After destroying Cain Velasquez at UFC 188 to become the undisputed UFC heavyweight champion, Fabricio Werdum was being talked about as possibly the greatest heavyweight of all-time. His title reign quickly came crashing down, however, as he was brutally knocked out by current champion Stipe Miocic in his first title defense at UFC 198 last May.
Werdum will attempt to bounce back in the co-main event of UFC 203, an event headlined by Miocic defending his strap against Alistair Overeem, tomorrow night (September 10, 2016) when he takes on Travis Browne. “Vai Cavalo” feels as if he should’ve received an immediate rematch with Miocic, but he knows that tomorrow’s bout is now a must win:
“That’s the goal (to finish Browne),” Werdum told MMA Fighting. “I never saw someone say they want to win by decision. I think everybody wants a knockout or a submission. The speech is always the same. The quicker, the better. One minute, one round, two rounds, that’s better. I can’t think differently.
“I need this victory. It’s important for my goal to fight for the title again. I deserved an immediate rematch since I was coming off six wins in a row, but I knew the UFC wouldn’t give it to me. Winning this fight, I will deserve it. I will do everything I can to put on a spectacular fight to earn another title shot.”
Werdum and Browne have actually faced off once before back in 2014 in a fight that “Vai Cavalo” dominated before earning a title shot. Despite owning a win over “Hapa”, however, the Brazilian isn’t heading into the rematch overconfident:
“I can’t be overconfident in this fight,” he said. “I never entered a fight overconfident. My losses were based on things I did in training, and luck also plays out during the fight. I’m coming off a loss so I can’t be overconfident. I might have a slight advantage because I won the last fight, but it’s nothing big.
“It’s not an easy fight just because I defeated him before,” he said. “I can’t underestimate Travis Browne. He’s also coming off a loss so he wants this win to move forward. I’m sure that a win will put me right into a title fight. That’s not the case for him, but he definitely wants to win.”
Do you see Werdum getting back to his winning ways?