If you went out and got blottoed last night, or decided to take a pass on UFC 188, then you may be now, just realizing that the MMA landscape is dramatically different today…
Yes, Fabricio Werdum, and not Cain Velasquez, is now the heavyweight champ, and if you put some money down on “Vai Cavalho”, well, let the dollar bills fly.
Heading into the bout, fans and pundits understood that Velasquez would be navigating through dangerous waters, if he elected to take the jiu-jitsu wonder down. Others also understood, however, that Werdum’s striking has come a ridiculously long way, and that the champ could’t sleep on his stand-up either.
Well, although the high altitude of Mexico City may have also played a factor, Velasquez ate a lot of heavy shots from Werdum, before the bloodied champ went for an ill fated takedown in round three. Velasquez took Werdum down earlier in the fight, but this time around, the latter was able to latch on a fight ending, guillotine choke.
After the card, Werdum was asked about the choke at the post-fight presser, and here is what he had to say (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“I prepared for this for about two years, not two or three months before,” said Werdum. “I believed in myself. I visualized this moment. I got a guillotine. I trained for that moment. I knew Cain was going to go for a single or double leg so I was ready for that moment.”
Yes. Yes he was. It would have been interesting to see how the fight would have unfolded, provided Velasquez had been able to get out of the choke. At that juncture, it certainly looked like Werdum was closing in on a stoppage finish via strikes (hence why Velasquez’s corner told him to take Werdum down…).
Now it will be interesting to see who the UFC taps to face Werdum in his first title defense. Stipe Miocic? Andrei Arlovski? Or even Junior dos Santos? Who holds a 2008, TKO win over Werdum?