Tonight the UFC returns to Fox for a card that will determine the next contender for Cain Velasquez’s Heavyweight title. Travis Browne meets Fabricio Werdum in a 5 round fight that more than likely won’t make it that far. Werdum is one of the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners in the sport, as well as a black belt in Judo and Muay Thai. 14 out of 17 of his wins have come via finish and he has the distinction of being the man who ended Fedor Emelianenko’s 10 year unbeaten streak. Browne has finished 14 of his 16 victories and his lone defeat came after an injury caused his knee to buckle versus Antonio Silva. Since then Browne has three straight first round finishes beating out Gabriel Gonzaga, Alistair Overeem, and Josh Barnett. Most notably was he come from behind victory over Overeem.
Werdum without a doubt has the advantage on the ground and Browne needs to do his best to keep the fight standing. Werdum has shown improved striking through the years but I would give Browne the slight edge for being more dynamic and unpredictable with his striking. Of course if Fedrum can close the distance and make it a clinch battle he may fair better since doing so would give him the options of throwing his vicious knee strikes, attempt to pull guard if a favorable situation presents itself, or even go for a submission from the clinch. I got to give the nod to Browne though, he’s looked unbeatable lately and his minute destruction of Josh Barnett showed how truly motivated Browne is to be the best.
In the Co-Main Event two former Women’s Bantamweight Contenders meet when Miesha Tate faces Liz Carmouche. Carmouche of course will always be known as the challenger in the first ever Women’s MMA fight in the UFC while Tate is a former Strikeforce champion and rival of champion Ronda Rousey. Carmouche has made it known that she fully intends on doing whatever it takes to get back into title contention, and with the division still developing you would have to think it would only take 3-4 wins inside the Octagon to be back into the title picture. Tate is looking for her first UFC win following a close loss to Cat Zingano and a loss to Ronda Rousey in December.
On paper the two match up very well and create a very intriguing fight. Both are very well rounded fighters, though I think Tate’s wrestling is a little better. Carmouche has some serious power in her hands though and if she can pick her spots and put together some combinations then she could very well pick Tate apart. I truly think this is going to be a case of who can put together the best gameplan and who is the most mentally prepared. As I said they match up pretty evenly but I have to wonder what if any effect the possibility of going 0-3 in the UFC may play on Tate’s mindset. I’m gonna go with Tate but solely based on her resume at this point, she’s been in there more times with elite fighters. I do think Carmouche has all the tools to pull this one off though and is the most likely to pull off the upset on the card in my opinion.
Sleeper of the Night: Donald Cerrone vs Edson Barboza, there simply is no way this fight won’t be exciting. Also keep an eye on Rafael Dos Anjos vs Khabib Nurmagomedov as both fighters put their win streaks on the line as the winner creeps up closer to a potential title shot.
Main Card (Live at 8PM EST on Fox)
- #2 Fabricio Werdum (17-5-1) vs #3 Travis Browne (16-1-1) Heavyweight Bout
- #3 Miesha Tate (13-5-0) vs #7 Liz Carmouche (8-4-0) Bantamweight Bout
- #8 Donald Cerrone (22-6-0) vs #12 Edson Barboza (13-1-0) Lightweight Bout
- #13 Brad Tavares (12-2-0) vs #14 Yoel Romero (7-1-0) Middleweight Bout
Preliminary Card (Live at 5PM EST on Fox Sports 1)
- #5 Rafael Dos Anjos (20-6-0) vs #7 Khabib Nurmagomedov (21-0-0) Lightweight Bout
- Thiago Alves (24-8-0) vs Seth Baczynski (18-8-0) Welterweight Bout
- Jorge Masvidal (25-8-0) vs Pat Healy (31-17-0) Lightweight Bout
- Estevan Payan (14-5-0) vs Alex White (9-0-0) Featherweight Bout
- Caio Magalhaes (7-1-0) vs Luke Zachrich (13-2-0) Middleweight Bout
- Jordan Mein (27-9-0) vs Hernani Perpetuo (17-3-0) Welterweight Bout
Early Prelims (Live at 3:30PM EST on UFC Fight Pass)
- #13 Dustin Ortiz (12-3-0) vs Ray Borg (6-0-0) Flyweight Bout
- Mirsad Bektic (7-0-0) vs Chas Skelly Featherweight Bout
- Derrick Lewis (9-2-0) vs Jack May (7-0-0) Heavyweight Bout
Check back as the fights start for live results.
- Derrick Lewis defeats Jack May via TKO at 4:23 of Round 1
- Mirsad Bektic defeats Chas Skelly via Majority Decision*
- Dustin Ortiz defeats Ray Borg via Split Decision
- Jordan Mein defeats Hernani Perpetuo via Split Decision
- Caio Magalhaes defeats Luke Zachrich via TKO at 0:44 of Round 1
- Alex White defeats Estevan Payan via TKO at 1:28 of Round 1
- Jorge Masvidal defeats Pat Healy via Unanimous Decision
- Thiago Alves defeats Seth Baczynski via Unanimous Decision
- Khabib Nurmagomedov defeats Rafael Dos Anjos via Unanimous Decision
- Yoel Romero defeats Brad Tavares via Unanimous Decision
- Donald Cerrone defeats Edson Barboza via Submission at 3:15 of Round 1
- Miesha Tate defeats Liz Carmouche via Unanimous Decision
- Fabricio Werdum defeats Travis Browne via Unanimous Decision
*Chas Skelly was deducted one point in the second round due to an illegal knee to a downed opponent.