On Saturday, two of the heavyweight division’s best will step inside the octagon with only one exiting as the next opponent for champion Cain Velasquez. Though no one knows who will exit as the victor, one thing is for certain: Fabricio Werdum is the bigger threat to Velasquez’s title.
Looking at a possible Werdum/Velasquez encounter gets tricky. As in any fight there are several factors to consider. There is no doubt that Velasquez is a monster in the division and pretty much seems unbeatable at this point in his career, but he also has not fought anyone with Werdum’s skill set.
Out of all 11 of his UFC victories, Velasquez has yet to be truly tested on the ground. Normally if the fight is taken to the ground, Velasquez is on top beating the living daylights out of an over-matched opponent. When it comes to Werdum, things are a little bit different.
Werdum is comfortable fighting off his back. Unlike Antonio Silva, who was blitzed by Velasquez, Werdum could potentially slow down the pace once Velasquez takes him down. Werdum can also submit people from his back.
Although a ground battle is the only way Werdum would have a chance in a Velasquez fight, Travis Browne wouldn’t have a chance no matter where the fight goes. “Hapa” likes to stand and bang it out, which would get him knocked out against Velasquez. One of his strengths is the clinch, which also happens to be an area where Velasquez is dominant.
The only chance Browne would have against Velasquez is a puncher’s chance or corrupt judging.
Now, the aforementioned statements are not indicative of what the outcome of the Browne/Werdum fight will be. Either men have a shot at winning that bout. Browne defeated Gabriel Gonzaga, who is similar to Werdum, and “Vai Cavalo” has a long list of contenders he has battled. No matter the outcome of the fight, Werdum does stand a better chance at defeating the champ than Browne.