Cain Velasquez may be a pretty sizeable favourite heading into UFC 188, but it certainly doesn’t sound like the heavyweight champ is looking past Fabricio Werdum.
Although Werdum has won five straight fights, and has defeated some pretty notable names during that time, the oddsmakers have him as an underdog in the +325 to +429 range…
Well, recently Velasquez attended a luncheon with the media, and the champ had plenty of praise for his next opponent (quotes via MMA Junkie.com):
“Fabricio, he’s a different kind of fighter than I’ve fought in the past,” Velasquez said. “He’s a guy who does everything. Really good standup. He does everything in his standup – punches and kicks. He likes a lot spinning backfists and spinning heel kicks, and he’s really good on the ground. So I think he poses threats everywhere, and so I’m excited about this new challenge.”
It’s pretty hard to argue with what Velasquez said. Junior dos Santos, of course, is also a very dangerous striker, but he doesn’t have the world class ground game that Werdum has. If you look at the other opponents Velasquez has faced during his UFC run–“Bigfoot” Silva, Ben Rothwell, Brock Lesnar, “Minotauro” Nogueira etc–none of them have the same tool kit that Werdum does.
Now, does this mean Velasquez shouldn’t be the favourite as UFC 188 approaches? No, but Werdum definitely presents new challenges for the champ. This is a big reason why the bout is so compelling, as it will be fascinating to see what approach Velasquez takes.
And in terms of that subject, here is what Velasquez had to say:
“There’s no surprise what my gameplan is. Obviously, a lot of pressure on him and try to attack him everywhere.”
UFC 188 will be hosted by the Mexico City Arena in Mexico City.