Fabricio Werdum vs. Mike Russow was supposed to be a clash of styles between a Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner with budding striking skills against a tough, wrestling-based heavyweight. Instead of trying to drag the fight to the mat, however, Werdum was able to establish his stand-up game against the American fighter.
The stoppage came at 2:25 of the first round in their UFC 147 bout on Saturday night, and Russow managed to land a few nice left hooks—but nothing else really went his way.
Werdum is a legitimate heavyweight contender again, and he claims he's ready for a rematch with Junior dos Santos.
What We'll Remember About This Fight
We'll remember that Werdum did what he was supposed to do: win as quickly as impossible, while brutally finishing an overmatched Russow. Werdum's stand-up looked good against Russow, as the Brazilian was able to land shots almost at will—and Russow was unable to mount any significant offensive before he was leveled.
What We Learned About Fabricio Werdum
As he showed against Roy Nelson earlier in the year, Werdum's striking has improved significantly over the years. He's working diligently on his Muay Thai, and he has become a much more well-rounded fighter, so he'll pose a threat to more opponents.
He didn't need to utilize his strong BJJ game, and his future opponents shouldn't forget that the ground game is still Werdum's strength.
What We Learned About Mike Russow
Even though he was finished by Werdum, he was able to walk around the cage just fine after the fight. He's a tough guy but was essentially sent to the slaughter by the UFC.
What's Next For Mike Russow
Well, the UFC gave him a chance to step up and topple a top-ranked heavyweight, but he never stood a chance. Russow is a tough fighter with strong wrestling and heavy hands, but he should stay away from fighters in the top 10.
What's Next For Fabricio Werdum
Werdum called for a rematch against JDS, but JDS needs to rematch Cain Velasquez first. I expect the UFC will give Werdum one more fight before earning a title shot against either JDS or Cain.
It's a shame Fedor Emelianenko and the UFC couldn't come to an agreement, because I think a possible rematch between Werdum and Fedor would be a lot of fun. Realistically, if he has to fight again, bring Daniel Cormier over from Strikeforce.
Wait, I said realistically...how about a fight against Frank Mir? I know Mir was just obliterated against JDS, but he's still a top-level, talented heavyweight. It'd be fun to see how a fight between two excellent grapplers with emerging striking skills would go down.