Three Questions To Ask Following UFC 188

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One new champion, a second show in Mexico, and three questions to be asked.  Let’s get right into the action much like they did from the Mexico City Arena this past weekend.

UFC 188: Fabricio Werdum Defeats Cain Velasquez By Submission In ...

Was it really just ring rust?

I won’t deny that ring rust was evident for Cain Velasquez during his shocking third round submission loss to Fabricio Werdum. That was far from the best-looking Velasquez we have ever seen. But look deeper than just ring rust and you find Werdum had a great gameplan from day one.

The first thing to mention is that Werdum trained in Jiquipilcois, Mexico, which is 1500 feet higher than Mexico City, a month before the fight. By comparison, Velasquez went to Mexico City a mere two weeks prior. Werdum knew cardio was going to be a huge factor and prepared accordingly. Velasquez is relentless; everyone knows that, including Werdum. He comes at fighters with tenacity and heart unmatched by most heavyweights.

Werdum worked on knees in the clinch, knowing he was going to be there.  Fighters like JDS and Bigfoot (Velasquez’ last 5 opponents) throw looping punches and straight body shots, which are easier to walk through. What I noticed was a lack of head movement from Velasquez that resulted in Werdum landing straight punch after straight punch, and a few uppercuts for good measure.

When he tried to bait Velasquez into the ground, he knew the former champ was scared of his ground game, giving him confidence if it ever got there.  When Velasquez’ straightforward approach was being countered with straight punches from the longer fighter and he didn’t want to go to the ground, he got confused.

There was a point where all Velasquez could do was kick his legs in frustration. When all else fails, a fighter goes to his roots and Werdum was waiting for that one takedown. When it came, that was all he needed to lock in a submission and win.  Remember this is the man that submitted Fedor Emelianenko and knocked out Mark Hunt.

I’m sure Velasquez will earn a his way back to the top for a rematch. But until then, let’s start giving credit where credit is due. Fabricio Werdum is now the baddest man on the planet.

  • grandslam

    Gaelan, you need to fix the side scroll button as I can’t see your other two questions. That said, the article is an excellent summary of the main even and Werdum’s effective game plan. Werdum wasn’t only better trained but also more intelligent inside the Octagon.

    Cain’s game plan and strategy was designed to fail and his corner had no idea what they were up against. At the end of round 2 when Cain’s corner asked him to go for a take down, I knew the fight will get over in the third. Cain wasn’t even able to drink his water and that shows how disoriented your fighter is. I am no expert in this sport, but I know that as you get exhausted you are more likely to get submitted. Cain was asked to take down a BJJ black belt in a state where he could barely throw a punch! That was a big mistake and Werdum rightfully obliged the moment Cain hit that takedown.

    The question is if Cain will be able to avenge this loss? if he keeps the same game plan, I think he will certainly loose to Werdum again, even if the fight is in Las Vegas. However, if he tones down the intensity and remains selective in his striking, I think he has a better chance of winning the fight. One more thing, cain needs to get rid of people who keep telling him that he is a “beast”.