UFC 188 Preview

ufc_188The heavyweight division has long been legendary in combat sports as the heavyweight fighters often represent the biggest and most exciting fighters.

Legends have been a part of heavyweight divisions in combat sports but in the UFC that has not entirely been the case.

There have been a fair share of great heavyweight fighters but often the popularity fell to the light heavyweight division.

More legends have been created in the light heavyweight division while the heavyweights remain an exciting division albeit less popular.

A lot of that lack of popularity in the last few years has come with the lack of title fights in the division.

Cain Velasquez rules the division and is the fighter some have dubbed “The Baddest Man on the Planet.”

Yet as great as he has been in the UFC he has been sidelined since 2013 with multiple injuries, leaving the division without an active champion.

First came the shoulder surgery in 2013 after he beat Junior Dos Santos in a much anticipated rematch against the former champion.

After that win, Velasquez decided to take time off and repair some lingering issues that he had seen through his training and fighting for the title.

He underwent shoulder surgery after the fight and was out for a year until he was scheduled to fight Fabricio Werdum at UFC 180.

While training Velasquez injured his ACL and once again had to go under the knife and delay a title fight for the division.

The UFC did not want to wait that long for some kind of title fight and so they changed the main event at UFC 180 to an interim title fight.

Top challenger Fabricio Werdum faced off with Mark Hunt to earn the interim title and a date with Velasquez, whenever the champion returned.

Werdum won the fight with an impressive second round knockout of a fighter who rarely is the one getting knocked out.

The win gave Werdum a fight with Velasquez but that fight was going to take a while to come to fruition.

Werdum had to wait a six months to get a fight with Velasquez but that was the only thing he wanted as he preferred to wait for the title fight rather than take on another challenger.

After all of that waiting Werdum will finally get his chance to unify the belt and take on Velasquez to become the “baddest man on the planet.”

After all that is a title used often to describe the champion of the biggest and most powerful champion in the UFC.

There is no division with more power than in the heavyweight division as almost all fighters need to be a great boxer to survive.

There have been the rare ground masters that have seen success and oddly enough one of them will fight for the title at UFC 188.

Werdum is a BJJ black belt and has been one of the best BJJ practitioners in the UFC as he is a three-time world champion.

He brings that extra piece into the octagon along with some clearly great knockout power, not many people can put Hunt out.

In a division of strikers who love to stand and trade, Werdum offers an interesting challenge for most heavyweights as he can trade with the best of them and yet submit people almost at will.mma-sidebar.fw

With nine submission wins and six knockouts he represent s much more balanced attack than most heavyweights are used to but Velasquez is one of the best heavyweights to fight in the UFC.

He has only dropped one fight, against Junior Dos Santos who he beat twice in a great trilogy, and has a wrestling background that allows him to take the fight to the ground.

That background has followed a typical path in the UFC as he is a former wrestler turned fighter who likes to use his ground game to ground and pound rather than submit.

He has never earned a submission win but that hasn’t slowed him down as he has finished all but two fights.

Those finishes have come with his great power while he has finished fights in the first round eight times.

He will try to take that power to Werdum and quickly end the fight rather than go to the ground against a world-class jiu jitsu practitioner.

It is an interesting fight in the heavyweight division as there are rarely two fighters that want to see the fight in different places.

Then again every fight starts on the feet and the advantage in that category is easily in the corner of Velasquez who will earn the KO victory in the second round.


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