Fabricio Werdum and Travis Browne met in a title elimination bout at UFC on Fox 11.
After five rounds of solid work, it was Werdum who got his hand raised via unanimous decision.
It was one of the best fights of the night, and both men should be proud of the effort they gave the fans in Orlando, Fla. The fight primarily took place on the feet, but it was the grappler who got the better of the exchanges.
This is what we learned from the UFC on Fox 11 main event on Saturday.
What We'll Remember About This Fight
Werdum's striking evolution.
Werdum has long been considered one of the top jiu-jitsu artists in the world of MMA, and he relied on his grappling for numerous years. It even let him become the first man to submit Fedor Emelianenko.
In recent times, we have seen Werdum begin to put his strikes together.
We saw his evolution take the next step against Roy Nelson, but on Saturday it went above and beyond. He completely outclassed Browne in every round. Werdum's footwork, head movement and ability to put together combinations was fantastic.
It was a stunning performance by the next heavyweight title challenger.
What We Learned About Travis Browne
He is not ready for the elite of the division.
Browne entered the night as the favorite. His recent knockout performances likely swayed most of the public, but it is important to go back and look at his fights in total.
Browne has been hittable. Alistair Overeem was lighting him up before tiring out and getting caught. Regardless of Browne's injury, he was laid out by Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. He has developed his skills nicely, but he is still a developing fighter. His skills are not polished.
Werdum exposed him, and it will make Browne a better fighter. He will go back to the drawing board and return better than ever. This could be a blessing in disguise for Browne.
What We Learned About Fabricio Werdum
We learned that while Werdum's striking has improved, he is still no match for the champion.
There is the slight possibility that he could submit Cain Velasquez, but that seems remote at best. Velasquez is simply head and shoulders above the division.
His pace alone will create huge issues for Werdum in the pending fight later this year. Velasquez's hands have improved drastically in his UFC stint, and he will wreck Werdum standing. Should Velasquez choose to take the fight to the mat, he will dominate there as well.
It is an intriguing stylistic matchup, but Werdum showed little to sway the opinion that he is a lamb being led to slaughter against Velasquez.
What's Next for Travis Browne
It will be interesting to see where Joe Silva puts Browne next. In my opinion, it would be best to slowly rebuild the talented heavyweight.
He learned a lot from this fight, and the UFC should put him against someone at the bottom end of the top 15.
The winner of Mark Hunt vs. Brendan Schaub makes a lot of sense.
That fight is not booked yet, but Schaub is pushing for it. This fight could happen sooner rather than later, and the UFC could allow Browne to heal and grow as a fighter in the meantime.
The result of a Browne vs. Hunt or Schaub fight? Fireworks.
What's Next for Fabricio Werdum
The UFC heavyweight champion, Velasquez.
The bout on Saturday was a title eliminator; Werdum won. We know what is next.
A November date, if Velasquez is healthy, in Mexico. Sign us all up for that one.
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