Fight Blog Recap: Fabricio Werdum works over Travis Browne in main event
FOX UFC Saturday in Orlando kicks off at 3:30p ET leading all the way to the main card on FOX featuring the main event between Fabricio Werdum and Travis Browne with the winner getting the next crack
Fabricio Werdum earned his shot against Cain Velasquez after beating Travis Browne.
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC
By Damon Martin
ORLANDO -- Fabricio Werdum punched his ticket to a title shot against heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez after besting Travis Browne on the feet and on the ground to win a unanimous decision on Saturday night in Orlando.
Werdum showed patience early against Browne, who is traditionally a fast starter, before he wore out the big Hawaiian with takedowns and a dominant boxing game. As the fight wore on round by round, Werdum's controle only increased as Browne slowed with a lacking gas tank that back fired after a hard fought first round.
Now Werdum will go onto a title shot against Velasquez with their fight most likely taking place in Mexico later this year.
In addition to Werdum's win, Miesha Tate stopped her two fight skid with a win over Liz Carmouche while Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone weathered a storm of pressure from Muay Thai wrecking machine Edson Barboza to land a fight changing jab before choking out the Brazilian on the mat.
Check out the full play-by-play below for all the action at FOX UFC Saturday from Orlando
Fabricio Werdum vs. Travis Browne
Browne unloads a huge head kick early, just missing Werdum's head. Browne follows up with the clinch and some knees but Werdum survives. Browne unloads with some punches that hurt Werdum, but he slips out and grabs a takedown to put Browne on his back. The first time Browne has been taken down in his UFC career. Browne stays out of trouble and he's back to his feet. Werdum unloads a good body kick. Browne with a spin kick, blocked by Werdum. Werdum ends the round with some good boxing, hitting Browne's jaw as the final horn sounds.
R1 10-9 Fabricio Werdum
Werdum and Browne both exchange heavy kicks to open things. Werdum rushes forward and gets another takedown, putting Browne against the cage as he looks to take his back. Browne is able to turn and get on his back, but he's stuck with Werdum on top of him. Werdum moves to side control where he starts landing with short punches and elbows. Werdum isolates and arm and he's looking for a kimura or an arm bar. Werdum explodes but Browne's arm slips free and he gets back to his feet. Browne looks winded as he looks at the clock with less than a minute to go.
R2 10-9 for Fabricio Werdum
Browne is throwing haymakers now but he's running low on gas. Werdum still fresher, tags him with a spinning back fist and follows up with more punches. Browne still standing, but he's obviously slowing down. Werdum just smiling at him in the exchanges. Werdum gets Browne trapped against the cage and starts uncorking heavy punches but the Hawaiian survives again. Werdum hits Browne with a jumping knee and straight punch combination.
R3 10-9 for Fabricio Werdum
Werdum showing a lot of confidence in his hands, picking his shots and hitting Browne whenever he engages. Low blow from Browne, pauses the action as Werdum is given time to recover. Browne connects on a big right hand that gets Werdum to start looking for a takedown, but they separate and it's back to kickboxing. Browne looks for some more kicks and now it's Werdum who looks tired. Lackluster round really.
R4 10-9 for Fabricio Werdum
Werdum snags a takedown to get the final round started, but Browne bounces up with no problem. Werdum peppers Browne two quick lefts followed by a nice straight right. Browne is bloodied up around the nose and mouth now. The fight closes with more of the same as Werdum clearly gets the win here.
R5 10-9 for Fabricio Werdum
FOX Sports scores the fight 50-45 for Fabricio Werdum
Official result: Fabricio Werdum def. Travis Browne by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)
Analysis: Very impressive performance by Fabricio Werdum, maybe the most complete one he's had since returning to the UFC two years ago. Werdum was poised in the standup where everyone thought Browne would have the upper hand, and he even managed a few takedowns along the way. Werdum knows he will get the title shot against Cain Velasquez next, although that's not going to be an easy test no matter how long he has to prepare for that bout. Velasquez is an animal and still appears to be playing a different game than every other heavyweight on the planet.
Miesha Tate vs. Liz Carmouche
Liz Carmouche out to "Va Va Voom to the Moon" by Fans of Jimmy Century. Miesha Tate to "Timber" by Kei$ha.
