Fabricio Werdum on Travis Browne: ‘Everybody knows he doesn’t have it on the ground’
Fabricio Werdum has a theory as to why Cain Velasquez is picking Travis Browne to beat Werdum — that’s the outcome the UFC heavyweight champion would prefer.
Werdum told FOX Sports that he believes Velasquez is probably hoping to fight Browne, because of Browne’s inexperience on the ground. Werdum said that once Velasquez takes Browne down once, the fight could be over.
"Everybody knows that he doesn’t have it on the ground," Werdum said of Browne. "He goes on the ground, he tries to stand up. He doesn’t have confidence."
On the other hand, if Velasquez takes Werdum down, things would get very interesting. Werdum is one of the most accomplished Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners in all of MMA with a pair of ADCC titles under his (black) belt.
"[Velasquez] knows when he takes down me, it’s just starting the fight on the ground," Werdum said. "[Fighting Browne] is much better for him for sure."
[Fighting Browne] is much better for him, for sure.
-Fabricio Werdum on Cain Velasquez
One of those fights will become a reality in the fall or winter. But first Werdum and Browne have to meet at FOX UFC Saturday on April 19 in Orlando. The winner will get Velasquez, who is hoping to return from shoulder surgery in November.
Werdum is aware that most people expect him to try and take Browne down right away. Not so, he said. Werdum said he has "all five rounds" to take Browne down and he’s not fond of the idea that he’s solely a BJJ fighter. He has a point, too. Werdum is a black belt in judo and trains at Kings MMA under Muay Thai master Rafael Cordeiro.
"I’m confident in my standup, too," Werdum said. "I’m not just a jiu-jitsu guy. I’m a complete fighter now. I have the best coach in the world in Rafael Cordeiro. He showed me a lot of tricks."
Winning the UFC title is something that intrigues Werdum a great deal. He said the two biggest moments of his life were the birth of his daughter and ending Fedor Emelianenko’s 10-year winning streak back in 2010 with Strikeforce. Beating Velasquez for the UFC belt would rank right up there, though he’s not sure what order he would put them the three things in.
"I don’t know," Werdum said. "I want that, I want the feeling and then I’ll find out. I want the belt. That’s it."
Despite all accolades, Werdum has never won a title for a major organization. At age 36, the clock is ticking. The Brazilian said if he beats Velasquez, he’ll defend the title two or three times and then step away from the sport, continuing on as a television commentator and analyst full-time. Werdum, who spent his adolescence in Spain, does the UFC’s Spanish-speaking broadcasts and co-hosts "UFC Now" on the The UFC Network in Latin America.
"It’s amazing," he said. "I love my job."
Werdum is a happy guy, content with his life and legacy. But winning that heavyweight title would be a nice way to fill out an impressive career.