Fabricio “Via Cavalo” Werdum (15-5-1) vs. Mike Russow (15-1-1)
This fight has a lot riding on it as the winner could be the next one to get a crack at the heavyweight title. With all the speculation and uncertainty about Alistair Overeem, the winner of this fight could be proposed as a viable contender. Fabricio Werdum was the first person to beat Fedor, and took out other notables in Antonio Silva, Mike Kyle and Roy Nelson. Mike Russow has only lost once in his career, and he has been flawless since entering the UFC going 4-0.
Fabricio Werdum may have lost a lack luster decision to Alistair Overeem in his last Strikeforce appearance, but he washed that away with his destruction of Roy Nelson. In that fight he showed that his standup had improved, and by Werdum’s own words he has taken the sport seriously. Now, with his combination of ground game and standup he will give anyone trouble in the division.
Mike Russow on the other hand is a product of hard work. A full time cop in Chicago, a husband, a father, and a full time fighter shows how much someone can do with their time. The question has always been weather or not Russow could hang with the top of the division. This fight will prove what he can accomplish. Russow is an accomplished NCAA wrestler, but does not have any one great discipline. He just gets the job done.
The Bottom Line: Mike Russow is a good fighter, but isn’t great. Fabricio Werdum will use his size to bully Russow and will earn the stoppage late in the second.