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Dublin: 7°C Sunday 18 April 2021

Uncaged: It’s been a busy week in the UFC and it ain’t over yet

Brian Kirk takes us through tonight’s bill at UFC on Fox 11.

Werdum: title shot on the line when he faces Travis Browne tonight.
Werdum: title shot on the line when he faces Travis Browne tonight.
Image: Phelan M. Ebenhack

SATURDAY NIGHT SEES the culmination of an extremely busy period for the UFC as Travis Browne and Fabricio Werdum top the card in the third and final event of an action-packed week.

Sandwiched between last week’s Abu Dhabi event and this week’s Florida card there was also the finale of TUF Nations show and also the release of the new TUF series featuring Irish fighters Cathal Pendred and Chris Fields.

This weekend’s action has a markedly better look about it with a competitive woman’s bantamweight match-up between Meisha Tate and Liz Carmouche while the always exciting Donald Cerrone takes on the explosive Edson Barboza.

Top heavyweight contenders bout

As Dana White dangled the bait of a shot at title holder Cain Velasquez in Mexico, the fight between Travis Browne and Fabricio Werdum suddenly gained a whole lot more credence.

Both men have been floating around the top of the heavyweight division for a while now and three wins in a row for Werdum since rejoining the UFC has convinced White that the Brazilian has got what it takes to challenge Velasquez if he wins.

Similarly, Browne seemed destined for a tilt at the title before “Bigfoot” Silva temporarily halted that charge but he has since got back on track with three KO wins in three fights since that setback.

“Hapa” has looked awesome on the feet recently and has an impressive 12 knockouts on his record to date. His boxing is solid and he possesses brutal one-punch KO power so Werdum will probably look to take this to the ground.

If Travis has the advantage on the feet, then Werdum certainly has a stronger ground game. The much decorated grappler has one of the most dangerous submission games in the division and the former BJJ World Champion is always dangerous, even when in trouble.

But he may have his work cut out taking this to the ground as Browne is very big and strong and not an easy man to take down.

The difference in size and power is key in this fight which means “Hapa” has to be favourite to finally get his shot at gold.

Source: DreistStudios/YouTube

Rest of the action at UFC on Fox 11

Two women who tried and failed to get the better of Ronda Rousey face off to state their claims once more.

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Liz Carmouche perhaps came closest to finishing the champ when she nearly locked in a rear naked choke while Tate was the first person to take her past the first round.

This should be a far more even affair and as both women have suffered a raft of recent losses, this is more than just another fight for the two of them.

Tate is better equipped all round and despite Carmouche’s admirable durability, Meisha should take this one.

Despite claiming that he does not know who Edson Barboza is, Donald Cerrone is certainly up against it when he faces the Brazilian in Florida this weekend.

Barboza has only been defeated once in 13 fights with eight of his wins coming by way of KO/TKO while Cerrone has an impressive 14 submissions on his record.

Neither men are ever involved in a boring fight so this is definitely the must-watch fight of the card. These two always bring their best and are always ready to stand and trade on the feet.

While Cerrone isn’t getting any younger his last win over Adriano Martins proved that he had put his recent troubles behind him. The only certainty in this fight is that someone is going to get knocked out. You just have to flip a coin to decide who it will be.

Source: ULTIMATE Highlights/YouTube

Former Olympic wrestler Yoel Romero has looked a class act since joining the UFC, winning his first 3 fights by KO. Although Brad Tavares has won five in a row, Romero has too much in his locker for him and will make another statement in the middleweight division here.

Pendred ready to show what he’s made of after getting bye into TUF house

About the author:

Brian Kirk

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