Brazilian veteran Fabricio Werdum turned in one of the finest performances of his career in recording a lopsided five-round unanimous decision over Travis Browne in their title eliminator at UFC on FOX 11. The submission specialist continued to show a vastly improved striking game as he bloodied and battered the towering Hawaiian throughout the 25-minute affair. Two of the scorecards read 50-45 in Werdum’s favour while another judge scored it 49-46.
Werdum has looked terrific in his second stint with the organization as he registered his fourth-straight Octagon win and secured a title shot later this year in Mexico against champion Cain Velasquez. His dominance over Browne began in the opening round and he maintained that positive momentum for the rest of the bout.
Werdum became the first fighter to record takedowns against “Hapa” and he showcased an impressive offensive arsenal that featured powerful punches, knees and leg kicks. Werdum fought with extreme confidence against a fighter who had been a destructive force in his last three fights. He improved to 18-5-1 with the impressive effort.
Browne had recorded three-straight first-round stoppages including a devastating finish of tough veteran Josh Barnett at UFC 168. While he rocked Werdum with a punch in the opening round, those moments of success were few and far between. Browne seemed gassed by the end of the second round and it was only his tremendous chin that allowed him to last the distance as he absorbed a great deal of punishment. Browne’s career record falls to 16-2-1.
“Vai Cavalo’s” improvement to his all-around game makes him a formidable challenger for Velasquez’s title. The 36-year-old has faced plenty of top-flight competition during the course of his 24-fight career and won’t be intimidated when facing the dominant champion later this year. Werdum has waited a long time for his opportunity and he certainly earned it with his performance in Orlando.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports.