After suffering his first-ever career loss at the hands of Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva back at UFC on FX 5 in late 2012, surging contender Travis Browne has cut a path through the heavyweight division by destroying Gabriel Gonzaga, Alistair Overeem, and Josh Barnett in a rapid succession of first round knockouts.
His next challenge will be against No. 2-ranked Fabricio Werdum in the main event of April 19’s UFC on FOX 11 card from Orlando. Legendary Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Werdum will be doing everything he can to avoid standing and trading with “Hapa,” making this bout present a test of a different kind.
With high rankings implications on the line, the winner will most likely face returning heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez sometime later this fall or winter. Browne told AXS TV Fights that whoever comes out victorious undoubtedly deserves the next shot at coveted gold:
“There’s no way that the winner of this doesn’t get a title shot. We deserve it; we earned it. I don’t need to convince anybody that I get a title shot; I let my work do the talking for me.”
“Hapa” has done just that over the past year, becoming arguably one of the most powerful strikers in the sport. His thunderous knockout ability has caused us to see precious little of his overall ground game, something that definitely could be tested to the fullest in Orlando.
However, Werdum will have to get Browne to the mat first, and that’s far from as easy task. The Brazilian ground wizard has been out of action since submitting Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC on Fuel TV 10 last June, and it’s safe to say that “Minotauro” has been surpassed in skill by the younger Browne at this point in time.
Can “Vai Cavalo” drag the Hawaiian striker into deep waters?