Werdum destroys Browne to earn title shot
Published on Sunday, 4/20/14, at 12:10 a.m. Eastern.
By Brian Edwards
Fabricio Werdum will face Cain Velasquez for the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s heavyweight belt in Mexico later this year. Werdum improved 6-2 in the Octagon by destroying Travis Browne in Saturday’s main event at Amway Center in Orlando.
The 36-year-old Brazilian captured a unanimous-decision (50-45 twice, 49-46) win as a +195 underdog (paid $195 on $100 wagers). BrianEdwardsSports.com scored it 49-46 for Werdum.
Most pundits, including this one, felt that Werdum’s best chance of beating Browne would be by taking the fight to the ground and getting a submission. However, Werdum got the best of nearly all the stand-up exchanges, scored several takedowns and thumped ‘Hapa’ handily.
Gamblers taking ‘over’ 2.5 rounds cashed an easy winner at a -210ish price.
In the co-main event, Miesha ‘Cupcake’ Tate won a unanimous decision (29-28 three times) over Liz Carmouche in a hotly-contested battle between former title challengers in the women’s bantamweight loop. BE Sports also had it 29-28 for Tate, who shook off a rough first round and had her way in the final two stanzas.
Tate worked for submissions in both the second and third rounds, and Carmouche showed incredible toughness in somehow getting out of a rear-naked choke. The victory was Tate’s first in the UFC after losing to Cat Zingano and champion Ronda Rousey.
Tate hooked up her backers as a -190 ‘chalk,’ while ‘over’ 2.5 rounds was a winner at an expensive price in the -280 range.
Edson Barboza was blistering Donald ‘Cowboy’Cerrone in the opening minutes of their 155-pound scrap. He was beating Cerrone to the punch and looked a lot quicker on his feet. However, Cerrone caught Barboza with a crisp left-handed jab that floored the Brazilian late in the first round. Cerrone swarmed Barboza, quickly taking his back and finishing the bout with a rear-naked choke.
A lot of late money came in on Barboza, who closed at around -160. The fight had been a pick ’em for most of the week. Cerrone backers brought home a +140 return (risk $100 to win $140).
Cerrone improved to 10-3 in the UFC and earned his 9th fight-night bonus (Performance of the Night). Barboza fell to 7-2 in nine Octagon appearances.
In the lid-lifter for the main card on FOX, Yoel Romero dominated Brad Tavares for 15 minutes en route to capturing a unanimous-decision (30-27 three times) victory as a +130 underdog. Late money came in on Tavares to prompt many books to move the number from -120 to -150 in favor of Tavares, who saw his five-fight winning streak snapped.
Other winners included Thiago Alves, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Jordan Mein.