I'm not that shocked to be honest. Varner is more well-rounded than Barboza, and it wasn't that long ago Varner was competing with the top LW talent like Cerrone and Henderson. I hate Varner because he's a whiny d-bag but he can win fights.
Barboza also hasn't even looked that good in the UFC, most of the time he's looked quite lackluster. He's a good prospect but still has a tons of work to do.