Fabricio Werdum vs. Mike Russow: Preview and Prediction

Riley KontekFeatured ColumnistJune 23, 2012


UFC 147 has gained attention because of the rematch in the main event between Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva. It's also gaining attention due to the fact that the card serves as the finale of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil. 

But, a fight that hasn't been getting a ton of media despite the implications the match carries is the bout between heavyweight contenders Fabricio Werdum and Mike Russow.

In breaking down the fight, this bout is a lot closer than people are giving it credit for. 

In terms of striking, this matchup is quite close. Although Werdum has improved his striking a great deal, he's still not elite. He showed off a nice clinch game in his latest outing against Roy Nelson, which saw him show off his devastating knees.

Russow is more of a boxer than anything. He doesn't use many kicks or knees, if any at all. Russow has one-punch knockout power in his hands, which he showed in his miraculous comeback victory against Todd Duffee.

If it comes down to a striking battle, which I doubt it will, expect it to be a fairly even matchup. Russow has the ability to end the fight with one punch, but Werdum is more diverse with his strikes.

The grappling category is somewhat even as well, despite Werdum being one of the best submission artists in mixed martial arts today. I say it is even because Russow has the power wrestling and top game to stifle Werdum's dangerous guard.

Russow has submissions of his own, but he will likely stick to ground-and-pound to keep Werdum on his guard. Russow is too smart to get submitted, even though it's a possibility to happen.

Obviously, Werdum will have the benefit of home-field advantage. Brazilians are great fans and have the ability to energize a fighter at any time. 

This is my upset of the night. I have called it since the fight was announced. I think that Russow will use a safe game plan to stifle Werdum with a heavy top game, while avoiding several submission attempts.

He will also keep Werdum on his heels with his striking, which will open up his power takedowns. Expect the judges to render a decision.