Not only does Stipe Miocic have to face one of the greatest fighters on the planet Saturday night at UFC 198, he will do so in Fabricio Werdum’s home country of Brazil, and in front of 45,000 fans. As a result, Ben Rothwell thinks the odds are stacked against his fellow American.
Recently Rothwell appeared on “The MMA Hour”, and the heavyweight contender was asked to weigh-in on Werdum – Miocic. Here is some of what Rothwell had to say about the challenges Miocic is going to face (quotes via MMA Fighting.com):
“Stipe is going to be dealing with things the week of the fight,” Rothwell said. “Dude, people mess with you, they do when you’re fighting on someone’s turf. You have to be careful where you go buy your coffee, where you go buy your food. At all times, you’ve got to keep looking over your shoulder. That’s just how it is, and in Brazil it’s going to present to the highest extent, in my experience. So Stipe really has a huge hill to climb…
“…just how he looks in the first couple minutes is really going to let me know how the whole week of the fight has treated him. If Stipe comes out there and looks not right, kind of slow, then alright, something happened. It’ll be a bummer.”
Wow. Careful buying coffee? Now, Rothwell also noted that he sees some holes in the stand-up game of Werdum, and that he thinks Miocic will be looking to exploit them. But, he also pointed out that “Vai Cavalo’s” can threaten with submissions standing as well, and that they could play a key role. It’s a compelling match-up, no question.
UFC 198 will take place in Curitiba, Brazil. In the co-main event, Vitor Belfort will battle fellow middleweight contender, “Jacare” Souza.
Rothwell, meanwhile, is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Junior dos Santos last month. Rothwell had won four straight prior to the defeat.