UFC 196 will feature the second fight between Fabricio Werdum (20-5-1), a 12 year MMA veteran and current UFC Heavyweight Champion, and former UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez (13-2). This fight has had hardly any anticipation as fans are to assume Werdum will retain his title after becoming the Undisputed Champion last year.
Who did Werdum defeat to win this title? Cain Velasquez. Werdum defeated Velasquez in the 3rd round of the fight by way of Submission via a Guillotine Choke to win the title. This is a key factor leading into the next fight. If Velasquez makes the same mistake he did last time around, he will be taking another loss and his rank in the MMA world will slowly decrease.
Every fighter has their advantages over one another. Here’s some stats about both fighters:
Fabricio Werdum – 6ft 4 inches tall, 236 lbs, a reach of 77 inches, and specializes in Muay Thai
Cain Velasquez – 6ft 1 inches tall, 240 lbs, a reach of 77 inches, and specializes in Boxing, Kickboxing, and Wrestling
Based off their last fight, Werdum still has the advantage over Velasquez in the striking area. Werdum impressed everyone when he showed improvements on his striking and forced Velasquez to go for takedowns, which would give create an equal advantage for both fighters on the ground.
There were no ground strikes in the last fight between Werdum and Velasquez, as Velasquez completed 4 of his 5 takedowns. He allowed Werdum to get back to his feet so he would not have to deal with the second degree black belt in jiu-jitsu that Werdum holds accounted to. This took away Velasquez’s “signature” to getting most of his knockout victories, however once Cain was on the floor with Werdum, it was all over. Fabricio was quick enough to lock in the guillotine choke that declared him the UFC Heavyweight Champion.
What will change about the upcoming rematch? We all know how UFC Fighters train, they will strengthen their weak areas until they become their strengths. Velasquez is in no position to lose this fight, but neither is Werdum. So what do each fighter need to do?
Velasquez needs to keep up on his feet and continue to show why he is one of the most athletic and quickest heavyweights the UFC has ever seen. He needs to ensure that Werdum can’t lock him in another devastating submission. If he is in the situation where he might get into a submission, he will need to react quickly and start punching. His ground and pound strength is what got him to his legendary status after all.
Werdum needs to match-up to Velasquez’s striking, assuming Velasquez has spent a lot of training time focusing on his ground work. If he can’t get Velasuez on the ground, then he will need a back-up plan. Striking will make or break the fight for Werdum so his training should be centered around that. He also needs to match the quickness and stamina of Velasquez. Of the 2 fights Velasquez has lost, they were not by decision, as for the 5 Werdum has lost, 4 of them were by decision. Velasquez has a great amount of endurance and he has also used that to his advantage in all of his decision victories.
Every UFC fighter trains to get better and no one is ever at their best. They always find ways to improve even if it’s something little like a second quicker in throwing a punch. A slight improvement changes everything about a fighter in the octagon. One second can determine if we see a new champion or if we see a career end by injury or if we see a history making moment. This fight should not disappoint, both fighters have been training hard and it is hard to predict a winner. Many times, fighters will go in as the favorite and lose in just a few seconds, but we’re going to play it safe and even though Velasquez is better when it comes to decisions, Werdum will most likely retain the UFC Heavyweight title.
Prediction: Fabricio Werdum (21-5-1) defeating Cain Velasquez (13-3) by Unanimous Decision and retaining the UFC Heavyweight Championship