No touch of the gloves from Carmouche to start the fight. Carmouche gets the takedown against the cage as Tate tries to counter with elbows to the body. Tate works back up but can't break the grasp of Carmouche who continues to hold onto the body lock before grabbing another takedown. Carmouche still holding on but not doing much with the position until she finally hip tosses Tate down to the ground again
R1 10-9 for Liz Carmouche
Tate starts out going for the takedown this round pressing Carmouche against the cage. Tate looking to box Carmouche now, but instead gets countered with another takedown attempt. Carmouche gets Tate down two times in a row as she battles to get back to her feet. Tate grabs onto a guillotine choke to counter the takedown. She locks it up tight before finally lifting Carmouche to the feet, before letting go to instead favor the standup. Carmouche was winning the round but that last couple of minutes turned things for Tate
R2 10-9 for Miesha Tate
Tate aggressive to start round three, blasting away with punches before getting a takedown to put Carmouche on her back. Tate with good control from the top. Tate moves in and takes Carmouche's back, looking for a choke. Tate is smothering Carmouche from the back. Tate has her arm locked under Carmouche's chin, but through sheer will of force and power she's able to break the grip and survive. Tate ends the fight on top with kicks and punches. Great end for Tate.
R3 10-9 for Miesha Tate
FOX Sports scores the fight 29-28 for Miesha Tate
Official result: Miesha Tate def. Liz Carmouche by unanimous decision (29-28 on all scorecards)
Analysis: Must win for Tate off back-to-back losses and she definitely rose to the occasion, especially after a tough first round. Tate showed great patience and perseverance to come back and win the final two rounds to get the win. Obviously with two losses to Ronda Rousey, she's not getting a title shot any time soon but a fight against Sara McMann could be a great next matchup for the former Strikeforce champion. As for Carmouche, it's clear she's not at the top of the bantamweight division right now with losses to Rousey, Tate and Alexis Davis. In a perfect world, Carmouche would be fighting at 125 pounds, but that doesn't exist for her right now. Maybe a fight against TUF 18 alum Raquel Pennington would get her back on track.
Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone vs. Edson Barboza
Barboza comes out throwing fire, head hunting for Cerrone, who counters with a takedown attempt. Barboza tags Cerrone with a counter left, lads right on the jaw. Barboza is landing with some serious quickness but one punch changes everything. Cerrone lands and knocks Barboza down, jumps on top and locks on the rear naked choke. Barboza has no choice but to tap out. Incredible sequence to end the fight
Official result: Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone def. Edson Barboza by submission (rear naked choke) at 3:15, R1
Analysis: The fight lasted less than one round, but it did not disappoint. Barboza seemed so ready for this moment and he was tearing Cerrone up early with his Muay Thai attack. But Cerrone just needed one punch and he got the finish. Great moment for Cerrone and now he may get his wish to fight in June or July. I'd love to see him get a rematch against Nate Diaz, but given his current stance on fighting right now, not sure we'll get to see it.
Yoel Romero out to "Soldado" by Juan Luis Guerra. Brad Tavares to "Tears After Laughter" by Alborosie
Romero and Tavares both looking for strikes to open things, but out of nowhere the Olympian blasts forward with a barrage of punches before dumping Tavares on the mat with a slick takedown. Tavares works back up only to have Romero turn and toss him on the mat like a rag doll. Romero still holding the clinch while working Tavares against the cage. Romero separates and just takes Tavares down again. His wrestling is on point tonight. Dominant first round for the Cuban.
R1 10-9 for Yoel Romero
Romero shoots in as soon as the fighters touch gloves to start the round and he has Tavares on his back. The fighters are up again and Tavares starts to unleash some good strikes, catching Romero with a couple of solid punches. Romero jumps forward and connects with a jumping left hand that pops Tavares right in the mush. Tavares has a good sized cut on his forehead and he's bleeding bad. Tavares sticking in the fight, but Romero controlling the action on the feet and the ground.
R2 10-9 for Yoel Romero
Romero gets a front headlock and starts uncorking knees before Tavares can finally slip free and move his head out of the way. Tavares doing better in the standup this round, pressing forward and putting the pressure on Romero. Doesn't take long for Romero to get enough of that and move forward to put Tavares down on the mat yet again. Romero grabs the body lock and again throws Tavares down before the fight ends.
R3 10-9 for Yoel Romero
FOX Sports scores the fight 30-27 for Yoel Romero
Official result: Yoel Romero def. Brad Tavares by unanimous decision (30-27 on all scorescards)
Analysis. A brilliant performance from Olympic silver medalist Yoel Romero in one of his first truly marquee fights competing on the main card on a FOX show. Romero took Tavares down at will and just unloaded with powerful shots on the feet. With this win, Romero has to be staring down a top 10 opponent next. Maybe he can challenge Tim Kennedy since he's coming off a big win of his own, or possibly welcome Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza back to the Octagon when he returns from injury.
