New UFC heavyweight No. 1 contender Fabricio Werdum believes Cain Velasquez wanted to face Travis Browne for one simple reason.
“Maybe he knew he could take down Travis Browne and finish the fight,” said Werdum, on the FOX Sports 2 post-fight show after beating Browne. “He knows if he takes me down, that’s just the start of the fight.”
Werdum dominated Browne, earning a decision victory in the main event of UFC on FOX 11 and securing his shot at Velasquez. The bout is expected to take place in November, assuming Velasquez is recovered from shoulder surgery in time.
This marked Werdum’s (18-5-1) first fight since a win over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira last June. However, his decision to remain in training kept him fresh – and improved his abilities on a daily basis.
“I train a lot for this. It is very important to me,” he said. “I start at 8 a.m. and finish at 2 p.m. Kenny Johnson (has improved my wrestling).”
Werdum also said that he “respects” Velasquez, but feels it is his time to shine.
“I have dream a long time (for the opportunity to) fight for the belt,” he said. “I am very happy for the fight with Cain.”
Despite his inability to finish off Browne, Werdum impressed UFC president Dana White with his performance.
“He looked good. He picked him apart,” White said. “He did whatever he wanted. He took a bomb in the first round and I thought he was out and the fight was over.
“I think Werdum played it safe to pull out the win and get the shot at the title.”
Werdum admitted during the post-fight press conference that he did just that, not wanting to risk a win-in-hand by making a mistake.
Front-Page Photo Credit: David Manning