hopes of scoring a slot at an upcoming show in the event one of his divisional peers has to withdraw. However, Varner knows he can’t necessarily rely on a vacancy materializing, so he’s also given some thought to available adversaries.

Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of them out there.

Varner recently spoke with MMAJunkie where he pointed to Diego Sanchez as the only logical option based on the original Ultimate Fighter winner being both free to fight and a top notch competitor.

“I’ve been a big fan of his. If that fight came up, that would be a great fight for me, as well,” said Varner. “I don’t know if May would be too quick of a turnaround. Not that I’m trying to call him out, but he’s the only fight outside of the guys in the Top 10 that makes sense for me.”

Though a bout with Sanchez would certainly make for a potential-laden pairing, the 31-year old fought in March and may not be ready for action. Varner went on to explain he’d also love rematches with Joe Lauzon and Donald Cerrone, though he also admitted fights with any of the athletes he’s intrigued by are also a double-edged sword.

“Donald, Joe Lauzon and Diego Sanchez, I know no matter what happens, I’m probably going to walk away with a bonus – so that’s great. My biggest fear is, I know any one of those guys, I’m probably going to end up going to the hospital. Whether I win or I lose, those are just such tough guys that can take intense amounts of punishment that it’s a win-lose situation no matter what,” confessed Varner. “I may win the fight, but I’ll end up in the hospital with some sort of broken something.”

The 21-7-1 has won four of his last five fights including a decision over Melvin Guillard last December. Eighteen of his wins have featured some form of finish.