Fabricio Werdum utilized his striking to decision Travis Browne and then stop Mark Hunt, but the heavyweight believes his vaunted ground game could deliver him a victory versus Cain Velasquez.
Earlier this week, the UFC announced that Werdum will face Velasquez on June 13th, when the promotion returns to Mexico City. The two had been scheduled to fight at UFC 180, but the champion went down with a knee injury, and Werdum faced Hunt for an interim title instead. The Brazilian won the bout by catching Hunt with a beautifully timed, flying knee.
Werdum recently spoke with MMA Junkie.com about the upcoming bout, and here is what the veteran had to say, in terms of how he sees the fight ending.
“I imagine not just the fight, but also my interview with Joe Rogan, and what I’ll be saying,” Werdum said. “I think about all that. What I want is to finish the fight early, whether it be with a knee, a knockout, a high kick or a submission. I imagine it will be on the ground, just like when I beat Fedor.”
“Many people have said that Cain Velasquez won’t be playing his usual game, that he’ll avoid the ground,” he said. “I think he won’t avoid the ground. I think he’ll do his usual game, which is to strike on the feet, go for a takedown, and stay on top. But I’ve always felt at ease when doing jiu-jitsu.”
Werdum is referring to his well documented, 2010, win versus Fedor Emelianenko, when he became the first man in a decade to defeat the former PRIDE champ. Werdum caught the legendary heavyweight with a triangle-choke in the opening round.
The bout will mark the first time Velasquez has fought since October, 2013, when he TKO’d Junior dos Santos.
UFC 188 will be hosted by the Mexico City Arena and will feature Gilbert Melendez taking on fellow, lightweight contender Eddie Alvarez in the co-main event.