UFC 198 is set to pop off in Curitiba, Brazil, where reigning and defending heavyweight champ Fabricio Werdum attempts to make a first successful defense of his title against surging Stipe Miocic in the nights headline act.

Question is, can “Vai Cavalo” hold on to that coveted strap he guillotine wrested from Cain Velasquez, or will the Brazilian join the likes of Mark Coleman, Ricco Rodriguez and the aforementioned Velasquez who coughed up UFC gold proper in their first title defenese?

Most combatants in their mid-to-late thirties are more or less set for MMA’s knacker’s yard, but the 38-year-old Werdum (20-5 MMA, 8-2 UFC) isn’t one of them. If anything, he’s matured like fine wine — upping his skill set and shoring up in areas he lacked significant oomph; most notably in the striking department.

Factor in his BJJ prowess, and the man’s a beast. In addition, since setting up shop at MMA’s premier promotion, he’s been victorious on no less than six occasions, and he’ll be hell-bent on keeping that record intact — a sure-fire lucky no. 7.

In Miocic (14-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC), you have an elite wrestler; NCAA Division-1 pedigree, who also brings concussive knockout power to the table. Furthermore, he’s just over four months removed from a 54-second trouncing of Andrei Arlovski at UFC 195, and as such, comes into this bout brimming with copious amounts of confidence.

However, albeit the 33-year-old believes it’s his destiny to claim heavyweight glory, by the end of the nights proceedings, Miocic’s dreams will be emphatically shattered.

If the Croatian-American elects to stand and bang, Werdum is more than capable of holding his own and then some, especially his hellacious knees in the clinch. What’s more, if Miocic somehow takes the fight to the mat or Werdum decides to pull guard, that’s submission city right there.

A punchers chance is his one and only opportunity at upsetting the apple cart, but that won’t come to pass, as Werdum will end this contest any which way he chooses; such is the progress and self-belief of the insuperable looking newly-crowned king of heavies.

 

UFC 198 is set to take place May 14, at Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, Brazil.

About The Author

Nedu Obi

Nedu graduated from London Metropolitan University and has a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing and Media Studies. He is a fervent freelance writer/blogger and a wordsmith provocateur. His hobbies/interests are centred on MMA, Boxing, Football, Current Events and the Arts. He’s also a keen roller skater and marshals for the LFNS (London Friday Night Skate). "Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind". - George Orwell