It’s finally happening.

This Saturday night the UFC heads to Mexico City, Mexico, to find out who is the baddest man on earth. Fabricio Werdum heads into hostile territory as the interim champion. A title he earned by beating Mark Hunt while the champion, Cain Velasquez was sidelined with injury, will be up for grabs. What will Werdum need to do to become the undisputed champion?  Let’s take a look.

Momentum

There’s no denying that Werdum has a huge head of steam heading into Saturday nights main event. A one-sided victory over the talented Travis Brown and a knockout over the iron headed Mark Hunt has put Werdum in the position of interim champion. Werdum’s opponent, Cain Velasquez, on the other hand, has been out of action for 20 months. If Werdum comes out strong and gets in a groove before Velasquez can shake off the ring rust, it could have a huge effect on the fight.  It’s very important for a fighter to control the fight and the mental game.  Jumping out quickly should pay off for the Brazilian, Werdum.

Angles and Movement

Werdum is an unorthodox striker who has improved tremendously in recent fights.  I don’t think anybody would’ve expected his striking performances in his last two outings.  Werdum has good movement and needs to utilize it against the always forward moving Velasquez.  Werdum needs to be smart and pick his shots, while using angles to stop the presure of Velasquez.  It’s no secret Werdum has one of the best ground games in all of MMA.  While Velasquez is extremely hard to takedown, level change fakes to set up strikes could change the look of the fight.  It’s hard for someone to continually be aggressive when they have to think of the takedown.

Pulling Guard

Pulling guard is an underutilized weapon in MMA.  Nobody wants to be stuck on the bottom taking shots, but how many people can say they triangled Fedor Emelianenko?  Velasquez likes to press forward as well as use cage pressure in his fights to overwhelm his opponents.  One would think that Velasquez wont want to get sucked into a grappling match with Brazilian Jiu-jitsu champion Werdum.  At any point, when Werdum is feeling too much pressure, a guard pull would serve a duel purpose.  One, Velasquez falls into Werdum’s biggest weapon and gives Werdum a chance to close the show with a submission.  Two, if Velasquez wants no part of the guard, he’ll more than likely ask for Werdum to be stood, which buys a moment for a breath and a mental reset by Werdum.  While it’s a rarity, if used correctly, a guard pull could prove to be a pivotal move, if needed.

Werdum feels he is the real champion and has the chance to have the rest of the world recognize that Saturday night.  A stern test awaits, as he faces the heavily favored Velasquez.  Who will earn the right to become the undisputed heavyweight champion?  Answers soon to come.

 

About The Author

Josh Cate
Staff Writer

Josh Cate started his martial arts training 27 years ago. Josh become instantly passionate about the arts. One road led to another in his journey. Josh holds the rank of 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, 2nd degree black belt in Shingitai Jiu-jitsu, 2nd degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and Brown belt in Judo. In 1998 he had his first professional MMA bout. A bronze medalist at the BJJ nationals, gold medalist at the Jiu-jitsu World Cup, NAGA national champion are a just a few of the many awards on Josh's list of accomplishments. Aside from owning and operating Team Kaos MMA/BJJ in Knoxville, Tennessee, Josh has started working with Valor Fighting Championships and occasionally writes for mma websites. Be on the lookout for the Full Frontal MMA podcast that he is getting ready to launch as well. Josh is truly grateful for all of the opportunities MMA has given him and looks forward to this chapter with The MMA Corner!