Werdum started off strong, greeting 'Hapa' with a flying side kick to the face but soon slowed down as the action wore on. Due to Browne's inactivity, since Werdum dislocated the Hawaiian's thumb with a punch in the first round, 'Vai Cavalo' cruised to a somewhat sloppy, unanimous decision win.
According to Werdum, though, he fractured his foot prior to UFC 203 and received an injection to help numb the pain just two hours before his fight with Browne.
"There's a lot of things happen before my fight (loss to Stipe), but I don't like to say excuse, Werdum said at the post-fight press conference, per Adam Guillen Jr. of MMA Mania). "Today, today I don't say to nobody, but I had an injury in my foot. I broke my foot. Not broke my foot, but I had a fracture. I go to doctor, but I want to fight. Two hours before the fight, I go to my room today, and they gave me a shot, an injection because I have a lot of pain in my foot. And that's it, man, I don't say nothing, I just want to fight. I know I'm the next one (for title shot)."
Werdum lost the heavyweight title to Stipe Miocic earlier this year and said he wanted to put on a spectacular performance to solidify himself as the next No. 1 contender. However, although the multiple-time Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champion is still ranked at #1 in the official rankings, it's likely that Cain Velasquez will be the next in line for a title shot. Velasquez made a statement with his first round finish of Browne at UFC 200 in July.
Miocic, Cleveland's first sporting champion since 1964, defended the title for the first time against Alistair Overeem last night with a first-round knockout.