Now that Cain Velasquez has scored two impressive wins over Junior dos Santos, who is the sport’s consensus #2 ranked heavyweight, Fabricio Werdum could be a sizeable underdog by the time his title shot rolls around. If you missed it, immediately following UFC 166 this weekend, UFC boss Dana White announced that Werdum will challenge Velasquez for the title next, likely sometime in early 2014.
Werdum, without too much fanfare really, worked his way into the #3 slot by defeating Roy Nelson, Mike Russow and most recently Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Recently the renowned jiu-jitsu practitioner spoke with MMA Fighting.com about his upcoming title shot, and although Werdum praised Velasquez for his abilities, he also believes he’s the man to beat the P4P contender. Here is some of what “Vai Cavalo” had to say:
“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.”
It will be fascinating to see what kind of approach Velasquez takes, as although he’s an accomplished wrestler and a BJJ black belt as well, Werdum’s ground game is nasty (cue footage of wins over “Big Nog” and Fedor). Werdum also noted that although Velasquez is “making history,” Fedor is still the best “heavyweight of all-time.” Wonder what Dana White would say to that?
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