Cerrone secured the title opportunity on Wednesday with a unanimous decision victory over former WEC 155-pound champion Rob McCullough.
After signing with the WEC following a 7-0 start to his professional career, Cerrone submitted Kenneth Alexander less than a minute into his promotional debut. However, the win was overturned by the CSAC after Cerrone tested positive for a diuretic following the bout. After serving a nine-month suspension he submitted Danny Castillo in just over a minute at WEC 34 in June then topped McCullough at WEC 38 earlier this week.
Varner, a UFC veteran, transitioned to the WEC following a first-round submission victory over Jason Gilliam at UFC 68 in early-2007. After winning his debut over Sherron Leggett, Varner captured the title with a third-round TKO of McCullough at WEC 32 in February. In his first title defense, Varner defeated challenger Marcus Hicks via first-round TKO.
A venue and additional bouts for WEC 38 are expected to be announced shortly.