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UFC 188 Velasquez vs Werdum – Breakdown

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June 13th will mark the return of the heavyweight king, Cain Velasquez, as he takes on interim titleholder Fabricio Werdum. It’s been almost two years since Cain’s last fight in the Octagon, where he finished the Junior Dos Santos trilogy in dominating fashion by way of a 5th round stoppage. Since then he has been battling a knee injury, the same injury that pulled Cain off the card when he was first booked to met Werdum in Mexico. Because of that injury the UFC felt it necessary to have Werdum fight Mark Hunt for an interim title. In that bout, Werdum landed a powerful knee after a faked takedown which lead to a TKO stoppage in the 2nd round.

There are two main factors going into this fight. The first being the layoff of Velasquez as everyone wonders if the long hiatus will affect his performance. Secondly, the elevation. Mexico City is at a very high altitude and many people wonder if that will that play a part, due to the fact that this fight is 5 rounds. Both Cain and Werdum have made special arrangements to acclimate their bodies but will it be enough?

This same month, 5 years ago, Werdum shocked the MMA world by beating the best heavyweight ever in Fedor Emelianenko. Fedor swarmed, with winging left and right hooks, and Werdum ended up on the canvas catching Fedor in a triangle armbar combination that forced The Last Emperor to tap. The question now is; does Werdum have another trick up his sleeve that he can use to shock the MMA world once again?

Werdum has shown huge improvements in the striking department since that prone fight with Fedor. He has demonstrated boxing clinics in his fights against Travis Browne and Roy Nelson, by using a varying attack that included flashy kicks and a vicious thai clinch. Regardless, at the end of the day Fabrico will always be a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighter. He has won Black Belt worlds and ADCC twice. These are the highest accolades a Jiu Jitsu practitioner can achieve but will those accolades even matter? Can Werdum effectively use his Jiu Jitsu against a man who is a world class wrestler and also a black belt himself?

Fabricio Werdum is going up against a fighter who is a stylistic nightmare, as mentioned, Cain has great boxing and fantastic wrestling, on top of all that he pushes the pace and has maybe the best cardio the heavyweight division has ever seen. This fight will be won for Fabricio on the feet, and I don’t mean in the sense of a KO or TKO, but he has to earn the respect of Cain Velasquez, he cannot let Velasquez continually move forward and push him against the cage. Cain really lets loose with his combinations against the cage and he has great takedowns from there as well. Werdum will have to avoid standing straight in front of Cain, during the fight with Travis Browne there were many times when Werdum landed while both were standing still in the middle of the cage, I don’t believe he will have that opportunity against Cain, as he is usually pushing forward. If I’m Rafael Cordeiro I want Werdum on his bicycle the whole fight, always moving, always looking for a better angle, the only problem is even in a fight where he dominated, Werdum looked very tired against Travis and landed a lot of his shots because Travis was gassed as well. I just don’t think Werdum has the cardio to move as much as he needs, he may have success in the first round but it will be at the cost of a lot of energy, the only way I can see Werdum winning is if he pulls off a submission from his back after the inevitable takedown from Cain. Fabrico has done it once, but can lightning strike twice?

Cain Velasquez will fulfill a life time dream by headlining a fight card in his family’s home country of Mexico. He will be coming off a almost two year hiatus and will look to show the world that he is the baddest man on the planet. Cain has looked dominant in all this fights sans the quick KO loss to Junior Dos Santos, and he has already shown that fight was just a slight bump in the road, easily winning the next two fights against JDS. Cain is probably most well known for his ridiculous cardio, the pace the puts on his opponents breaks them,they are not able to keep up with his output whether it be punches, kicks or takedowns he just doesn’t stop. There are a few major differences in this fight though; he hasn’t fought in a long time, octagon rust has shown to be a real thing, and on top of all that the high elevation of Mexico City will be strenuous for even the biggest cardio tanks.

Cain Velasquez, assuming he is the same fighter that fought back in 2013 should be able to excite the hometown crowd with a victory. I see Cain’s ability to put it all together being what wins him this fight, he is one of the best fighters that transitions from striking to clinch work to wrestling and then back to striking. Cain will take the middle of the cage and use his forward pressure and high pace to put Werdum against the cage and work from the clinch, I suspect Cain to take down Werdum even though at first glance it may seem ill advised, Cain has seen Werdum’s fight with Fedor, he knows what happens if you just strike with reckless abandonment, he will will use the takedown to break Werdum’s will and tire him within the first couple of rounds. From there he will continue to push against the cage and mix up knees to the legs and punch combinations on the breaks, this partnered with takedowns will be too much for the interim title holder. If Werdum’s chin holds up I can see Cain winning by TKO in the third or fourth round by ground and pound, Werdum will tire and Cain will keep on pushing forward to where Werdum’s Jiu Jitsu will be all for not.

UFC is looking at Cain Velasquez as the Mexican version of GSP, if he is able to look dominate in this fight, I wouldn’t be surprised if he only fights there as it’s basically giving the UFC the ability to print money. I think Cain’s pace and clinch work will lead him to an easy victory. Werdum has the credentials to shock the world by catching him in a submission but I just don’t see a likely scenario in which it happens. I foresee Werdum able to have some success in the first round, possibly even winning the first round due to Werdum being fresh and Cain needing to knock off some Octagon rust. But once the second round starts it will be all Cain, Werdum will tire as he has shown in the past and Cain will keep on cruising to a 3rd or 4th round stoppage.

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Interviews

Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”

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Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:

Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”

Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.

Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”

Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.

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Announcement

Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217

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UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.

The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:

It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.

Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.

 

This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.

With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th?  Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.

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Announcement

*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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