Heading into UFC 180, there’s been a lot of talk about the walk off, KO power of Mark Hunt, and the ridiculously good ground game of Fabricio Werdum. As a result, there’s been a lot of speculation that the latter will be looking to take the fight to the ground, in Werdum’s effort to take home the interim heavyweight belt.
While there’s no denying that Werdum is among the very best, in terms of his ability to choke out opponents or wreck their limbs, he’s also got really good stand-up. Case in point, when Werdum handed Travis Browne a UD loss earlier this year, he largely relied on his kickboxing skills to do so.
In a recent interview with UFC.com, Werdum had this to say about his victory over Browne, and just how important it was
“People were talking about how Travis was the favorite and how dangerous he was. That just made me stronger. I broke his nose with my punches and his ribs with one of my kicks. I demonstrated I was ready for this moment. I broke Travis Browne’s game plan and destroyed him mentally. I knew I could beat him and I showed the world I’m ready for the belt.”
It was an impressive victory, and it’s also worth noting that “Hapa” was coming off consecutive, KO victories over Alistair Overeem, Gabriel Gonzaga and Josh Barnett heading into the bout.
So, now it remains to be seen how Werdum approaches Hunt, and whether, or at what point, he looks to take it down. Of course, Hunt does not have the wrestling pedigree that champion Cain Velasquez has, who was originally supposed to fight Werdum tomorrow night.
While discussing the change in opponent, and how it affected his game plan, Werdum relayed:
“We are going to have a different plan than we had for Cain Velasquez because of Mark Hunt’s style of stand-up. I know he has a strong chin, but if I have an opportunity in the second or third round when he’s tired, I’ll submit him or knock him out. I will represent Latin America, Mexico, Brazil and my family. I will fight a good fight and be the new UFC champion.”
UFC 180 will go down at the Mexico City Arena and will be available via pay-per-view throughout North America.