UFC on FOX 11: Werdum vs. BrowneSaturday, April 19 – 10:00 p.m. ET
Fabricio Werdum (17-5-1) vs. Travis Browne (16-1-1)5-Round Heavyweight bout
Line: Browne -225, Werdum +180
Two top contenders in the heavyweight division will be in action on Saturday as Fabricio Werdum and Travis Browne headline UFC on FOX 11 in Orlando, FL.
Werdum won his third straight fight, and improved to 5-2 in his UFC career, with a victory against Minotauro Nogueira on June 8, 2013. In that match, he showed his versatility by submitting Nogueira with an armbar. Werdum has beaten some terrific fighters in his career, such as Antonio Silva, Roy Nelson, Gabriel Gonzaga and Alistair Overeem. He is a versatile fighter that has the ability to compete in any style of match. That will play a huge role in this fight, as he is going up against Browne, who has been on an absolute tear as of late. Since his lone career loss to Antonio Silva on October 5, 2012, Browne has won three consecutive matches in dominating fashion. All three of these victories have come by way of knockout, and all three also occurred in the first round. With the heavyweight class in a unique situation with the champion out with an injury, there are a handful of guys that could emerge as a true title contender. With that being said, right now, no fighter in the UFC is on as big of a roll as BROWNE, and look for him to carry that momentum through this fight and get the victory.
Browne enters this fight with 16 career victories, and 12 of those wins have come by way of knockout. He also has two wins by both submission and decision, and has an impressive six victories that occurred in the first minute of the match. He stands a hulking 6-foot-7 and 255 pounds, which is three inches taller and 16 pounds heavier than Werdum. Both fighters have proven to be good strikers, but Browne has a slight advantage with 2.94 significant strikes landed, compared to 2.83 for Werdum. Nicknamed "Hapa," which in Hawaiian language refers to a person of mixed Asian or Pacific Islander ethnicity, Browne's potential to end a match in a blink of an eye will force Werdum to protect himself more than he normally would. However, the big thing to look for in this fight is the ability of Browne to defend against the takedown (78 % takedown defense). Werdum is very good at submitting his opponents, but the 31-year-old Browne has shown an uncanny ability to not get taken to the ground. That will play a huge role in this fight, as Browne has not faced anybody with the takedown prowess that his opponent has. If Werdum is able to get the fight on the ground, then he has a great chance to score the victory.
Werdum has 17 victories in his career, with nine of them coming by way of submission. He also has five wins by knockout and three wins by decision. The 36-year-old Brazilian has a huge advantage in submission average (1.6) compared to Browne (0.6). There is no secret that his biggest skill is to submit his opponent, and he will have to do that to get a win here. "Vai Cavalo," which means "go horse" based on his quickness when playing soccer in his youth, does not possess the punching power that Browne does, so he must stay away from a slugfest type of match. Werdum is a much better strike defender at 58%, compared to 47% for Browne. Werdum is in great shape, and that could play a big role in him keeping this fight close. If he can avoid the knockout punch, his wrestling and cardio give him a strong possibility to get the upset win.