UFC 181 Fight Breakdown: Travis Browne vs. Brendan Schaub

Brendan Schaub One of the main card bouts at UFC 181 is a three-round heavyweight bout between Travis Browne and Brendan Schaub. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Browne is a -300 favorite (bet $300 to win $100) while Schaub is a +250 underdog (bet $100 to win $250). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Browne at -270 at Schaub at +190, and the betting public is all over Browne so far. I agree with the line movement in Browne’s favor as I see him as a very likely winner in this spot. Here’s why. Browne (16-2-1) is one of the top-five heavyweights in the UFC. The 32-year-old Hawaii native is 6-2-1 in the UFC with wins over Josh Barnett, Alistair Overeem, Gabriel Gonzaga, Chad Griggs, Rob Broughton and Stefan Struve, with a draw to Cheick Kongo and losses to Fabricio Werdum and Antonio Silva. Browne is a very athletic heavyweight and at 6’7″ one of the tallest fighters in the division. He has brutal, one-punch knockout power in all of his limbs and all told he has four knockouts in the UFC and 12 in his career. He also has an underrated ground game, and the takedown defence needed to keep the fight standing or go to the ground. Prior to his last outing with Werdum, Browne was on a collision course with UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, but that loss set him back temporarily. However, seeing Werdum take out Mark Hunt recently via TKO makes the loss by Browne there look not as bad in hindsight. I am still a believer in Browne, and I think with a big win over Schaub he could re-emerge as a bonafide heavyweight title contender. Schaub (10-4) was a contestant on TUF 10 and since coming into the UFC is 6-4 overall with wins over Matt Mitrione, Lavar Johnson, Mirko Cro Cop, Gabriel Gonzaga, Chris Tuchscherer, and Chase Gormely and losses to Andrei Arlovski, Ben Rothwell, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Roy Nelson. Schaub is a big, athletic heavyweight and at 31 years of age is in the prime of his career. He has very good boxing and knockout power in his hands, and he also has very good wrestling and an awesome submission game for a heavyweight. There’s no doubt that in my mind he has all the tools to be a top-10 heavyweight. However, he doesn’t have a good chin, and has been knocked out in devastating fashion three times so far in his UFC career. He’s definitely a good fighter, but going against a guy with one-punch knockout power like Browne seems like a difficult task on paper, and thus Schaub enters the bout as a large underdog. If Schaub can get a takedown he can definitely make things interesting as he has the superior ground game, but I really don’t think he can get Browne down to the mat. Browne has shown excellent takedown defence in all of his fights and considering he has the size and weight advantage here, I don’t see Schaub putting him on his back. Therefore I see the fight taking place on the feet and while Schaub certainly has power in his hands, we’ve seen numerous times his chin isn’t that good and Browne has massive knockout power. I really just think is Browne’s fight to win or lose, and more times than not I see him winning the fight by devastating knockout. At -300 Browne isn’t cheap, but he’s probably my most confident pick on the entire card and I see him being a good piece for parlays.

Written by Adam Martin.

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