What Travis Browne did at UFC 168 was shocking. Or, better yet, what Josh Barnett did at UFC 168 was shocking. This heavyweight fight was Barnett’s to lose. I truly believed that. Barnett had the advantage everywhere; he was better on the ground, he was the more intelligent striker, and had the power to match Browne.
What happened though was history repeating itself. Browne was able to knockout Barnett the same way that he knocked out Gabriel Gonzaga, with elbows to the head while his opponent was working on a takedown.
How did this happen? Did Barnett not watch the tape on Browne? Did he just underestimate the power of Browne? No one knows but Barnett, but I do know one thing — Browne is not ready for a title shot. He is a very impressive heavyweight, and that is his second knockout in a row of a top-10 guy. That is a huge accomplishment and nothing to scoff at.
But what has he proved? Browne has proved that he has plenty of knockout power, but that is about it. Yes, he did survive an assault by Alistair Overeem, but we have yet to see him do anything else worthy of note.
If Browne does get awarded a title shot, Cain Velasquez will not let him get those powerful shots off. Velasquez is too smart to let him do such a thing, and he will probably take Browne down at will and just pound his head into a different universe. Browne is a great fighter — there is no denying that. However, he is not ready for a shot at the champion.