UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez delivered a severe beating to Junior dos Santos in the main event of UFC 166. How severe, you ask? Severe enough that Dos Santos didn't remember a good portion of what occurred during the fight on Saturday night. Now, it looks as if Velasquez's next fight will be against Fabricio Werdum.
Velasquez (13-1) earned a fifth round TKO victory over Dos Santos in a fight that many, including UFC president Dana White thought should have been waved off much earlier. After Velasquez's victory, White said that a bout with Werdum (17-5-1) made the most sense for the champion's next title defense. During the post-fight press conference, White also gave a quick breakdown of his take on the possible matchup:
His (Werdum's) whole game has improved. The guy's a big, strong, durable guy, and his jiu-jitsu; he's going to want to go to the ground, which makes this fight very interesting.
Werdum's first stint with the UFC ended with one punch. That punch, an uppercut came at UFC 90, and was delivered by Dos Santos, who was making his UFC debut on that night in October 2008.
Werdum then joined Strikeforce, where he ran up a record of 3-1. When Strikeforce was shuttered, Werdum re-joined the UFC. Since then he has gone 3-0, defeating Roy Nelson, Mike Russow and most recently Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.
Werdum has also picked up a side gig, doing color commentary for Spanish language broadcasts of UFC events. Werdum was on the job at UFC 166, when Sherdog.com caught up with him. Werdum offered his thoughts on a fight with the UFC heavyweight champion:
The fight will happen in February or March, and I'll study his game hard. I'll train a lot. I saw an interview with him where he said he respects me a lot, that I'm a great champion, and I say the same about him. We'll put on a great show.
Unsurprisingly, Werdum, a highly decorated black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, will look to fight to his strengths:
If we go to the ground and I need to use my guard, I don't foresee any problems. I see when fighters lack confidence in the guard and want to stand up fast, giving their back to the opponent. The technical get-up is one of the first things we learn in jiu-jitsu, and we have to do it well in MMA. This is important. If there's no way to do it, use the guard, sweep, try a submission.
If he is successful in taking the fight to the ground and earning the UFC heavyweight title via submission, it will be the tenth submission victory of Werdum's MMA career, it would also be his last:
I can visualize the scene. Sure, there will be a lot of training before, but imagine if I'm the only guy who submitted Fedor, ‘Minotauro' and Velasquez? Then I would retire and work only as a commentator.
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