The UFC returns to free television Saturday night with UFC on Fox 11: Werdum vs Browne. The main event of the evening will be a heavyweight fight between Fabricio Werdum and Travis Browne. UFC on Fox 11: Werdum vs Browne takes place at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.
The winner of this fight is expected to face UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez. Velasquez won the title for a second time in 2012 when he defeated Junior dos Santos at UFC 155.
Travis Browne is the number 3 ranked heavyweight in the UFC. He brings a 16-1-1 record into his fight with Werdum. Of the sixteen wins, fourteen of those wins were finishes and twelve of those fourteen finishes came in the first round. Browne has notable wins over Josh Barnett, Alistair Overeem, and Stefan Struve.
Browne brings an awkward and diverse striking style. He posses solid speed and knockout power. Browne is light on his feet and moves around well in the cage.
When you talk about Fabricio Werdum you have to talk about his jiu jitsu skill. The number 2 ranked UFC heavyweight is a high level grappler and may be the best grappler in the UFC heavyweight division. Werdum is 17-5-1 with wins over Antonio Nogueira, Roy Nelson and Fedor Emelianenko.
Fourteen of Werdum's seventeen wins have been finishes. While Werdum is not a great stand up fighter, he has shown that he can stand up when needed. However, his strength is in his grappling and there is no doubt he will want to take this fight to the ground.
This is an interesting fight because you have Werdum who has a clear advantage on the ground, while Browne gets the clear nod in the stand up department. That is not to knock either guy's ability but it is an obvious difference when you look at the tools these two bring to the cage.
Browne will have a slight speed advantage and will need to use it to move away from Werdum's attempts to make it a grappling match. In the beginning of the fight Werdum will likely try to test his stand up versus Browne's. Browne will come out looking to use different angles to strike Werdum while not giving up many kicks that Werdum could convert to takedown attempts.
Browne will look to avoid the ground all together. His path to win is to keep his striking diverse, stay patient and out score Werdum. Werdum on the other hand, will need to use his striking to set up takedowns and make this fight a grappling match where he will have a big advantage.
Expect Browne to defend the takedowns early and for Werdum to either look for a way to pull guard or draw Browne into his guard. If Werdum is forces to stand up with Browne, it will be a long night for him. Likewise, if Werdum is able to get Browne to the ground you could see Werdum get the submission victory.
I think Browne will be a little faster and much stronger than Werdum and he will be able to stop the takedowns. Browne will force Werdum into a kickboxing match and win this fight by stopping Werdum by the third round.
Browne has quietly worked his way to the top of the UFC heavyweight division and could be the biggest threat to current champion Cain Velasquez. Browne is on a three fight win streak and UFC on Fox 11 is over he will have made it four in a row.
UFC on Fox 11: Werdum vs Browne airs live on Fox this Saturday night beginning at 7:00 p.m. central with the main card and 4:00 p.m. central on Fox Sports 1 with the preliminary card.