It didn’t take long for the UFC to announce who Cain Velasquez will defend his heavyweight title against next, following his latest, one sided victory over Junior dos Santos, as it will be the promotion’s #3 ranked Fabricio Werdum. When you consider that the #2 ranked Daniel Cormier wouldn’t fight Velasquez to begin with (and is moving to 205), and that the champion has already defeated the #4 “Bigfoot” Silva twice, a bout with Werdum makes sense.
So, how does Werdum believe he matches up against Velasquez? Who is not only the world’s top heavyweight, but is ranked as the UFC’s fifth best pound-for-pound fighter? While speaking to MMA Fighting.com recently, the submission guru relayed he thinks pretty darn well.
“It’s too soon to say that I will submit him or what’s going to happen in this fight,” he said. “It will be a great fight. His style is perfect for me. ‘Cigano’ is a striker so Cain worked intelligently to use the right strategy to avoid that. It won’t be a slow-paced fight. I won’t let him do that clinch game with me. I expect an exciting fight standing and on the ground.
“He will try to take me down, and I can also take him down,” he said. “I’m training wrestling with Kenny Johnson and my wrestling has become better and better. The fight is going to the ground. Cain will take me down, but I won’t give him my back. I’ll do a good guard, try submissions. I will always do something.”
That’s an interesting way of looking at it. While JDS is no slouch on the ground, Werdum is definitely at another level (just ask men like Fedor Emelianenko and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, among others), so will Velasquez take the fight down? He was just awarded his BJJ black belt. Guess we’ll find out next year.
Werdum also said in the interview that although Velasquez could set a new record for UFC heavyweight title defenses when they fight, he still believes Fedor is “the best heavyweight of all time.”
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