Fabricio Werdum recently had an opponent change for his scheduled bout at UFC 203, but the switch from Ben Rothwell to Travis Browne does not appear to have affected his preparation one iota.
"The important thing is that I'm fighting," Werdum recently told MMA Junkie.
UFC 203 takes place Sept. 10 in Cleveland, Ohio, and is headlined by Stipe Miocic defending the UFC Heavyweight Title for the first time -- in his hometown, no less -- against Alistair Overeem. Werdum told MMA Junkie that fighting on the same card as the heavyweight title bout was his main objective, regardless of the opponent.
Werdum (20-6-1) currently is the No. 1 contender in UFC's heavyweight rankings, having lost the title to Miocic by knockout back in May at UFC 198 in Werdum's home country of Brazil. Prior to that, Werdum had racked up six consecutive wins--four of them finishes.
“Since I’m the first in the UFC rankings, I think a win will give me the opportunity to fight for the belt," Werdum said. "I think it will be important how this fight goes down. It’s important that I finish as soon as possible, put on a spectacular fight like the last one. That should give me this chance to fight for the belt. I know [Cain] Velasquez is also waiting for the opportunity. Everyone wants that, but I think I’ll show once again that I am the No. 1 in the ranking and have this opportunity again. It will depend on how it goes.”
That streak included a decision win over Browne, who gets his second chance at Werdum in this bout.
“I expect a similar fight," Werdum said. "But I’ll try to submit him or knock him out. I think that’s what every fighter wants, everyone wants to finish the fight as soon as possible. I don’t think people want to win on points – it’s very difficult to see anyone saying, ‘I’ll win via decision.’ First minute, second round, as soon as I can. But we’ll try to put on a fight like we did last time, a bout that many people say was the best of my career.”
Rothwell had to withdraw from the scheduled matchup with Werdum last week, due to a knee injury.
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