Khabib Nurmagomedov out to "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor. Rafael Dos Anjos to "I Can't Stop" by Flux Pavilion
Dos Anjos looks comfortable striking, but Nurmagomedov wastes no time getting the body lock and the takedown. Dos Anjos doing a good job frustrating the Russian and he gets back up and separates to get the fight standing again. Nurmagomedov charges forward with a series of punches and gets Dos Anjos down on the mat. Numagomedov is throwing some serious power in there, but Dos Anjos counters well.
R1 10-9 for Khabib Nurmagomedov
The fighters are both throwing some seriously heavy leather to start round 2, but Nurmagomedov has enough of that and shoots in for the takedown instead. Nurmagomedov avoids a guillotine choke attempt and keeps riding Dos Anjos against the cage. Nurmagomedov finally plants Dos Anjos on the mat where he starts to work from half guard. Nurmagomedov clearly in control although the crowd not getting behind his performance right now.
R2 10-9 for Khabib Nurmagomedov
Dos Anjos showing more aggressiveness this round, probably knowing he's down two rounds and needs a finish here. He can't avoid Nurmagomedov's powerful wrestling game, however, because the Dagestan native eventually gets the clinch against the cage to slow him down. Dos Anjos looks for a takedown of his own, but Nurmagomedov's Sambo background comes in handy as he reverses and slams the Brazilian down on the mat. Nurmagomedov stays on top and just grinds on Dos Anjos with punches and powerful control.
R3 10-9 for Khabib Nurmagomedov
FOX Sports scores the fight 30-27 for Khabib Nurmagomedov
Official result: Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Rafael Dos Anjos by unanimous decision (30-27 on all cards)
Another step up the ladder for undefeated top 10 fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov. He really dominated Dos Anjos in every facet of the game, never allowing the Brazilian to get any kind of offense going. Nurmagomedov's wrestling was on point as was his conditioning throughout all three rounds. At this point, Nurmagomedov has to be one fight away from title shot territory. The only downside is lightweight champion Anthony Pettis and top contender Gilbert Melendez won't fight until late December, so no matter how you cut it Nurmagomedov is going to have to compete again, maybe even a couple of times. Getting the winner of tonight's Donald Cerrone/Edson Barboza fight or maybe TJ Grant when he finally returns later this year would be a good matchup for his next bout.
Seth Baczynski out to "War Pigs" by Black Sabbath. Thiago Alves to "The Man" by Aloe Blacc
Baczynski throwing a lot early trying to back Alves up as he circles to his right. Alves staying patient, picking his shots. Alves misses with a head kick and gets in close with his punches, but Baczynski counters well showing no fear of the striking game. Alves with another head kick, Baczynski blocks, but he's bleeding from his right eyebrow now. Alves with a big body kick and leg kick before the end of the round. Alves picking up steam.
R1 10-9 for Thiago Alves
Alves unloading body kicks on Baczynski. His ribs will be feeling it tomorrow, but he's staying in the pocket exchanging with the Brazilian. Baczynski has another cut open up, this time over his left eye. Baczynski fires back and cracks Alves with a nice right hand of his own that busts his nose and the blood starts to flow. Alves is beating up Baczynski's legs with kicks, red welts covering the inside and outside of his left thigh.
R2 10-9 for Thiago Alves
A chant of 'U vai morrer' comes up from the pro-Alves crowd (it's Portugeuse for 'you're going to die'). For the first time, Baczynski shoots in for a takedown, but Alves shrugs him off. Alves just peppering his opponent with kicks, forcing Baczynski to again press for the takedown, but no dice. Alves connecting with more of his combinations now, but Baczynski refuses to back down or go away. Alves lunges forward and starts to unload on Baczynski looking for the knockout shot, but he can't quite land it. Great fight from start to finish
R3 10-9 for Thiago Alves
FOX Sports scores the fight 30-27 for Thiago Alves
Official result: Thiago Alves def. Seth Baczynski by unanimous decision (30-27 on all scorecards)
Analysis: It's good to have Alves back after a two year absence from the sport. At his best, Alves remains one of the best welterweight fighters in the UFC, so if he can stay injury free following this fight, there are plenty of matchups for him in the division. Maybe he can finally land the fight with Matt Brown that he was supposed to have last year if the Ohioan can get past Erick Silva in May. Kudos goes to Seth Baczynski as well for putting up a great fight and sticking in there with Alves for all 15 minutes.
Masvidal countering and tagging Healy with some quick, hard punches. Masvidal still popping Healy when he shoots in for a takedown against the cage. Healy's persistence pays off but only for a second before Masvidal pops right back up again. Masvidal cracking off some good kicks now as well, one that lands like a thud right to Healy's body.
