Cain Velasquez has not stepped into the octagon since his last championship defense against Junior dos Santos at UFC 166 in October 2013. The heavyweight champion will make his long awaited return at UFC 188 this weekend when he clashes with interim champion Fabricio Werdum in Mexico City, Mexico.
Werdum has barely shown any weaknesses since his return to the UFC in 2012. He is currently riding a five fight winning streak and has knocked out the likes of Mark Hunt while submitting aces like Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Despite being on a roll, Velasquez is not intimidated by Werdum’s skillset and is confident he will pick up the victory.
“I’m not concerned, but definitely something we have to be aware of and be ready for,” Velasquez told MMAMania. “Just watching the fight between him and Mark Hunt, Hunt was in his guard and wasn’t in any trouble at all. Mark Hunt won the whole fight except for that last knee at the end. So, again, he is a guy that is always dangerous. We’re not afraid of anywhere that we fight him, but we have to be conscious of it and just be ready.”
Velasquez is not doubting Werdum’s abilities, though; He acknowledges that Werdum won the interim championship for a reason. “He is definitely good everywhere,” said Velasquez. “He has improved. He throws a lot of kicks. He throws a lot of funky stuff also: he’ll throw a lot of knees, spinning back kicks, spinning back fists. It’s definitely a tough matchup.”
Velasquez’s recipe for victory seems to be simple: Press the action and overwhelm Werdum with punches and kicks. Werdum has found success in fending off strikes, but he has never fought someone who has an output of strikes like the defending champion.
“That’s what we’ve done in past fights and that is what we are going to do with this one.”
Does Fabricio Werdum have a shot at walking out of the octagon with gold this weekend? Will ring rust be a factor for Cain Velasquez? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
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