Fabricio Werdum or Cain Velasquez, who has the best chance against JDS?Posted on June 25, 2012, 10:15 AM by Anton Gurevich
Junior dos Santos had defended his UFC Heavyweight title for the first time with a victory over Frank Mir at UFC 146. The champ is now 9-0 inside the Octagon, and is clearly considered as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet.
Current top contenders in the UFC Heavyweight division – Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez, are responsible for the most important moments of Junior dos Santos’ UFC career. JDS made his Octagon debut with what was then a shocking knockout of Fabricio Werdum (UFC 90), and won the title three years with a quick demolition of Cain Velasquez at UFC on FOX 1. Both man lasted less than two minutes in the cage with Junior dos Santos.
Here’s a quick analysis of Velasquez and Werdum’s chances to dethrone JDS:
Cain Velasquez (10-1):
Former UFC Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez destroyed Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva to earn the right to rematch Junior dos Santos. Velasquez’s victory over “Bigfoot” proved he’s still one of the most dangerous fighters in the UFC Heavyweight division, and a true #1 contender. It will be very interesting to see this fight last longer than 60 seconds, especially when both fighters are known for leaving everything inside the Octagon.
Prediction vs. JDS: I think Cain Velasquez is a bad match-up for Junior dos Santos, but at the same time, it’s hard to see the rematch playing out any different. Dos Santos has a strong stand-up base that would prevent from Velasquez to shoot his famous double-leg takedowns. Plus, the Brazilian’s speed, and most importantly – his ability to quickly change levels in striking would be a nightmare for the AKA product. Velasquez is more than a worthy opponent for Dos Santos, and has every chance to win this fight, but personally, I think dos Santos is a favorite in a rematch.
Fabricio Werdum (16-5-1):
Many fans underestimated Fabricio Werdum as a top Heavyweight contender. Vai Cavalo was released from his UFC duties after losing to Junior dos Santos (in what was Cigano’s debut), but re-invented himself as a fighter at Strikeforce. Werdum responded with victories over Mike Kyle, Antonio Silva and Fedor Emelianenko. His only loss was in a rather bizarre performance against Alistair Overeem, that actually showcased Werdum’s improved stand-up skills. K-1 World GP champ had problems to find his pace against Werdum, who landed more significant strikes during the fight (according to FightMetric).
Prediction vs. JDS: Werdum is a different fighter now than his was five (technically four) years ago, something I can’t say about Junior dos Santos. Thanks to his training with Rafael Cordeiro, Fabricio Werdum is now a legitimate threat in stand-up not only to both Alistair Overeem and Junior dos Santos. Obviously, BJJ remains Fabricio Werdum’s main strength, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see “Vai Cavalo” going toe-to-toe with JDS in stand up. In my humble opinion, Fabricio Werdum poses a much bigger threat to Junior dos Santos’ reign as the undisputed UFC Heavyweight than most of us think.
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