Top contender Werdum impressed with Velasquez's victory
MANILA –Top heavyweight contender Fabricio Werdum was admittedly impressed by the show put on by reigning UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez in his recent title defense against Brazil’s Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos.
In the third meeting between the rivals, Velasquez stamped his class on Dos Santos, battering the Brazilian for over four rounds en route to a fifth round technical knockout victory.
Werdum, who was doing commentary for the bout, told MMA Fighting that it was a “great fight.”
“Cain is impressive,” he said. “The pace that he pushes the fight is impressive. He fought harder than the last time.”
Werdum, who has not lost since returning to the UFC in February 2012, said Dos Santos was also impressive, but the Brazilian was just handled well by Velasquez.
“Cigano was well-trained in his takedown defense; he survived again because he’s a warrior,” Werdum said. “You can’t say a thing about ‘Cigano.’ He tried his haymakers, and Cain handled that well.”
“After every punch ‘Cigano’ threw, Cain broke his attack with a jab, clinch or takedown. I’ve notice that perfectly in this fight. ‘Cigano’ couldn’t avoid the clinch work,” he added.
Werdum will likely be the new contender for Velasquez’s title, and he believes he can dethrone the tough Mexican-American fighter.
“His style is perfect for me… It won’t be a slow-paced fight. I won’t let him do that clinch game with me,” he said. “I expect an exciting fight, standing and on the ground.”
“His style is impressive, and I will train hard to beat that,” Werdum added. “He keeps the pace for five rounds and that’s tough for a heavyweight. I’ll work on my cardio to do an excellent fight for the fans.”
Werdum, a Brazilian who is a two-time jiu-jitsu world champion, competed in the UFC from April 2007 until October 2008, when he was knocked out by Dos Santos in a heavyweight bout. He went on to compete in Strikeforce before returning to UFC in February 2012.