UFC on Fox 11: Fabricio Werdum and the Fighters with the Most to Gain
Fabricio Werdum and Travis Browne stand to gain a great deal from their matchup at UFC on Fox 11. On April 19, at the Amway Center in Orlando, both fighters will face off in an attempt to determine the heavyweight champion’s next opponent.
Leading up to the main event, Liz Carmouche and Edson Barboza will face higher-ranking opponents who are also more accomplished in the field of mixed martial arts. Victory would translate into a major step up in their respective divisions, leaving them closer to an opportunity at a title shot themselves.
Travis Browne and Fabricio Werdum
Browne has established a highly respectable record of 16-1-1. He has beaten former world champions and title contenders in Josh Barnett, Alistair Overeem and Gabriel Gonzaga. In fact, the 31-year-old is on a three-fight win streak, knocking out the latter fighters in dominant fashion.
With that, Brown adamantly believes he deserves a title shot with a victory over Werdum.
According to AXS TV Fights (h/t Low Kick MMA), Browne stated:
There’s no way that the winner of this doesn’t get a title shot. We deserve it; we earned it. I don’t need to convince anybody that I get a title shot; I let my work do the talking for me.
Highlighting Browne’s "work," 75 percent of his wins have come by way of knockout. Furthermore, 10 of those 12 knockouts occurred in the first round. Browne has suffered just one defeat, and he has never been submitted.
Werdum (17-5), on the other hand, is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu legend. Most of his wins have come by submission. In that, Werdum has tapped out former world champions in Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Alistair Overeem and arguably the greatest mixed martial artist of all time in Fedor Emelianenko.
Not surprisingly, according to Damon Martin of Fox Sports, UFC president Dana White confirmed on April 17 that the winner of the main event at UFC on Fox 11 would face the heavyweight champion.
Therefore, at UFC on Fox 11, both fighters are faced with the same reward for victory. One of them will be presented with the not-so-enviable task of going head-to-head with the “baddest man on the planet,” UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez.
Carmouche was the first woman to challenge Ronda Rousey for her bantamweight title at UFC 157. The match was nothing less than exhilarating. The former marine attempted a rear-naked choke on the champion, which forced the Anaheim crowd of over 13,000 to their feet.
However, Carmouche fell short in her efforts. She lost to Rousey’s trademark armbar submission in four minutes and 49 seconds of the first round.
Since then, the Okinawa native has gone 1-1 in her last two bouts.
A win over her opponent at UFC on Fox 11, No. 3 contender Miesha Tate, would definitely raise her stock, leaving her in the mix for another title shot. In fact, Carmouche recently gave light to the significance of her matchup against Tate on April 19. Per MMA Junkie:
A win over Miesha does a lot for me. Both of us are in a position where we’ve lost more fights than we should have in the UFC, and we’re coming up on that point where we really have to prove ourselves in the rankings. This will help solidify myself in the rankings and solidify me as a contender. My ultimate goal is to be champion and be the best in the world.
At UFC on Fox 11, Carmouche will face a pioneer in the sport who has assisted in bringing women’s mixed martial arts to the forefront.
A win over Tate would be nothing less than meaningful, and it possibly leaves Carmouche a win or so away from challenging for the bantamweight title once more.
At UFC on Fox 11, Barboza (13-1) will face MMA veteran Donald Cerrone (22-6). The latter fighter has twice as much experience as Barboza, and has fought some of the who’s who of the sport in Anthony Pettis, Melvin Guillard, Nate Diaz, Jamie Varner and Benson Henderson.
A win over a name opponent in Cerrone would speak volumes. According to Barboza, it would leave him knocking at the door of a title shot.
He told Fox Sports:
He's (Cerrone) very aggressive, very good standup, he goes for the finish all the time. He looked good in his last fight. I watched and he was looking very good. He is one of the best of this division, and I know I can beat this guy. I look at all the guys in my division and I know I can beat everybody…
He is one of the best guys in the UFC. I'm ready for the title for sure. A good fight with him will give me the opportunity, or I'll be very, very close for the title shot.
With a dominant win over an experienced opponent in Cerrone, Barboza would extend his three-fight win streak. He’d also most likely crack the lightweight division’s top 10 and put his division on notice in the process.