R1 10-9 for Jorge Masvidal
Healy pressuring in the opening of the round, but Masvidal escapes and gets back to the center of the Octagon. Masvidal with a spinning wheel kick that lands but Healy blocks enough to not take the brunt of the strike. Healy comes back quick and gets a takedown and looks to take Masvidal's back. Healy and Masvidal start exchanging strikes just before the end of the round. A great 10 minutes so far in this fight.
R2 10-9 for Jorge Masvidal
Masvidal with another head kick followed by a body kick. Healy's ability to take a shot is incredible, but he's losing the fight. Healy gets a body lock on Masvidal and throws him to the ground, but in the scramble he loses position and it's Masvidal who ends up on top. The fighters are just going back and forth looking for the takedown. Masvidal ends the fight with a quick escape before the final horn sounds.
R3 10-9 for Jorge Masvidal
FOX Sports scores the fight 30-27 for Jorge Masvidal
Official result: Jorge Masvidal def. Pat Healy by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Analysis: Jorge Masvidal remains one of the most underrated lightweights in the world, but with each fight he has in the UFC, people should start to recognize how good he can be and he should be considered a top 15 ranked fighter at 155 pounds. Healy's toughness can't be discounted because he ate some serious shots and kept coming back for more. Still, Masvidal was faster, hit harder and put on a pretty brilliant performance against a gritty, tough fighter like Healy
Alex White out to "One Step Closer" by Linkin Park. Estevan Payan to "All the Above" by Maino
Fighters exchanging big shots but Payan seems to be landing with more accuracy. White connects with a punch that drops Payan against the cage. White follows up with a barrage of punches, one after the other, and the referee jumps in the make the stoppage. Payan hops right up to say he was okay, but he was clearly out when he got dropped. Good stoppage.
Official result: Alex White def. Estevan Payan by TKO at 1:28, R1
Analysis: Alex White is a new star to watch in the UFC featherweight division. He's a top prospect who took this fight on less that two week's notice and just got a knockout in the first round. It will be very interesting to see how dangerous this kid can be with a full training camp. As far as the stoppage goes, it was right on the money. Payan got knocked out and woken up by punches. He was done.
Luke Zachrich out to "Lake of Fire" by Nirvana. Great choice, Mr. Zachrich.
Magalhaes is swinging for the fences with everything he's got on each shot. He lands a good punch on Zachrich that tags him, but he slips in a knee that lands to the groin. John McCarthy doesn't see it and allows Magalhaes to continue with Zachrich on the ground, and the fight gets stopped. Unfortunate ending with what appeared to be a groin strike
Official result: Caio Magalhaes def. Luke Zachrich by TKO at :44 seconds, R1
Analysis: Judging by the live action and the replay, Zachrich took a knee to the groin, which precipitated the end of the fight. Magalhaes seemed in control at the moment, but still unfortunate that referee John McCarthy didn't see the strike that seemed to help end the fight. The win is the third in a row for Magalhaes inside the Octagon.
Hernani Perpetuo out to "Bandoleros" by Don Omar Con Tego Calderon. Jordan Mein to "Falling Away from Me" by Korn
Slow start to the action but Mein lands on top after Perpetuo falls to his back. Mein starting to land some damaging punches while Perpetuo tries to secure the guard. The fighters get back to the feet and Mein lands a nasty knee but Perpetuo shakes it off.
R1 10-9 for Jordan Mein
Mein cautiously stalking Perpetuo around the cage as the Brazilian looks to mostly counter. Mein starting to open up a bit more with his combinations but Perpetuo is circling away from him. Mein swoops in for a quick takedown with 1:30 left to go in the round. Both fighters are being very cautious in the exchanges with not much action.
R2 10-9 for Jordan Mein
Mein connects with a good left hand to start the round and there's blood coming from the right side of Perpetuo's head. Mein quickly takes Perpetuo down and he's working for control, but the Brazilian is looking for a knee bar and he's got it locked up. Mein stays patient and slips out but Perpetuo lands on top after the scramble. The fighters are back up again and Perpetuo is trying to bait Mein into a slugfest. Perpetuo starts to connect with some shots and it forces Mein to go in for the takedown again. Clean win in the round for Perpetuo, but he might have already lost the fight.
R3 10-9 for Hernani Perpetuo
FOX Sports scores the fight 29-28 for Jordan Mein
Official result: Jordan Mein def. Hernani Perpetuo by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
Analysis: Following a year off, Jordan Mein didn't quite having his timing back for this fight, but still a solid win for him. Mein is a dangerous striker but he barely let his hands go in this one, instead opting for better wrestling and top game to beat Perpetuo.
