UFC on FOX 11 preview: Five burning questions heading into 'Werdum vs. Browne' in Orlando

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

Before every fight card, mixed martial arts (MMA) fans toggle between possible scenarios and what to expect days before it all unfolds in front of their eyes. Probable outcomes, distinguishable facts and head-scratching theories are all part of the mystique that surrounds the fights on any given night. We ask ourselves the same questions … and try to uncover different answers.

Talk about an action-packed week.

After last weekend, we saw a knockout for the ages in Abu Dhabi, a great boxing rematch between two superb welterweights, another gruesome leg injury at GLORY 15 and a boatload of bad press regarding the atrocious work done by the Wyoming athletic commission at RFA 14.

But don't reach for the towel to wipe yourself down just yet.

Three days after The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Nations" Finale invaded Canada on Wednesday (April 16, 2014), UFC on FOX 11: "Werdum vs. Browne" will go down this Saturday night (April 19) at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. The main card will be broadcast on FOX, with the "prelims" being aired on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) and online via UFC "Fight Pass."

The main event features a classic heavyweight headliner for the ages, as title hopeful Fabricio Werdum tests his might against Travis Browne in a five-round contest to determine Cain Velasquez's next championship foe.

In Mexico!

Also on the card, Miesha Tate tries to secure a much-needed win against Liz Carmouche in a battle of former UFC women's bantamweight title challengers.

With a handful of several interesting storylines emerging from this card, check out our "Five Burning Questions" heading into these fights in Orlando:

5. How will Thiago Alves look after so much time away?

It's been awhile since Thiago Alves put his ferociousness on display inside the Octagon, but like they say, every dog has its day.

"Pitbull" has experienced a difficult stretch as of late, winning only two times since 2009 over the course of six fights. To make matters worse, he hasn't competed since his submission loss to Martin Kampmann at UFC on FX 2 back in March 2012.

The Brazilian faces Seth Baczynski this upcoming weekend and "The Polish Pistola" is a good enough test to see how Alves does after a long injury layoff -- which included four surgeries.

It's the biggest fight of Baczynski's career, and although Alves has enjoyed his fair share of colossal fights in the past, this one is as important as they come in determining his future.

After all, the former UFC welterweight title challenger is competing on the "prelims" portion of Saturday's fight card.

4. What does a win do for either Rafael dos Anjos or Khabib Nurmagomedov in the lightweight title picture?

There's never a dull moment in the UFC lightweight division.

Since Anthony Pettis will be taking on Gilbert Melendez after their TUF 20 coaching showdown later this fall, the line will certainly shuffle in determining who gets next dibs on a shot at the gold until then.

Two athletes deserving of a title booking will go head-to-head on the FS1 "prelims" this Saturday night, as Rafael dos Anjos battles Khabib Nurmagomedov right before the main card kicks off.

It's quite a healthy dose of foreplay.

Despite fighters not wanting to look ahead of current opposition, a concern for each of these 155-pound powerhouses is that timing could be an issue and they may need to take one more fight against a fellow lightweight before title talk presents itself.

Although, haven't they both done enough to earn their respective shots after five Octagon wins apiece?

3. What will happen to Miesha Tate if she loses?

After gaining exposure on TUF 18, followed by her much-anticipated scrap against bitter rival Ronda Rousey at UFC 168 last December, Tate's popularity has skyrocketed and she's now a household name.

Rousey's handshake refusal somehow did wonders for her career, too.

But the pride and joy of Bryan Caraway's life is on a bit of a slump as of late, notching only one victory out of her past four contests. In all fairness, she lost twice to Rousey and once to Cat Zingano in a title eliminator bout, so losing title fights could be more forgivable than losing to opponents ranked outside of the top 10.

Nevertheless, "Cupcake" would be on an unfortunate three-fight losing streak if she can't get past Carmouche, and that's a sugar tooth she wouldn't be able to overcome.

It would be silly to suggest the promotion would cut ties with the former Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion, yet does popularity warrant a stay even if the competitor can't muster up any wins while being one of the sport's most beloved darlings?

We'll have to wait and see.

2. Does it matter if Travis Browne has a suspect ground game?

Not too long ago, Fabricio Werdum made a claim that Browne wasn't too good on the ground, questioning his confidence.

We haven't seen too much of "Hapa" on the floor, and that's because he's stuffed takedowns against Josh Barnett and Gabriel Gonzaga, before turning their skulls into Pablum seconds later.

You can't say Browne isn't a knockout artist, since his three back-to-back knockout victories -- and his 12 career wins via knockout -- would suggest otherwise.

This question matters if the Brazilian jiu-jitsu phenom opts to take the Albuquerque-based fighter to the mat, since he suggested he's got the upper hand during his pre-fight interviews.

It would be surprising to see Browne in favorable situations if the fight hits the floor, yet champions excel in unfortunate positions. If the Hawaiian feels he has what it takes to get to the top, he needs to get his hands dirty.

Plus, training wrestling at Greg Jackson's camp can only do wonders for this type of beast, too.

1. Can Fabricio Werdum afford to stand and bang his way to victory?

Starting where we left off after question two, we have to examine Werdum's stand-up and if he can afford to trade blows against his powerful heavyweight counterpart.

"Vai Cavalo" has faced heavy hitters before, toppling Roy Nelson and doing decent on the feet in his last loss against Alistair Overeem at Strikeforce: "Overeem vs. Werdum" back in 2011.

Since that fight, his three-fight winning streak has even included a TKO victory over Mike Russow at UFC 147 two years ago, but with all due respect to the Chicago cop, he's no "Hapa," since Browne is in a league of his own after dismantling Gonzaga, Overeem, and Barnett consecutively in 2013.

It would be advantageous for Werdum to test his might against Browne in the striking department, since overcoming his opponent's strikes could be beneficial if he can get past him and set up a fight against the heavy-handed Velasquez. On the flipside, who says the takedown can be secured that easily?

They say styles makes fights, and we've got quite the main event barnburner right here.

Safe to say the weekend can't come any sooner.

Check out the finalized fight card for UFC on FOX 11: "Werdum vs. Browne" right here.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join MMAmania.com

You must be a member of MMAmania.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MMAmania.com. You should read them.

Join MMAmania.com

You must be a member of MMAmania.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MMAmania.com. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.