UFC on FOX 11: Werdum vs BrowneIn the main event, Fabricio Werdum fights in the US for the first time since 2012 as he takes on Travis Browne, while Miesha Tate and Liz Carmouche square off in the co-main event Read More +
UFC 172: Jones vs TeixeiraUFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones defends his title for the seventh time against Brazilian powerhouse Glover Teixeira in the main event of UFC 172 in Baltimore. Read More +
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In a division where fighters are measured by assets such as skill and brute power, having mystique can go a long ways.
It has been several years since prospects such as Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos rose to break through into title contention in the heavyweight ranks. While there have been flashes of excitement over that stretch, things have often grown tiresome as the established names and major players have kept the division's upper tier on a revolving cycle.
Travis Browne is looking to change all of that, and he is looking to do so in a manner as imposing as his 6-foot-7 frame.
When things are earned, rather than given, the feeling is often more satisfying than you can ever imagine. No one knows this better that heavyweight contender Fabricio Werdum, just one win away from a shot at Cain Velasquez' UFC title.
Of course, that one win on Sunday in Orlando needs to be against one of the hottest fighters in the game right now in Travis Browne, but as a former training partner of a prime Mirko Cro Cop and the owner of wins over a lineup that includes Gabriel Gonzaga, Alistair Overeem, Antonio Silva, "Minotauro" Nogueira, Roy Nelson, and Fedor Emelianenko, the odds of the Porto Alegre, Brazil native being intimidated by the task at hand are slim and none.
With that out of the way, the focus returns to the 36-year-old veteran, who knows what it's like to earn his way to the top, having scraped together every cent he could from various jobs to earn enough money to compete in the Jiu-Jitsu world championships, which he won three times. It was a run that showed the young Werdum that hard work and dedication weren't just words to be thrown around, but two aspects of life that could change your place in the world if applied regularly.
That's not to say Werdum didn't work hard during his first run in the UFC in 2007-08, but when he first arrived in the Octagon after a six fight stint in PRIDE in which he established himself as one of the top heavyweights in the world, the table was set for him to face the kind of opposition which, if vanquished, would lead him right to a heavyweight title shot.
It didn't happen.
The Ronda Rousey chapter is over for Miesha Tate. For now. After two losses to the current UFC women's bantamweight champion, Tate is happy to take on a fighter who is still at the top of the division in Liz Carmouche, but one that won't leave her hanging on a handshake when their Sunday bout is over, no matter the outcome.
"It's been much more relaxed, and I'm able to just focus on what I need to do inside the gym to win the fight and that's been awesome," said Tate of fighting Carmouche. "It's really nice to fight someone who has the same idea about sportsmanship and a positive attitude similar to myself, and she's very respectful. She's the complete opposite of Ronda. I get along with her, I get along with her coaches, her management, and anyone I've met who had something to do with Liz Carmouche has been awesome. So it's nice and definitely a change of pace."