UFC ON FOX 11: WERDUM VS. BROWNE Date: April 19, 2014 Location: Orlando, FL Venue: Amway Center Broadcast: FOX UFC Heavyweight Travis Browne (-210) Travis Browne (16-1-1) has staked his claim in the UFC heavyweight division as a legitimate contender with a 9-1-1 record since arriving in the Octagon in 2010. He has knockout wins over the vast majority of his opponents, including James McSweeney, Stefan Struve, and most recently Gabriel Gonzaga and Josh Barnett. These impressive performances have led to four Knockout of the Night awards and he also has a Sub of the Night bonus for finishing former Strikeforce heavyweight Chad Griggs at UFC 145. The only derailment of Browne’s ascension came in the form of a knockout loss to Bigfoot Silva in 2012. This sent Bigfoot back to the front of the line to challenge for the title, while Browne still had some proving to do, which he did by destroying Gabriel Gonzaga and Josh Barnett in short order with lethal elbows, and by shocking the world by rallying back from an Alistair Overeem beating only to knock out the K-1 Grand Prix winner. Browne’s time is coming and the 31-year-old is ready for the big time. With a win over Fabricio Werdum he will earn a title shot. UFC Heavyweight Fabricio Werdum (+160) Fabricio Werdum (17-5-1) is probably best known as the man who ended a 28-fight unbeaten streak by MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko, but he has seen mixed results since that career-defining submission that capped off their Strikeforce headlining bout in June of 2010. Werdum’s foray into the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix nearly a year later met a quick end at the hands of Alistair Overeem via unanimous decision in the quarterfinals, but he has since bounced back in his last two UFC fights, brutally defeating Roy Nelson in a one-sided decision at UFC 143 and then scoring a TKO victory against Mike Russow at UFC 147. Werdum then took the time to coach opposite of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira on The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 2, which culminated in Werdum becoming the second man to ever submit “Big Nog,” when he won by armbar at UFC on FUEL TV: Nogueira vs. Werdum in June of 2013. The BJJ black belt and ADCC grappling champion decided to wait for his heavyweight title shot after that win, but an injury to Cain Velasquez has led to a title elimination fight between Travis Browne and Werdum. Opening UFC on FOX 11 Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Browne a -210 favorite (bet $210 to win $100) while Werdum opened as a +160 underdog (bet $100 to win $160) at Several Bookmakers. This is a big heavyweight matchup in term of what’s at stake, as the winner of the bout will no doubt receive a title shot when UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez returns from injury. Both Browne and Werdum are on nice rolls, with each man having finished their last two opponents. Although Werdum was promised the title shot at Velasquez already, he opted instead to take this fight against Browne to keep busy. It’s hard to say if that was a good idea or not until the fight is over, but there’s no doubt Browne is a very dangerous matchup for Werdum. Although the ground wizard always has the edge if it hits the mat, Browne has excellent takedown defence and it will be difficult for Werdum to get the fight where he wants it. And on the feet, Browne is likely the more dangerous fighter. This is going to be a good fight but the edges go to Browne and that’s why he is the slight favorite heading into this fight. Profiles by Jason Nawara.