Fabricio Werdum pulled off a stunning upset of Cain Velasquez at UFC 188 but now that we have a new heavyweight champion who gets the next title shot and who should we target in our UFC picks?
Fabricio Wer-dooms Velasquez
If you want to be a sharp UFC capper then you have to study history, especially history that was made as recently as June 13th, 2015. The question is what did we learn? After laying out my dinero to watch a decent PPV card, though one that paled in comparison to the free UFC Fight Night 68 in which 10 of the 12 fights were finished by KO or submission, this is what I took away from the heavyweight clash between Werdum and Velasquez:
* Velasquez's legendary cardio was long gone and hard to find on Saturday night which could be attributed to a combination of ring rust and spending a mere two weeks training in the thin air of Mexico City. Furthermore, Velasquez looked stunningly soft from the outset and after a few short exchanges in the opening round the champ was left gasping for air.
* Fabricio Werdum has a wicked left. Velasquez was target practice for Werdum's piston-like jab which was made easier courtesy of a two-inch height advantage. The Interim, soon to be undisputed, UFC champ was getting off quicker and his confidence was clearly swelling as he made it a point to touch gloves with a befuddled Velasquez after the first round ended.
* Muay Thai Madness! Ultimately it was Werdum's legendary BJJ submission skills that sealed the deal for the new heavyweight king but prior to that lethal move it was a dizzying array of knees and a few leg kicks thrown in for good measure. Velasquez was completely shattered by the time of his reckoning and it had everything to do with a relentless Fabricio Werdum and his arsenal of Muay Thai complemented seamlessly by his laser-locked strikes.
* This was a new chapter for Cain Velasquez and one he would rather have omitted from his book when it is eventually finished. Unlike his loss to Junior dos Santos where he was simply caught with a perfectly timed overhand right that landed like a Hellfire missile, there was nothing unlucky about this defeat. Cain Velasquez was simply outworked and outclassed.
Must Check: UFC 189 Betting Card & Props on Offer
Short answer - Cain Velasquez. This rematch needs to happen and it must be mandatory that Werdum gives the former champ his due. It was hardly vintage Velasquez we saw at UFC 188 but it will be interesting to see where the UFC odds land on the rematch. Will the venue be more climate friendly or will they do battle in Mile High or some other thin air paradise? Regardless it will be a hungrier and more well prepared Cain Velasquez this time around but is that even enough to get the job done over the one-man-wrecking crew named Fabricio Werdum?
If Dana White chooses to bypass Velasquez and gives another heavyweight a shot at the strap then that man must be the former champ Junior dos Santos. This would definitely be a match worth watching and would be sure to get plenty of PPV buys.
If not dos Santos then Andrei Arlovski certainly deserves his shot at the UFC's most coveted title after tearing off five consecutive victories. Stipe Miocic is another candidate after he starched Mark Hunt in his last bout. But if Dana White and company really want to get tongues wagging then how about giving creepy Ben Rothwell a crack at the title after his stunning defeat of Matt Mitrione and bizarre post-fight interview with the superlative Joe Rogan?
There are scenarios aplenty now that Fabricio Werdum has done what very few thought he could. Only time will tell but as always, SBR will keep you posted.