Paul Varelans passes away due to COVID-19 struggles

Paul Varelans passes away due to COVID-19 struggles

Paul Varelans, UFC pioneer and No Holds Barred veteran, has passed away after health complications from COVID-19. He was infected with the novel coronavirus in early to mid-December and was placed in a medically induced coma not long thereafter.

Varelans was updating fans and loved ones alike on his fluctuating health status via his personal Facebook page. This was until recently when someone close to Varelans’ family confirmed the news of his death to MMA Junkie. Paul Varelans was 51 years old.

The Polar Bear debuted at UFC 6 in a sixty-two-second barnburner against Cal Worsham before tasting defeat to Tank Abbott in the tournament semi-finals later on that same night.

Varelans was also a UFC 7 tournament finalist. He earned two first round stoppages on that September 1995 night in Buffalo. Varelans defeated Gerry Harris and Mark Hall in a combined 2:11 before being halted by UFC 7 champion Marco Ruas.

Paul Varelans also competed under some classic banners in the nascent days of MMA. The Polar Bear fought for Pancrase, IFC, U-Japan, World Vale Tudo Championship, and RINGS.

Paul Varelans

Varelans also had some involvement in the pro wrestling world and took on Taz in a worked shoot style contest at ECW Hardcore Heaven 1996.

Paul Varelans put together an overall MMA record of 9-9. Some additional notable names Varelans fought against include Dan Severn, Mark Kerr, Kimo Leopoldo, and Igor Vovchanchyn.

The Alaskan combatant was an imposing 6’8, 300 lbs. The hulking pugilist always showcased a hard-hitting, go out on your shield style of fighting through his combat endeavors.

Many in the MMA community have been coming out to offer condolences on social media. As well as memories regarding someone who had a pleasant presence that belied his ferocious demeanor in the cage.

The final bout in the MMA career of Paul Varelans is below for your viewing

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Dylan Bowker
I've been enamored with combat sports for as long as I can remember. I've hosted MMA talk shows Lights Out and Pure Fight Radio with featured guests like Jens Pulver, Roy Nelson, Miesha Tate, Mark Coleman, and more. I've been an MMA broadcaster for XFFC as well as BTC and have done play by play commentary on live pay per view on GFL as well as FITE TV. I've provided written, audio, and video content covering some of the biggest MMA promotions like Rumble in the Cage, Unified MMA, and King of the Cage. I've worked as a sports entertainment personality for over five years and given play-by-play or featured promotions of KSW, ONE Championship, TKO, and Invicta FC. My work can be found in the USA Today Sports affiliate MMA Torch, Cageside Press, MMA Sucka, and Liberty Multimedia.