Ortiz presses the action against the cage and it takes the Orlando faithful about 30 seconds to give them a few boos for the lack in action. Ortiz gets the takedown but Borg is able to reverse and land on top. Borg looking to take the back, but he's way too high and sure enough Ortiz slips under to escape. Borg gets back up and lands a nice slam on Ortiz and again tries to take his back, and again he slips up too high allowing his opponent to regain control.
R1 10-9 for Ray Borg
Ortiz swinging heavy to star the round, but wastes no time getting the clinch against the cage. Ortiz gets the big takedown this time, landing in side control on Borg. Borg slips out and he moves in for a takedown of his own, and he's got Ortiz's back with a body triangle locked on this time. Borg is looking for a rear naked choke, but to no avail. Ortiz is able to stand back up for a moment but they go back down again. Much clearer round for Borg this time.
R2 10-9 for Ray Borg
Ortiz knows he's down on the scorecards and he's gunning for a finish or at least he does for a moment and he's back in the clinch. Ortiz lands a nice knee after the fighters separate and start trading shots again. Ortiz is much more aggressive this round but he's not able to hurt Borg. Borg counters and gets a takedown against the cage with just over a minute to go. Borg gets another takedown just before the round and the fight comes to an end.
R3 10-9 for Dustin Ortiz
FOX Sports scores the fight 29-28 for Ray Borg
Official result: Dustin Ortiz def. Ray Borg by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
Analysis: The fight seemed to come down to the first and third rounds and how you'd score those. Both were really competitive and close, but hard to score. Ortiz gets the win, handing Borg his first professional loss. Nothing to be ashamed of for Borg, however, he definitely kept it close and will surely be back for another shot. Ortiz arguably lost his last fight by a controversial decision so this was another close one, but this time he gets the win
Mirsad Bektic out to "Big Things Poppin" by TI. Chas Skelly out to 'We're From Texas" by Eleven Hundred Springs
Skelly playing the counter game with Bektic being very aggressive in the opening of the fight. Finally they slow down just a bit with Bektic pressing the action against the cage. Skelly goes for a takedown and gets stuff, Bektic lands on top and starts opening up with some powerful punches inside the guard. Bektic ends the round in Skelly's half guard firmly in control
R1 10-9 for Mirsad Bektic
Skelly is trying to time his strikes, but Bektic just keeps beating him to the punch. Skelly dives in for a takedown and locks up a leg, but Bektic counters once again. The fighters get into a big exchange and Skelly clips Bektic and puts him on wobbly legs. Skelly starts to unload knees but Bektic's hand is down. Bektic is rocked and down, but the referee pauses the action and takes a point away from Skelly for the illegal strike. Shocking this is being allowed to continue. The fight starts again and Bektic seems okay now as he gets aggressive before the round comes to a close.
R2 9-9 draw due to the point deduction for Skelly
Bektic shoots in and gets a big slam takedown to start the final round. Skelly is able to scramble and take Bektic's back against the cage. He gets too high on Bektic's back, and slips over the top and now Bektic is back in control in half guard. The figters get back to their feet and Bektic gets another quick takedown as the fight comes to a close.
R3 10-9 Mirsad Bektic
FOX Sports scores the fight 29-27 for Mirsad Bektic
Official result: Mirsad Bektic def. Chas Skelly by majority decision (29-27, 29-27, 28-28)
Analysis: Strange fight especially with the illegal knees in the second round. Bektic was playing the 'hand on the mat' game to prevent knees to his head, but at the same time it's a rule that is supposed to be enforced and after Skelly landed the first knee the referee should have stepped in, but instead the fight continued. Once the second knee landed and Bektic was seemingly out, again seemed like the fight should have been stopped. To his credit, Bektic was able to get back and win the fight despite seemingly being out for a few moments.
Jack May out to "Lose My Mind" by Young Jeezy. Derrick Lewis to "Knockin' Heads Off" by Lil' Jon
Lewis presses forward early and lands a big takedown, putting May down against the cage. May scrambles and reverses positions and he ends up on top working for an arm triangle choke before moving to mount. Another scramble and this time, Lewis ends up on top and he's raining down fire from above. Punch after punch drops on May like a hammer and he's covering up without much resistance. 'Big' John McCarthy swoops in for the stoppage and Lewis celebrates his first UFC win.
Official result: Derrick Lewis def. Jack May by TKO at 4:23, R1
Analysis: Sloppy fight from both men early but once Lewis landed in an advantageous position, he really opened up with some really nasty ground and pound. For a first fight in the UFC, Lewis showed nerves early and then once he felt comfortable, he just mauled May to get the win.