At first glance, it looked like UFC heavyweight Travis Browne was simply outclassed by Fabricio Werdum on Saturday night in Orlando. The Jackson’s MMA fighter looked gassed after the first round and was never able to get it together; but it turns out Browne broke his right hand in the first round and may have a broken rib as well.
After a scramble and takedown by Werdum, Browne was eventually able to get back to his feet but was never the same. Instead of calling it quits, the Hawaiian fought four more five minute rounds and came up on the losing end of a lopsided decision.
Who knows what would have happened if “Hapa” would’ve been 100%, but that means Werdum will go on to face UFC heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez when he is fully recovered from shoulder surgery. It should be a great matchup, with Werdum improving the past few years, but still don’t think that will be enough for Velasquez and his cardio, endurance and wrestling.
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In the co-main event, Miesha Tate got her first win under the UFC banner, defeating Liz Carmouche by a close unanimous decision. Going into the third round, both women had won one round and it was Tate that would get the best of Carmouche who drops to 1-3 in the UFC.
In an exciting first round, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone submitted Edson Barboza by rear-naked choke, earning Performance of the Night, after knocking him down with a hard jab and quickly taking the Brazilian’s back, forcing him to tapout in the first. Early on, Cerrone was eating a lot of punches by Barboza, who seemed to be cruising through the round, until he was tagged with that stiff jab dropping him.
Khabib did it again — Nurgagomedov stayed undefeated with his 22nd straight win, taking a unanimous decision over Rafael dos Anjos who was on a five-win fight streak. Khabib has been looking for bigger fights, and after taking out the #5 ranked lightweight in the UFC, should be getting within a couple fights of a title shot.
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UFC 172 is this Saturday in Baltimore, where we will see if Jon Jones can extend his win streak and defend the light heavyweight belt against Glover Texeira, who is on a 20-fight win streak of his own.
Earlier this month it was reported that Jones wanted random drug testing with Texeira, who he said was known to be “very strong” but added “I have no reason to believe he would be on steroids.” Neither fighter has tested positive for any substance and I’m curious to see if something will come out from this.
Jones passed up on an immediate rematch with Alexander Gustafsson, who gave him his toughest fight of his career, with many (including myself) believing he had lost that fight. Jones did say he would give Gustafsson a rematch after his fight with Texeira, and believed the Brazilian deserved the fight first.
Also on the main card, #9 ranked UFC lightweight Jim Miller, was set to face Bobby Green, but Green was forced to withdraw with an injury. Now, Nick Diaz Gracie Fighter Acadmey lightweight Yancy Medeiros will step in and face his toughest opponent to date. The Hawaiian was slated to face Joe Ellenberger, but with a win over Miller will get an opportunity to crack into the top 10.
This should be an interesting matchup, as his teammate, Nate Diaz, defeated Miller by choke in 2012. Here’s a behind the scenes on Medeiros getting ready for the fight.
More analysis and predictions on UFC 172 coming later this week!
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